A Step-by-Step First Time Buyer's Guide

Buying a home is one of the most exciting milestones of your life. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process. This step-by-step first time buyer’s guide created by your agent will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey as much as possible.


Step 1: Research

Do you already know where you want to buy? If you want a condo, townhome, or single-family home? Which features do you like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If you answered no to any of these questions, now is the time to start researching. In addition to looking for homes that interest you, also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could give you valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and help you when the time comes to make an offer.


Step 2: Decide on Your Budget

Notice I said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve you for more than you’re comfortable spending, which is why you need to determine the monthly payment you feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once you move into your new home. If you’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, you may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow your budget.


Step 3: Get Prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve you for too large of an amount, they may also approve you for a lesser amount or deny you a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before you get your heart set on a home, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount you can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when you make an offer on a home, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.


Step 4: Choose a Real Estate Agent

Can you shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a home without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would you when it costs you nothing for an agent like me to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will I help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but I also have a knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. Finding the perfect home can be a daunting task, this is where my expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let me show you around some homes that meet your dream home criteria so you can find the one that's right for you.

My goal is to provide you with the most personalized service that is designed to help you buy your dream home.


Step 5: Find the Right Home

This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). I will arrange showings of homes you’re interested in that are within your price range. Take notes about what you like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit your inspection to the home itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.


Step 6: Make an Offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, work with your agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable homes on the market. Depending on what the home is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, your offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. I will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.


Step 7: Have the Home Inspected

In most cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. I can help you arrange this, and you can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, you can renegotiate your offer based on what needs to be fixed, or you can withdraw it.


Step 8: Select Your Loan

Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified you and choose your mortgage. You will be presented with various options based on your unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with your mortgage lender to select the option you feel the most comfortable with.


Step 9: Get a Home Appraisal

Your lender will have your new home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.


Step 10: Finish Paperwork

No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a home, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by your lender and title company and, when you’re finished, you’ll know you are the legal owner of your new home.


After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, you are now the owner of a new house. It may take a few days for your loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, you’ll be all set to move into the home of your dreams.

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Alma C.
Jason is an incredible Realtor® who really, truly has your best interests at heart. He is super knowledgable (just watch his monthly market updates on Insta!), frank yet courteous, optimistic yet practical, and personable yet professional. His go-getter attitude and creative thinking are what sets him apart from all other Realtors®, and I can't recommend him enough in this crazy market. Jason will always...

— Simmi S.

Jason was an amazing partner and ally in my first home buying experience. We weren’t even intending to start looking in earnest for another year or two, but a brief informative meeting with Jason completely changed our minds. Now just a few months later I’m writing this review from Our New Home! From the incredibly competitive market to the global pandemic to a crazy situation with our credit score that ...

— Cara M.

This was my first home buying experience, and Jason really set the bar high. He was great from day one and very professional throughout the process. He will set expectations for the Realtor® and buyer experience before you even get started, and sticks to what he says. Jason spent time explaining a lot about the process, things to look out for as a buyer, ways to help narrow down areas, and where to go wi...

— Sarah E.

If only there was a six-star option! This was my first time buying a home and I had some slight anxieties going into the process. Those quickly disappeared as I began working with Jason. His passion for the industry as well as his commitment to his clients is second to none! He walked me through every step of the way and had excellent communication on all of the minute details. He negotiated for the sell...

— Brittney M.

Buying a home can be scary, especially for a first-time buyer in the Denver market. That’s before you get into the process, during the process first-time buyers encounter so many things that could be scary. Jason was the solution to all of that and buying a house with him as my Realtor® was the most pleasant, reassuring, successful experience imaginable. When it came to looking for the right house for me...

— Jessica G.

Jason was fabulous. This was my first time buying a home, and he was patient, courteous, knowledgeable, and took the time to explain the process clearly and understandably. He wasn’t a Realtor® that just “opens the doors” for you; he was engaged, super positive, transparent throughout the process, and made showings happen last minute if something cropped up that I wanted to see. I really appreciate his l...

— Kelsey S.

Everyone is well aware of how crazy the market is right now and for someone brand new to the process, it’s genuinely overwhelming. But Jason really is a godsend, especially for a rookie like me! He coached me every step of the way - during the search, closing, and post-closing. He went above and beyond to make sure that I was on top of every property that went on the market and then every single deadline...

— Natalia T.

From start to finish, Jason was an absolute pleasure to work with. As first-time home buyers, my husband and I were nervous about the process, but Jason explained everything in detail on day one. From contracts to finances, inspection to closing, Jason's guidance was top-notch. He provided realistic, insightful information about the market, and never once made us feel rushed or pressured to buy. Availabl...

— Samantha H.

Jason helped me recently purchase my first home and I could not be happier with the experience. Home buying is very overwhelming and there are so many details to think through (especially if it's your first time, like me) but Jason was very willing to take the time to answer my questions and educate me on well, everything. We went through the closing process during the pandemic, which put us in uncharted...

— Stephanie A.

Top-Notch! We worked with 3 agents prior to Jason and he stood out for multiple reasons; Jason goes above and beyond to understand the market and the trends that are happening; he's well-connected with other agents throughout the city which gives him an upper hand in getting deeper knowledge than other agents have; he's prompt; and last but not least, he's a good human on top of everything else! We reall...

— Mackenzie W.

Jason is a complete professional! We've bought our first house in Denver, and Jason has led us through the process with confidence and humility! He arranged and took care of everything, viewings, contracts, walking us through each and every paragraph and explaining everything we didn't get (which was a lot!) He then set up a calendar of important events for us, and was always on call, even for the smalle...

— Alex V.

What an amazing experience! Jason was there every step of the way to ensure all of my questions were answered and that I felt comfortable with each step along the way. Jason thought of everything and handled even the small details. From setting up my home inspection to helping us find paint imperfections on the walls during our new construction walk thru, Jason really showed us what having a great Realto...

— Tawatha V.

Jason helped me land a home in a city park west (Denver, CO - hot market) at a significantly lower price than the original listing price. His excellent negotiation skills made this happen. Not only this, but I had an exceptionally document-heavy purchasing process due to the conditions of the seller and he walked me through it seamlessly. He would answer my questions quickly and I felt that he was truly ...

— Hillary S.

I used Jason to purchase my first home which was in Westminster. I saw on here that most of his sales are in Denver, but his expertise and professionalism extend outside of the city. He is always quick to answer phone calls, texts, and emails which were important to me in this big step. He was also nothing short of poised, in a slightly strange situation with the other Realtor®. I would and am recommendi...

— Kat P.

Jason was awesome! Not only did we find a house and close within 30 days seamlessly in this red hot market, but he was also able to educate me through the process while being transparent about outcomes and showing me how great a place it is to live in Denver. In the end, we won and I am a proud owner of an amazing house in this beautiful neighborhood, in this great city. Jason was the best, definitely kn...

— Spenser M.

Jason was a great help to buying my new home in downtown Denver. Completely professional, very personable, he walked me through the entire process and made sure I understood everything that was going on. Him and his team really cared about making sure I was happy with everything before moving on to the next part of the process. Highly recommend Jason Sirois and the entire Mike Bruce team at Keller Williams.

— Danny S.

Jason helped me sell a rental property I owned. Everything went very smoothly with the house selling in one day and 20k above the asking price. He told me the first day he met me that it would sell fast and he called it. Jason kept me informed throughout the process so that I could stay on top of the whole deal. I'll use him again if and when I decide to buy or sell another property.

— Mark S.

Jason is exactly what you want in a Realtor® - I work with Realtors® professionally and his ability to understand a client's needs, assess the market, deliver on contracts/negotiations, and most importantly always service his clients at the highest level is unmatched. If you are buying or selling real estate and want to work with the best - call Jason!

— Andrew E.

Jason was extremely communicative and engaged during our entire home buying process. He brought a lot of knowledge to the table and continuously went above and beyond to help us find the right fit. We highly recommend working with Jason as we were continuously impressed by his level of care, his thoughtfulness, and his knowledge and background.

— Mallary K.

Jason is amazing. He worked really hard to help us through a difficult time. Our whole team, lender, Realtor®, inspector everyone, was amazing. Jason is very knowledgeable and supportive. If you are in the market for a home Jason is the man to help you find it. We couldn't have done it without him. Thanks, Jason we love you.

— Christine T.

Jason was incredibly helpful from the get-go. We were first-time home buyers so having someone in your corner who can answer all your questions and make you feel confident in the buying process was an immense relief. He was responsive, knowledgeable, and friendly. Thanks for helping us find our little slice of Denver, Jason!

— Daniel B.

Jason was absolutely amazing to work with! He's always up-to-date knowledge of the consistently changing real estate market is incredible! He made himself available for questions, concerns, you name it, and I felt he was always accessible. He made our first home buying experience so easy and flawless!

— Kelsey R.

Jason and the staff at Bruce Homes were amazing! Our search for a new home went super fast Jason was on top of every home we wanted to see, and any questions we had about the places. When we found the right one he had our offer in that same evening. Highly recommend!

— Greg S.

My first home in Denver could not have been possible without Jason. He provided clear direction, competence, and transparency throughout the entire home buying process. Jason is the ideal Realtor® for anyone looking to buy a home in Denver.

— Chad D.

Fantastic experience buying a house with Jason. He was incredibly knowledgeable of the areas we visited, helped offer insights I hadn’t thought of in my own research and was a very skilled negotiator. Would definitely recommend it to others!

— Alex P.

Jason has a wealth of knowledge to share and has always made his customers' experience a top priority. My clients have had nothing but great things to say about him and I would recommend his services to anyone looking to buy or sell!

— Casey C.

Jason is a great Realtor®. He was super patient and helpful, always took care of our needs. He is a very responsive person. He looks out for his client's best interests and has great negotiation skills. I definitely recommend him.

— Alma C.

Work With Jason

Jason loves Denver and he's passionate about helping people achieve real estate goals, which is much bigger than buying and selling houses.