Purchasing a home can be nerve wracking. There is a lot to think about, a lot to consider and a lot at stake when making your single, largest investment. It’s important to go into the home buying process with the right expectations set up front, thusly helping you avoid pitfalls that far too many first time homebuyers make. Knowing the ground rules for a home purchase will help you achieve smooth sailing throughout the most important transaction of your life.
Talk to a Real Estate Professional
Not all Realtors have the same knowledge. Not all Realtors are created equal. The company a Realtor represents does matter. Companies like RE/MAX, for example, only hire the best and most proficient agents. If you’d like to know more about RE/MAX agents or for a referral to a RE/MAX agent in your area, please contact me.
First and foremost, check out a Realtors online presence. If they don’t have one, they might not be a full timer. View testimonials; check Realtors out on social networking sites like Linked In, Twitter and even Facebook. That’s normally enough to tell you if they are competent professionals.
Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval BEFORE You Shop
The biggest mistake that first time buyers make is often thinking what they know they can afford based on a payment, but come to find out with loan guidelines, and unexpected fees that amount is quite a bit less, or that they have work to do before they are qualified.
If you don’t know where to begin, ask your Realtor for a referral to a lender that they know and trust.
Do a Complete Needs Analysis
Running around and looking at every available home is not the best way to shop for a property. It wastes precious time, and the house that might be the one you love will be gone before you even see it because you’re looking at things for the sake of looking. Great Realtors will do a complete need analysis and narrow down homes with you to view in person that will be the best possible fit. Typically, you should be able to narrow down to 5 homes, and make a selection from there.
If you can’t, you need to sit down with your Realtor and revisit your wish list.
Don’t Expect Deep Discounts
In today’s market, most properties are priced very competitively for quick sale. The days of getting 50% off of a list price is long, long gone. This is a good thing, as it indicates recovery in the real estate market. Don’t look at houses more than 3 – 5% over your budget. Keep your expectations realistic.
Expect the Unexpected
There are many people involved in a successful transaction. All have to perform their job in a timely manner, including you, as the homebuyer. If your loan officer doesn’t have the documentation they need from you quickly, it will delay your loan, which will inevitably delay your closing, and in some cases, could cost you a house. Make sure you discuss with your real estate professional and loan officer what their expectations are of you as a buyer, to avoid any miscommunication in the near future.
For more information, or for a free list of “Do’s and Don’ts in a successful home purchase, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org