How to Buy a House in Scottsdale: 10-Step Home-Buying Guide

How to Buy a House in Scottsdale: 10-Step Home-Buying Guide

Scottsdale, Arizona, is a luxuriously exciting town that somehow perfectly crosses the Wild West with a Miami Beach vibe. The charming desert-style architecture emphasizes the nearby mountains and outdoor activities available, while the vibrant nightlife and luxury spas ensure there are plenty of ways to relax in style. In a town like ours, it's no surprise that the real estate market is hotter than the gorgeous sunny weather. From stunning adobe mansions to cozy suburban neighborhoods, if you are looking for single-family homes for sale in Scottsdale, it's important to take the right approach.

As an experienced and bilingual Scottsdale real estate agent, Barbara Hopkins has the insight to guide you through a successful Scottsdale home-buying experience. Let's dive into the 10 steps you need to buy a home in Scottsdale.

1. Get a full view of your finances and price range

The first step in any home purchase is a full assessment of your finances. If you are ready to buy a luxury home in Scottsdale this year, then you probably already have money set aside for both the down payment and the closing costs. This amount, along with your income, will help to define a practical price range for your house hunt.

For reference, the down payment is typically between 5% and 20% — depending on the mortgage you can secure — and closing costs are (rounded up) about 10% of the home's total price. You can use listing prices in your target neighborhoods as a point of reference when estimating your home-buying range. But, of course, the final price for any home will be based on negotiations.

2. Secure a pre-approved mortgage with a lender

Find a favorable local lender and secure a pre-approved mortgage agreement. This means that you have gone through the application and approval process, and a lender will grant your mortgage when you are ready to buy a house. Having a pre-approved mortgage strengthens any bid you make and will ensure that your financing will not fall through once you find your Scottsdale dream home.

Most pre-approvals last 90 days but can be easily renewed if your house hunt takes a little longer.

3. Define your must-haves and deal-breakers

If you have not already, this is a good time to investigate virtual listings of homes in your target neighborhoods to decide what you like and don't like. The best way to do this is to create a list.

First, list all your must-haves. Things such as the number of bedrooms, garage space for cars, and accessibility concerns will be set in stone by the needs of your family. You may also say that you absolutely must have details such as a well-designed kitchen or a spacious master bath. Then, define your nice-to-haves, things that you would like but might compromise on. Next, list things you dislike, and finally, list your deal-breakers, which are things you would reject a house for having.

Virtual 360 tours are a great way to get some immersive perspective and compare features of local homes to help build your list.

4. Connect with a Scottsdale real estate agent

Once you have secured funding and a clear idea of the type of home you'd love, it's time to connect with a Scottsdale real estate agent. Your real estate agent is your partner, market expert, and advocate in your Scottsdale home purchase. Someone with local expertise, such as Barbara Hopkins, can help you identify ideal homes that match your favorite features and your price range, build strong bids, and negotiate for the best price and terms when the time comes. Your agent will also guide you through important steps such as inspections and closing.

5. Dive into house-hunting and hone your search

This is where the fun truly begins. Your real estate agent will take your price range, target neighborhoods, and likes/dislikes list to begin the search for ideal matches. They will present you with a list of homes on the market where you can explore their online listings and then schedule live tours to explore potential dream homes in the area.

Together, you will hone the vision of what you're looking for until your real estate agent helps you build a list of finalist homes that could each become your dream home if they became yours.

6. Choose finalists and craft your bids

When you have narrowed your choice down to two to five homes, your real estate agent will help you put together strong bids for each home. A bid is how you open negotiations with a seller if they accept your bid. You may include your first proposed price, which is usually a strategic amount above listing. Your bid might also include a cover letter explaining why you love the house and early negotiation concessions that make your bid more appealing against any competition there might be.

7. Strategize in case of bidding wars

If there is a bidding war on a home you love, your seller may ask for a "best and final" bid or give you other opportunities to sway them toward you as the chosen buyer. Your real estate agent will help you choose a strategy to improve the appeal of your bid without breaking your budget. They will also look out for you, ensuring that you do not become embroiled in a bidding war that has grown disadvantageous or unrealistic.

8. Negotiate with the help of your agent

Once a seller selects your bid and is ready to begin the final process, negotiations begin. Typically, real estate agents negotiate on behalf of their clients. Your agent will angle to get the best price and terms for you when the purchase contract is written. They may ask you to approve certain negotiation tactics such as buyer concessions or specific demands they will make in the process until an advantageous deal is agreed upon and the contract is signed.

9. Conduct an inspection

Once you sign the contract, you will be able to schedule an inspection. Your contract likely includes an inspection contingency. This ensures that if there are maintenance concerns revealed during the inspection, you can ask the seller to fix them before the purchase goes forward, renegotiate, or back out without consequence.

In most situations, however, your inspection will be a success, and you will be ready to complete the purchase.

10. Close on your dream home in Scottsdale

The final steps of closing involve finalizing your loan to pay the seller, acquiring the title, transferring the utilities, and paying any remaining closing costs. Your Scottsdale real estate agent will help to make sure this final stage goes smoothly as you enjoy becoming a proud homeowner in Scottsdale.

Buy a house in Scottsdale with Barbara Hopkins

If you are ready to begin your house hunt in Scottsdale, you will need a real estate agent with the expertise, energy, and empathy necessary to guide you through an enjoyable home-buying process from beginning to end. Barbara Hopkins has a strong connection to the area and is dedicated to positive, enjoyable home-buying experiences.

*Header photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Work With Barbara

Oftentimes buyers don't visualize living in your home the way you do. I can make your home attractive to its ideal audience which can help you get top dollar. Things like staging the home, making repairs or minor improvements, or even simply painting the walls can be the difference between a home resting on the market and one that's sold fast.

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