Terri Horton
Terri Horton, RE/MAX
Your Local Real Estate Specialist for Kershaw County, South Carolina

Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

Are you a first-time home buyer feeling overwhelmed by the real estate process? With countless options and decisions, buying your first home can feel daunting. However, with a bit of research and preparation, it doesn’t have to be intimidating! From research tips to financing advice, this article shares some insight on what you should know before taking the plunge into homeownership. Discover how knowing more about the home buying process can ensure that you find the perfect home for your needs and makes the entire journey an exciting experience.


The first step in buying a home should be finding the right realtor. A great realtor will work with you every step of the way to make sure that you understand each step and feel comfortable throughout the process. They will also use their experience and knowledge of the housing market to get you an ideal property at a competitive price. Furthermore, they can connect you with other professionals who can provide additional assistance such as mortgage advisors, lawyers, and inspectors as needed. Save yourself the headache and confusion, and find yourself a realtor right from the start.  

As a first-time home buyer, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is very important and beneficial to the home buying process. By obtaining pre-approval, you know how much home the lender will approve you for. Without knowing your budget, you risk touring homes that are over your price range. Also, being pre-approved shows sellers that you are serious about the purchase and are more likely to close on their property, which could help with negotiation leverage and your offer being accepted by the sellers. Additionally, when you’re pre-approved, a lot of the mortgage paperwork is already completed and all you have to do is provide any additional required documentation – making your process smoother and faster. For these reasons, we always recommend our clients be pre-approved at the start of your search.  

Another smart idea for home buyers is touring multiple homes before deciding to make an offer on a specific home. Not only does visiting multiple properties allow you to compare and contrast different features, locations, and styles of houses, it also allows for a better understanding of the market. By visiting multiple homes and immersing yourself in the area, buyers can gain knowledge about local market trends and prices on particular features. Areas and neighborhoods throughout Kershaw County and the Midlands of South Carolina, can vary widely based on the location and features of the property. Ideally, this will assist future home buyers in selecting the best possible property and help them make an informed decision come closing time.

After you decide on the perfect home for you it is time to move into the offer stage of the home buying process.  Before you decide to make an offer, ensure that you have thoroughly inspected the property and are confident about making this financial commitment. Have your finances in order before submitting your offer – calculating how much to offer based on comparable homes in the area. Know what other concessions could help sweeten the deal – perhaps asking for no contingencies or asking the seller for their preferred closing date. Finalize the details of the agreement with your real estate agent and then it’s time to make your offer! 

After your offer has been submitted to the sellers and they accept it you will be ready for the final step of the buying process which is closing. Closing involves a variety of tasks, such as signing paperwork and transferring the funds needed to pay for the house. It is important to have an expert with you during the closing process, like a real estate agent, to ensure that all of the necessary documents are in order and all of your questions have been answered before any documents are signed. All parties will also receive copies of the documents signed during closing so that they can be referred to if needed at a later date.  Once the paperwork is signed and the funds are transferred your will own your new home!

Purchasing your first home is an exciting time that comes with a lot of steps and decisions. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can help ensure that you are as prepared as possible for each stage of the process. From selecting the right realtor to getting pre-approved for a mortgage and making an offer on your dream home, there are many factors to consider. However, if you take your time and do your research, purchasing your first home can be a smooth and low-stress experience. Congratulations on taking the first step towards homeownership!