Buyer's Guide


The purchase of a home is a milestone – a significant and important decision.  It can mean many things to many different people - a place to grow and start a family, empty nesters downsizing, a cross country relocation or a long term investment. To prepare yourself for this moment, you need to know what to expect during the process.

Our step-by-step guide will help reduce the stress of buying a home and help you enjoy the journey.

1. Get Prepared


Have you already determined what part of town you would like to be in? Are you looking for a piece of land, a condo, or a single-family home? What are your likes and dislikes? What’s available and on the market currently? 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.

We listen to understand your lifestyle and your priorities.  This insight will help us to determine which neighborhood or area of the city makes the most sense for how you want to live.


Decide on your budget

Notice we said to decide on your budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give you. It’s important to work with a lender who understands your needs and overall budget.  This likely includes doing a full inventory of your monthly spending 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 sneak up on you.


Get prequalified

Just because you think you can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Starting a new job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause issues 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 as when the right one comes along, you won’t be scrambling to get your paperwork in order.   If you need lender recommendations, we are happy to suggest some.

2. Choose your 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 to work with us?  Not only will we help identify properties you might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but we also have knowledge of the market that you don’t possess. We have consistently landed in the top 2% of agents in Tucson and our insight into the market can give you an edge over others who might be interested in the same property as you. Our knowledge of historic and modern properties allows us to  give you pointers that will help you find a home that is a good fit for you and your lifestyle.  Our design and architecture expertise allows us to discuss general pros and cons for a potential home if you feel a renovation or addition is needed.

3. Finding the right home

Starting the search

This is the most enjoyable, most exciting, most anxiety producing moment of the entire process. We will sort and sift through available properties and send you a selection of homes that are on the market and available to see. We 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.

Loved the kitchen but wanted more outdoor space? Thought that the neighborhood was charming but parking could be an issue? Let us know. It really helps us to refine and tweak what we are helping you look for. 

Make an offer

Once you have selected the perfect home, we will work with you to craft an 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. We will be able to help you negotiate if you receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement with the Seller. At this point, the house will go into escrow.

Inspections & Appraisal

In the majority of cases, your offer will be contingent on having the home inspected to ensure there are no major repairs needed or unexpected surprises. We arrange the inspections, and get them  scheduled as soon as possible after the offer is accepted. Once inspections are complete, we will help to negotiate repairs, or get a credit for you to reduce the price of the home, or apply to closing costs.  Your lender will have the home appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a market price for the property.

What’s next?

Once the appraisal is completed we are in the final steps of the process and days away from closing.  You will work with your lender to complete the last of the paperwork, and we will get your signing appointment set up for you at escrow. Once all the paperwork and monetary funds have made it to title, and the property records at the Assessor's office, it's yours!  congratulations!

Work With Us

Darci Hazelbaker & Anne Ranek each come to this innovative partnership with diverse experiences, education, and abilities. All with a focus on building quality and collaborative relationships.