Are you a first time home buyer? Buying a home involves several stages. Below is a list of the more common steps during a residential transaction.

Your situation may vary and it is best to contact your real estate professional for more information.

Initial Meeting

  • Select real estate agent.
  • Determine needs and wants.
  • Determine financial eligibility.

Loan Qualification

  • Discuss finances.
  • Obtain mortgage or loan pre-qualification/approval.

Find a Home

  • Select an affordable property that fits your needs.
  • Discuss offer with agent.
  • Buyer reviews contract with agent.
  • Agent presents offer to selling side.

Present and Negotiate Offer

  • Buyer prepares “earnest money” deposit (typically, 1 to 3% of purchase price).
  • Seller accepts offer (Seller can accept your offer, counter your offer, or reject your offer).

Contingency Period

  • Conduct Physical Inspection of property by a qualified inspector.
  • Approve seller’s Transfer Disclosure Statement.

Open Escrow

  • Deposit “earnest money” into listing brokers trust account.
  • Buyers lender to order title work/commitment.

Mortgage/Loan process continues.

Loan and Title Processing

  • Approve title work/commitment.
  • Property appraisal ordered and completed.
  • Obtain loan approval from lender.
  • Closing appointment coordinated with the parties by TitleSmart.

Obtain Homeowner’s Insurance

  • Select insurance company and coverage.
  • Insurance will be in effect at close of escrow.

Home Warranty

  • If applicable, obtain a Home Warranty.

The Closing

  • Need cashier’s check prior to or at closing.
  • Lender sends Loan funds to TitleSmart.
  • At the closing appointment, all escrow documents are fully executed and funds are disbursed by TitleSmart.
  • Enjoy some awesome, fresh-baked cookies, Caribou coffee and get your celebratory photo taken on our “Red Carpet.”
  • Get your keys and move in!

Be sure to bring the following things to your appointment:

  • Valid (not expired) government-issued picture identification
  • Social Security Number(s)
  • Cashier’s check payable to TitleSmart, Inc. for funds needed to close
  • Closing funds – see below for details. Use the estimate calculated when you executed the purchase agreement and/or applied for a new mortgage. We will refund any overage at closing


  • We can accept personal checks payable to TitleSmart, Inc. up to $1,000.00.
  • Any funds over $1,000.00 must be in the form of a cashier’s check payable to TitleSmart, Inc.
  • Or, if you would prefer to wire, please call your closing team and we can provide wiring instructions through a secure method.

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