Buying a Home with Houwzer: How it Works

Buying a Home with Houwzer: How it Works

Posted on Mar 22, 2022

Starting your home buying journey is both exciting and challenging - especially when the market is so competitive. Here’s how the process works at Houwzer.

Why Houwzer is Different

You might have heard about Houwzer’s unique brokerage model - our agents are paid a salary with benefits, not a commission. This means that you’ll never be pressured into buying a home that isn’t right for you, or pressured into buying a home at the top of your budget just so the agent can net a higher commission. Our agents specialize in their side of the transaction and are experts in their local area. 

Buyer Consultation

Your first meeting with your agent is important because it will help lay down the foundation for your home search journey. Your agent will help you figure out what your “must haves” are versus your “wants.” While you might want an updated kitchen, that might not be as important as the extra room you need to accommodate your growing family.

Your agent can give you ideas on which neighborhoods would be an ideal fit for your budget, needs, and lifestyle. They can also help you figure out an estimated budget for both your home and your mortgage payments, though you’ll need to get a mortgage pre-approval to really narrow this down.

Mortgage Pre-Approval 

A loan pre-approval letter tells you how much money a lender is willing to let you borrow for a home. To determine this, the lender will look at all your financial information - such as your credit score, income, job history, debt, and more - to figure out how much you can afford to pay each month. The specifics of these requirements will vary by lender. 

"We would recommend getting a pre-approval letter to set proper expectations with all parties. Many borrowers are often surprised that they qualify for less than they anticipated," explains Houwzer mortgage advisor Julian Minatel. 

In today’s competitive market, a pre-approval letter also gives buyers credibility with home sellers. The market moves fast, and the last thing sellers want is to have the home sale held up by financial contingencies. In the 1-3 days it can take for a buyer to get pre-approved, their dream home may go under contract.

Touring Homes 

Now it’s time for the fun part: looking at homes. Although you can start your home search on Zillow, Realtor, etc., your agent will be a big asset here - in a highly competitive market, many of the listings you see online are either already under contract and have been slow to update, or may not tell the whole story (your real estate agent, for example, might request information about the home and find out that foundation issues were noted in an inspection). 

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says that the average homebuyer searches for eight weeks and looks at nine homes. However, you may find this process takes longer or shorter - especially in a highly competitive market where you may need to make nine offers before one is accepted.

Typically a home tour lasts about a half-hour, so it’s a good idea to take notes and photos to help you evaluate later on.

Submitting Your Offer 

There’s no right or wrong amount to offer on a home, but your agent will advise you on what would make a strong offer depending on your budget, how competitive the local market is, which contingencies you’ll be willing to give up, what repairs (if any) you anticipate the home needs, etc.

Your offer letter will include:

  • The purchase price and terms
  • The earnest money deposit
  • Closing cost expectations
  • An expiration date for the offer
  • Anticipated loan closing date 
  • Requested contingencies


Once an offer is accepted, your home needs to be appraised. The appraisal will determine whether your offer is in line with the home’s fair market value (this is what lenders are willing to cover). If it isn’t, you may need to make up the difference in cash (or ask the seller to meet you halfway).

If everything goes as planned, you’ll close on your home and receive the keys in about 30-45 days - it takes time for the lender to process the loan, and this gives the seller time to move.

For Sale

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