The Home Buying Process

Our Comprehensive Guide for Home Buyers‍. What Every Home Buyer Needs To Know

There's a lot to navigate when buying a home, from having your finances in order to finding the right agent, identifying the right property, negotiating an offer, navigating the inspection and appraisal process... it can seem overwhelming! Use this Home Buying Guide answer some commonly asked questions about the home buying process. Call one of our expert real estate agents to schedule your no obligation consultation. (816) 307-9662


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Homebuying Myths

Myth one: I need 20% down to buy

  • Truth: It’s great if you can put 20% as a down payment, but it’s not required.

  • Depending on what kind of loan you get, you can make down payments as low as 0-5%.

  • Even if you have a low credit score, it’s possible for you to buy a house. If you need to repair your credit, your agent will point you to programs that can help you repair your credit.

  • Other Considerations

Myth two: Renting is always cheaper than buying

  • Truth: It’s great if you can put 20% as a down payment, but it’s not required.

  • Depending on what kind of loan you get, you can make down payments as low as 0-5%.

  • Even if you have a low credit score, it’s possible for you to buy a house. If you need to repair your credit, your agent will point you to programs that can help you repair your credit.

  • Other Considerations

Steps to the Homebuying Process

1. Initial Consultation

  • Truth: It’s great if you can put 20% as a down payment, but it’s not required.

  • Depending on what kind of loan you get, you can make down payments as low as 0-5%.

  • Even if you have a low credit score, it’s possible for you to buy a house. If you need to repair your credit, your agent will point you to programs that can help you repair your credit.

  • Other Considerations

You should be pre-qualified before you start the home search.

Why is choosing the right lender so important? With a bad lender, you might not close on time. You want a lender who communicates well. You don't want to have your moving truck in the driveway only to find out that you can't close on time because of the lender's failure!

Lender choice is up to you and our real estate agents have great relationships with local lenders. We are happy to make recommendations!


2. Select Properties

  • A good agent will ask you a lot of questions and show you a few properties instead of asking you a few questions and showing you a lot of properties. Your time is valuable!

  • Once your agent knows what you’re looking for in a house, they will then start a search on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for you.

  • One advantage your real estate agent has is that they can look at the Pre-MLS to see properties that are about to go on the market so you can hopefully be one of the first ones to view the property or make an offer once it’s live on the market.

  • Sometimes your agent will need to get creative to help you find your new home.

  • Sometimes your agent will need to get creative to help you find your new home.

    Your agent can drive around town to look for For Sale By Owner properties (FSBOs)

    Or, if you want to live in a specific neighborhood, your agent can knock on doors and/or pass out flyers to ask if anyone in the neighborhood is looking to sell or planning to move in the near future.

  • You and your agent will then go view the properties you’ve selected

    As you look at multiple homes, they tend to run together in your mind. So use a piece of paper or the MLS sheet your agent provides to make notes about what you like and don’t like.

    Once you get outside, your agent will ask you to rate the house from 1-10. A good agent will pay attention to the things you like and don’t like so you continue looking at homes that best suit you.

3. Make Offer

  • A good agent will make suggestions and offer tools and resources to help make your offer stand out so that it’s more likely to get accepted.

  • You’re still in control during this whole process, but you want someone in your corner representing you.

  • If there is a counter offer, your real estate agent will also walk you through that process and help you negotiate a deal.

4. Acceptance of Contract

  • Once your offer is accepted, you will begin paying for the following items.

  • Earnest money

    Typically $500-2,500 for the St Joseph, MO and surrounding area market.

    You or your agent will take that check to the title company.

    Once you close, you will get that money back as a credit. But it will leave your bank account in the meantime.

    The more skin you have in the game, the more sellers realize you want the property. So a good agent will tell you not to skimp on earnest money.

  • Inspections

    Typically $300-400 for a general inspection in the St Joseph, MO and surrounding area market.

    Your agent will inform you about the different kinds of inspections available (e.g., general, termite, septic, pool, radon, mold, etc.).

    A Ramseier Group real estate agent will recommend you get a general inspection and termite inspection in the St Joseph, MO and surrounding area. If the property has a septic tank, it’s a good idea to get a septic inspection as well.

    Having an agent with local knowledge helps because they’ll be able to recommend quality inspectors to you.

    The inspector will let you know if there are any concerns that need to be addressed before you decide to purchase the property or move in. vi. Remember that part of home ownership is maintenance. So when you get the inspection report, you will see minor items you can fix yourself when you move in. Think of that as your honey-do list. vii. The inspection period is like a safety net for you. If there is a major concern with the property, you can back out of your contract and get your earnest money back or ask the seller to correct it.

  • Appraisal

    An appraisal is different from an inspection. An appraiser assesses the property and makes sure it’s valued correctly so you don’t overpay for it.

    Once you’re done with the inspection process, your agent will notify your lender to order the appraisal.

5. Mortgage Application

  • You will provide your lender with information they need like pay stubs, job history, W2s, bank statements, and your credit score.

  • Sometimes lenders will have you pay the appraisal fee up front (approx. $450); but usually, that fee is rolled into your loan.

  • When you get the appraisal back, it will go to the final underwriters who will look at your appraisal and your mortgage application. They will make sure that there are no other conditions that need to be met. Then they will accept or reject it.

6. Loan Approval

  • Once the underwriter accepts your application, your loan has been approved and you can keep moving forward!

7. Title Company

  • During this whole process, the title company has been working in the background.

  • They do a search and make sure that nobody else has a claim to that property or has a mechanic's lien against the property (if the property owner hired a contractor to do work on the home but didn’t pay their bill, that contractor can put a mechanic's lien against the property).

  • The title company provides insurance so that, in the event that someone comes claims an interest in that property, the title company will cover it.

  • Also, if there has been a divorce but someone hasn’t been removed from the title, the title company and your agent will help you walk through that.

8. Closing

  • Congratulations! You’re ready to close!

  • You will receive a settlement statement prior to closing with the amount that you will pay at closing.

  • On closing day:

    Bring your driver’s license or photo ID.

    Bring a cashier’s check, not a personal check.

    Sign a bunch of papers!

    Once funding has been received, you get the keys to your new home!

What Our Clients Say About Us...

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie was absolutely essential to our purchase of our dream home. We were at a stand still and Lorrie represented us perfectly. We have and will continue to recommend her to anyone who wants an awesome advocate in the business of real estate. We love her and cannot thank her enough for all she did for our family. Call her! You will not regret it!

Thetaverse

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team are awesome! They think of everything and are so helpful as you are in the middle of chaos trying to sell, pack, buy and move. Lorrie or someone from her team will walk you through the whole process before you start to give you an idea of how they run things. The pictures they post are great and really show off your home. Couldnt think of going with anyone else!

Matthew Wieners

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

The Best realtorty group that I've worked with, responsive, brings us what we asked for and showed us many houses before we finally got what we wanted. Sold our house for what we wanted and made sure the deal went through.

Daniel Hess

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Words cannot describe how well we were guided through the entire process of selling our home and purchasing a new one. Every detail was attended to and negotiations were professionally carried out. We were always confident that we were well taken care of.

MikeRuth Weese

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

I needed a quick sale and Lorrie came through! Property was under contract in five days! A small inspection issue was fixed, and closing went off without a hitch. Having never bought or sold real estate before, I was scared as could be. Lorrie’s expertise and reassurances kept me sane. Sandi’s Extraordinary organizational skills kept me abreast of “what’s next?” the whole way though. Thanks so much!

911 bradh

06/12/2019

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her staff listed our home for sale on a Friday afternoon and had an accepted full offer the very next day! From a seller's perspective, how could anyone ask for better results! Lorrie first impressed me when she was the first to call me back after leaving messages with three other Realtors. I knew at that time, that she was sincere, motivated and wanted our listing! If I had another home in the area, there would only be one call to make to have my home listed and that would be with Lorrie at Keller Williams!

edwardjirvine

04/06/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is great to work with and worked hard to assist in the sale of my home. She has since helped my son and a fried of my son purchase there first homes. Lorrie worked with them through the first time buyers programs to choose what worked best for them and educated them on the differences. Thanks for all the help!

jdavies8

06/28/2016

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

If you are looking for a great real estate agent look no further than Emily Creal. She was our “life saver” during the purchase of our new house and took so much stress out of the equation. Emily was so helpful & pleasant to work with and kept us in the loop with every step. Highly recommended!

lisaindm

12/12/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Great service! These gals go above and beyond to make your experience smooth and seamless, whether you are buying or selling your home. Call them for your real estate needs, you will be glad you did!

Renee F.

07/13/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Loved working with Lorrie and Emily! Professional, friendly and efficient. The photos Lorrie had done for the sale of my home were amazing, sold my house less than 48 hours after being listed!

Leslie D.

11/05/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

They worked great with my work schedule. Always friendly and out going

Lori S.

09/07/2019

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Sold our house in 4 days! Ramseier realty is passionate, prompt and ready to do business.

Alexis C.

03/15/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is great to work with and worked hard to assist in the sale of my home. She has since helped my son and a fried of my son purchase there first homes. Lorrie worked with them through the first time buyers programs to choose what worked best for them and educated them on the differences. Thanks for all the help!

jdavies8

06/28/2016

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Sold our house in 4 days! Ramseier realty is passionate, prompt and ready to do business.

Alexis C.

03/15/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Great service! These gals go above and beyond to make your experience smooth and seamless, whether you are buying or selling your home. Call them for your real estate needs, you will be glad you did!

Renee F.

07/13/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team are the best!! Very professional, friendly and they get the job done.

Marcy Rodgers H.

07/13/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is one of the kindest and most personable people I’ve met. She was easily accessible when we needed her and always made sure our needs were met. We had the best experience selling our home thanks to Lorrie and her group.

MaKayla B.

09/29/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Loved working with Lorrie and Emily! Professional, friendly and efficient. The photos Lorrie had done for the sale of my home were amazing, sold my house less than 48 hours after being listed!

Leslie D.

11/05/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

They worked great with my work schedule. Always friendly and out going

Lori S.

09/07/2019

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

She is an amazing realtor! One who is more than a realtor, but in who is sincere, and goes more than the extra mile, to find your New Home, and or Business location!

Ana-Maria K.

03/03/2020

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her staff listed our home for sale on a Friday afternoon and had an accepted full offer the very next day! From a seller's perspective, how could anyone ask for better results! Lorrie first impressed me when she was the first to call me back after leaving messages with three other Realtors. I knew at that time, that she was sincere, motivated and wanted our listing! If I had another home in the area, there would only be one call to make to have my home listed and that would be with Lorrie at Keller Williams!

edwardjirvine

04/06/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie Ramseier has been helping me find a home from August 2017 to May 2018. I can not recommend her and her staff high enough. She went above and beyond for us. I told her the street and several homes that I would like to own, but were not for sale. She made inquiries to those homeowners to find out if they might sell. Although, they did not, I appreciated the effort. Sometimes we worked with Emily and she was great. They were prompt with email and phone call responses and always upbeat and pleasant. What we appreciated the most was her knowledge and professionalism. I would use them again in a heartbeat, if necessary.

tonyferguson80

05/24/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is awesome, she made the selling of my home easy and removed the stress by handling everything in a timely manner. She took time out of her schedule to just check on me to see how everything was going. She is a great realtor

anagle70

06/19/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

She was great, would recommend her team to anyone. She helped sale our house and our land/lot. Both sold within days without any glitches. Couldn’t be happier or more pleased with how her team performed.

zuser20140308190936384

12/06/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

If you are looking for a great real estate agent look no further than Emily Creal. She was our “life saver” during the purchase of our new house and took so much stress out of the equation. Emily was so helpful & pleasant to work with and kept us in the loop with every step. Highly recommended!

lisaindm

12/12/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

I needed a quick sale and Lorrie came through! Property was under contract in five days! A small inspection issue was fixed, and closing went off without a hitch. Having never bought or sold real estate before, I was scared as could be. Lorrie’s expertise and reassurances kept me sane. Sandi’s Extraordinary organizational skills kept me abreast of “what’s next?” the whole way though. Thanks so much!

911 bradh

06/12/2019

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team were outstanding and I am so glad that we selected her agency to list our home. Everything Lorrie did was 5-star worthy. She presented a compelling analysis and recommendation on our listing price, she and her team were very accessible, very professional and it was a true joy to work with them. Lorrie went above and beyond on many occasions, she has excellent connections and resources which we used from closing agents, to electricians and plumbers. As the seller, she excelled in the "selling" process especially the negotiation and working to get multiple offers. She never took the easy road, always the road that provided the best outcome. Anyone can list and sell a home, but few can make the process seamless and get the absolute best price for the seller....If you are listing, you can't go wrong with Lorrie.

johntinnj

12/04/2020

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

I recently listed and sold my home with Ramseier Realty Group. We received multiple offers and had it under contract within a month. Lorrie and her team are attentive and truly care about their clients' best interests. I would recommend this realty team to anyone!

Diedra Summers

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Words cannot describe how well we were guided through the entire process of selling our home and purchasing a new one. Every detail was attended to and negotiations were professionally carried out. We were always confident that we were well taken care of.

MikeRuth Weese

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Both Lorrie & Jan were SO awesome to work with during our selling and buying process! They are so friendly, willing to help, and really went above and beyond for us to make sure we had the answers we needed to all of our questions. Both of them were so patient and eager to make sure that we were happy, well informed and didn't feel any pressure. We can't thank them enough!!!

Betsy Davis

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

We met Lorrie for the first time at a property she was listing and new right away she was a person of integrity and someone we could trust to sell our home and lead us to a great new place. She did not disappoint. Throughout the process she continued to show us that she was always on top of things. Thanks Lorrie for all you did and for helping us to enjoy the process.

Rodney Mollus

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is by far the best realtor I have ever worked with. Her staff and herself are easy to get a hold of and promptly answer any questions. She has been a blessing to myself and my parents that also just bought a home with her help.

Amanda Wheeler

3 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and I are working on finding me a house in St Joseph. She went out on Superbowl Sunday in 3 degree weather to show me a house. I am an out of state buyer. Unbelieveable. Can't ask for a better realtor.

Debbie V

11 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie was absolutely essential to our purchase of our dream home. We were at a stand still and Lorrie represented us perfectly. We have and will continue to recommend her to anyone who wants an awesome advocate in the business of real estate. We love her and cannot thank her enough for all she did for our family. Call her! You will not regret it!

Thetaverse

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team are awesome! They think of everything and are so helpful as you are in the middle of chaos trying to sell, pack, buy and move. Lorrie or someone from her team will walk you through the whole process before you start to give you an idea of how they run things. The pictures they post are great and really show off your home. Couldnt think of going with anyone else!

Matthew Wieners

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Jan was very helpful and professional. She was patient with us as we look at a LOT of homes, and was there for us through the entire process - from putting in the offer all the way to closing!

Andy Arends

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Amazing professional but also personal service. This company has been there for us even after the purchase of our dream home

Rachel Rieger

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Just sold our home very quickly, and with no problems. Lorrie and her team were the best! They kept us up to date, were very professional, and were absolutely great to work with. My husband and I highly recommend these folks to anyone looking for a realtor!

Eudora Guinn

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is the best realtor in town. She and her staff were very helpful from beginning to end. We will recommend Ramseier Realty Group to all our friends!

Connie Whitsitt

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

It was a better experience than we could have even asked for. The entire team walked us through every step of the process. They were all very kind and professional. To everyone who helped our church find its new home; THANK YOU!

Josh Coverett

a week ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

The whole team did an excellent job helping us to find our new home! Everyone was friendly and professional. They were very quick to respond to any questions or concerns that we had. Thank you so much!

Mary Wood

3 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Recently purchased a home in record time. Lorrie and her team delivered on finding the best value and listening to my requirments. I strongly recomment Ramseier Realty Team to handle all of your real estate transactrions.

Rob Buehler

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

My wife and I couldn't be happier with our first home buying experience with Ramseier Realty. Excellent communication, great time management and personal attention that exceeded our expectations. We will be recommending them to all of our friends and family. A++

William Burnich

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Thank you to the Ramseier team for all you did to make our house purchase effortless. This house will be an amazing addition to the Pivotal Point ministry.

Melissa Frakes

6 days ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

The Best realtorty group that I've worked with, responsive, brings us what we asked for and showed us many houses before we finally got what we wanted. Sold our house for what we wanted and made sure the deal went through.

Daniel Hess

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and the team did a great job!

Kelly Adkins

9 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is the best realtor in town! With her passionate, prompt, competitive and knowledgeable experience she sold our house sold in just 4 days. If you want a quick sale or a devoted realtor to find a new home, she's your gal!

Alexis Conner

4 years ago

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