The Easy Way to Buy a Home
Buying a home in todays market can be a stress free experience by following a few simple guidelines.
Some home buyers feel sour toward buying a home, like some car buyers feel about stepping onto a car lot. Buying a home is extremely different from buying a car. The sales people, Realtors, are restricted by laws to cater to any client that has signed a contract or expressed consent with. If, for instance, you as the buyer sign a buyers contract or have expressed consent with a Realtor; that Realtor has to, by law, put your wants and concerns first. Sometimes, unfortunately, this ethical law is pushed aside. When a buyer experiences this there is no law binding a buyer to a Realtor if this is going on. Not even a contract can hold a buyer in this relationship.
With this knowledge aside, let us assume you have a great real estate agent, here are some helpful steps to help you experience a smooth real estate transaction.
1) Figure out your financing prior to searching for a home. By determining exactly how much you can afford you will be able to determine how much you want to spend. To obtain a free pre-approval bring your financial documents down to a local knowledgeable mortgage consultant. Remember that just because you can afford, for example, $300,000, you have the final say on how much you feel comfortable spending. Maybe you decide you only want to spend $250,000. Your Realtor will take the amount you want to spend and find you a home. When you obtain a pre-approval this makes making an offer faster and smoother. Many homes on the market right now are receiving multiple bids due to an overwhelming amount of short sales and bank owned homes. And not only are these homes going fairly fast they also require a pre-approval letter before an offer can be made.
2) It is very helpful if you have done some research on the area you are looking to move. For example; If you ask your Realtor to search the entire Seattle area, it is going to be very difficult for you and your Realtor to find you a home. It helps to narrow it down. If possible, it is beneficial to tour some neighborhoods in and around the metro area you are interested in before you contact your Realtor. The last thing a Realtor wants to do is waste your time. A Realtor wants to dive in, find you exactly what you want, and make your life easier.
3) If you are interested in older homes ask questions. A Realtor is not an expert on homes, but after selling them for a career they tend to pick up knowledge here and there. A Realtor can guide you in the direction of the expert that can answer the question. A Realtor can also explain simple techniques on home care and lead you away from possible problems if they are apparent. Make sure you understand that in no way is your Realtor a home inspector, appraiser, or a lawyer. Your Realtor may know the basics and simply have an insight to point you in the right direction. The worst scenario is when a home buyer puts an offer in on a home and the buyer doesn't ask enough questions. The Realtor has no other choice but to assume the buyer knew what he/she was doing. When the inspection comes back with minor defects the buyer panics and backs out of a wonderful home. This home was simply old and needed some small cosmetic repairs that to the naked eye looked disastrous. But with questions the Realtor could have explained that older homes are in need of a bit more care than a brand new home. Then the buyer needed to discuss the issues with a professional contractor to discuss proper care and repair.
4) New home buyers need to understand Realtors are there to guide you through. Buying a home for the first time is scary and exciting at the same time. Make sure you follow the steps above and ask questions about everything. A good Realtor will make sure you are educated on most everything along of the way. Good Realtors will be honored to help guide a first-time buyer.
5) Know your budget. When you are ready to begin your search for your home and have your pre-approval you will already know the kind of loan you will be using for financing. You will have other costs that you need to be prepared for. You are going to need earnest money, appraisal cost, inspection cost, home warranty, closing costs, possible points and in most cases a down payment. In some cases many of these can be included in the loan price.
6) Choosing a friendly responsible Realtor is the best thing you can do to ease your buying experience. I unfortunately have no advice on how to discover these gems, but I will tell you that when you do find one don't loose them.
Home buying can be fun and done with little stress.
Expressed Consent - This is a verbal agreement between a customer(buyer) and agent(Realtor). In real estate this is as law binding as a contract.