Top Things that Buyers MUST KNOW!

Be Systematic in Your Approach
Too often, first-time homebuyers will be succumbed by emotion and become attached to a less than desirable property. Spending the time to research the local market trends and getting their finances are suitable for a home purchase will result in a significantly more agreeable situation. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, purchasing a property should never be a rushed process. First time homebuyers are typically in the initial stages of their careers, so diligently researching and utilizing the advice from real estate professionals can either set the foundation for prosperity, or create a detrimental fiscal situation for years to follow.

Buyer’s Representation is Free
Make sure you have someone looking out for your interests. The seller has negotiated the commission they pay long before buyers see the house advertised and if the buyer doesn’t have an agent the listing agent keeps the full amount.
Communicate Clearly with Your Agent
Tell your Realtor exactly what you are looking for so they can best help you find your dream home. The more specific you can be, the more your Realtor can be helpful. Remember, when they’re working for you in the market talking to other Realtors, they need to filter their search and refine their requests to narrow what is available. Simply telling your Realtor, “I want a three bedroom house with a yard” isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Get Pre-Approved Before You Start House Hunting
Before engaging in any serious home search, first-time buyers need to have the necessary liquidity for the down payment, have investigated and addressed any potential credit issues, and spoken to a mortgage company (preferably several) and obtained a pre-approval letter. This process will also help determine the maximum price they can afford, which obviously will help them to focus their search accordingly, and to be prepared to make an offer when they find their dream home.

Do Your Homework Chantay
Despite the busyness of life, do a little research on your own. If you have a question about whether a room is permitted or not, find out before you sign on the dotted line. Be proactive. Ask questions, check the internet and if meet some of your potential new neighbors. If you are viewing the property during the day, you may want to drive by in the evening. Never, ever, forego having the home inspected, inspections reveal with your natural eyes cannot see.

You Don’t Need 20% Saved for a Down Payment
There are many first-time home buyer programs out there, and with government loan programs a first time buyer can often get into their new home with 5% or less down. Speak to a mortgage advisor or take a First Time Homebuyer class to educate yourself, you may be able to get on the property market and start gaining equity sooner than you think.

Shop around for home insurance
Don’t just use the company that has your auto insurance. Prices can vary dramatically between companies for the same coverage so check with 3-5 different companies to get the best deal. This can make a big difference in your mortgage payment and closing costs since you set up an escrow account at closing.

Keep an open mind while searching for homes
It’s important to have an open mind when you’re looking for your new home, especially for many first-time buyers who are on a budget. Be careful not to soak in too much HGTV and make sure you’re being realistic for what is available in the area that you want to live in, while also staying within your budget. Remember that many cosmetic items in a home can be replaced pretty easily without spending too much. And it can be fun to have a few small projects to make your first home your own!

Make sure you know the process
By knowing the process before looking at homes, the buyer will be prepared to make a quick decision, which is especially important today, as inventory is limited.

Narrow down, narrow down, narrow down
The right real estate agent will help you greatly through this process, which is crucial to make sure the first-time home buying experience is smooth, fun and to find you the perfect first home. For example, many first-time homebuyers want to see about 50 properties they like, yet those properties have so many differences and nuances. It’s already exhausting enough as a first-time homebuyer to understand the process and prepare yourselves financially for potentially the largest investment of your life. Thinking through what you want as specific as possible will help with time, efficiency and also making it enjoyable. Nobody, I don’t care how excited you are wants to look at 50 homes – it’s exhausting and draining, especially if we are on a short time-table! You probably won’t get everything on your wish list for your first home – but picking your top 3 must-haves and top 3 dealbreakers is a great place to start! 

Choose an agent that you connect with on a personal level
The most important thing that you are going to need in a real estate agent is trust, communication, and responsiveness. All real estate agents have access to the same homes on the MLS. It is paramount that you find an agent you feel comfortable confiding in and trusting with the most expensive purchase of your life this far. If you don’t connect personally, you wont connect professionally and that leads to mis-communications and disappointment.

Don’t Skip the Home Inspection
The home inspection is an opportunity for you to learn about your home. It is not a chance to renegotiate the contract or walk away if the seller doesn’t fix every little thing. It educates you about your home, so you can prepare for more likely scenarios in years 1-5. If the home inspection does uncover significant, serious problems, of course the seller should consider these fixes.

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