buyer resources

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your guide to buying a home

I am relentless about helping my clients realize their dreams, so that at the end of the day you can emerge with a house you’re proud to call home, and the confidence you made the right decision. Below you will find several resources to help you make informed decisions during your exciting journey of becoming a homeowner.

Find Your Forever Home

From Start to Sold, I'll Guide You All the Way

As a seasoned real estate professional, I understand that buying a home is one of the most significant investments you will ever make, and my goal is to make the process as smooth and stress-free as possible.  Whether your looking for new construction, luxury, or even a waterfront home, my expertise and knowledge of the local market can help you find the perfect home to fit your needs and preferences. Let's get started on finding your dream home today!


Washington State Law Changes 2024

On January 1, 2024, there was a significant revision to Washington State’s real estate agency law which now requires agents to have a written agreement with their buyer clients before they can offer any real estate services. Learn more about this change and how it might impact you by watching this video.

you're ready to buy a home

Where do you start?

1. Lets Get Started

Navigating the home buying process can feel overwhelming, leaving you unsure of where to even begin. But when you're ready to embark on this exciting journey of searching for your dream home, simply give me a call, and I'll ensure you start off in the right direction. I can provide recommendations for lenders, set up property searches to notify you of new listings, and be there to address any questions you may have every step of the way. Let's make your home buying experience smooth and enjoyable. Contact Joelle to Get Started

2. determine price range

Getting pre-approved will kickstart your home buying process. It will give you a better idea of how much you can borrow, your estimated monthly mortgage costs, and what interest rates you can expect on your loans. When sellers see you’ve been pre-approved, they know to take your offer seriously.

3. Make A Wish List

Use my printable Needs and Wants list to write down what you want your looking for in your home. Such as number of beds/baths, the style of home, location, etc. Then break that list down into high-priority needs you can’t live without and lower-priority things that would be an added bonus. 

4. start searching

Once you know how much you can afford and what you’re looking for in a home, it’s time to start your search. And the best place to start is online.  Check out my search page to view all available homes listed on the MLS.

5. Compare Homes

If you find yourself interested in more than one home, you can use my printable home comparison worksheet to do a side-by-side comparison of up to five homes. This is a great time to refer back to your wants and needs list to see where your high priority features rank.

printable buyer tools

Print out my home buying documents to help keep you organized during your home buying journey.


Prioritize the needs and wants of your new home.

Home Comparison

Compare features of up to 5 homes, side-by-side.


Stay organized with my bi-weekly moving checklist.

you're ready to buy a home

Where do you start?

Once you’ve found the home you can see yourself living in, what’s next? There are many steps to go through before you can officially call yourself a homeowner. I will guide you through this process, but in the meantime, here’s a preview of what you can expect.

When making an offer on a home, I will negotiate on your behalf regarding price, repair costs, contingencies, timelines, and more to get you the best deal. After you make an offer the seller can either accept it, reject it, or make a counteroffer.

The contract is the legal agreement both the buyer and seller enter into once the buyer’s offer has been accepted by the seller. Signed by both parties, it outlines the terms and conditions of the sale and brings you one step closer to having keys in hand!

Earnest money, also known as a good faith deposit, is money put down before closing into an independent account to show the seller that you’re serious about buying. In return, the seller agrees to take the home off the market. When the sale closes, the earnest money goes toward the down payment or closing costs.

Once the Purchase and Sale agreement is signed, a home inspector is hired to examine the home’s health, safety, and major mechanical systems. If any issues arise from an inspection, you may be able to renegotiate your offer. Get to know the ins and outs of home inspections and how to hire the right inspector: Home Inspection: A Reality Check from a Pro.

The appraisal is an important step in the home buying process as it helps ensure that the property is worth the amount being borrowed. If the appraisal comes in lower than the agreed-upon purchase price, the buyer and seller may need to renegotiate the terms of the sale or the buyer may need to come up with additional funds to cover the difference.

After your offer is accepted, the next step is to get final loan approval. During this process, your lender will decide if they’re willing to approve your mortgage based on your creditworthiness, the home’s appraisal, its title history, and other factors. Breaking down your budget, taking your time to get your finances in order, and explore financing options will give you the best chance of securing a mortgage loan.

This is a report for you and your lender detailing the history of the home you’re buying to ensure that are no legal barriers to purchasing it.

Escrow is an impartial third-party process in which documents and funds are deposited by buyers, sellers, and lenders to facilitate the closing of a transaction. To learn more, read our short guide to understanding escrow.

This is the final step of the home buying process, ownership is transferred from the seller to the buyer, closing costs are paid, and legal documents are prepared and signed, all leading to the closing date. After closing is finalized and recorded and the funds are disbursed, the home is yours!

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