Many homebuyers start their home search by looking up online listings when they decide to buy, and while that part is fun and engaging, the home buying process also includes less fun activities like financing, visiting numerous homes, different costs, etc. To make the home shopping experience a success, buyers need a good plan and someone who will guide them (a Realtor) in the right direction when it gets tough. Here are some tips on how to handle the situation.
Getting An Excellent Realtor On Board
Look for the best possible service you can get when buying a home. A real estate agent can determine the course of your transaction, and to avoid costly mistakes, do your due diligence before you hire one. Make certain background checks to learn about their experience, expertise and how they treat their clients. Here are some tips on what you can expect from a great Realtor.
Get Pre-Approved Not Just Pre-Qualified
Visiting different homes before you know your budget can complicate things at a later stage. A mortgage pre-approval may not be mandatory, but it certainly is useful. It will reveal how much home you can afford and sellers will be more fond of you than buyers without a pre-approval. A pre-approved mortgage enables you to target the price range you can afford.
A pre-approval may require you to submit various documents like tax returns, bank statements and a credit report, but after all, you would have to submit those documents anyway when applying for the mortgage.
Buyers cannot always pinpoint what they exactly want in a home, and luckily, they don’t have to, but they should be 100% sure about the location, neighborhood, size of the home, condition of the home and the must-haves from their list. Other things come secondary, like furniture, appliances, number of closets, etc. as you can update them over time.
Visit Home Showings
Keeping track of home showings you’ve been to can prove very useful especially if you find yourself visiting 8, 9 or more homes. You certainly want to avoid mixing them up and not remembering in full their features. Keep a checklist to be able to recall their square footage, special features and disadvantages.
Put Down An Offer
Submitting an offer can be nerve-wracking especially if you are not ready to offer the full price. Buyers are often not sure how low they can go and if the seller will play along. Asking their Realtor for an opinion is probably the best option given that he or she will be able to suggest a fair price based on the market conditions and comparable home prices in the neighborhood.
Request A Home Inspection
Home visits are not enough to be able to tell if the home is in solid condition. No matter how careful you are, certain things cannot be spotted with the naked eye. Having a home inspector take a look at the installations, foundation and overall condition will give you peace of mind. If the inspector’s report comes back negative, you are free to walk away from the purchase without any legal consequences.
Prior to the possession date, you will check and sign the loan in the presence of your lawyer. The sale will be officially finalized on the closing date. Have your agent check one more time the paperwork to make sure everything is going as planned. If so, it’s time to start packing and preparing to move.