The real estate market is always changing- and what you may have experienced the last time you searched for (and bought) a home…. might not be the way it works today.
Being a first time homebuyer can be especially scary…asking your parents how they bought their last home… might not be how today’s market works. Or consulting with an out-of-state friend who works in Real Estate- each market is different.
Here is part 1 of my “How to Buy a Home” series….
1. Get a lender on board right away!
I can’t stress this enough. Let’s say you are serious about buying your first home and you have an idea of what you can afford. You give me a call because you find a home online and it looks perfect. We go check it out….and it is THE PERFECT home and it’s right in your budget! And let’s say there are two more buyers who also think it is THE PERFECT home. Now you have competition.
Today’s offer paperwork requires that we state the financing type (Conventional, FHA, VA, cash) AND it asks if you have a pre-approval letter from your lender. Without that information, we can’t really write an offer. There IS a clause in there that states you will provide a letter within so many business days, but what if you can’t get that letter? What if you aren’t approved? Or what if you are approved, but for a lesser amount? What if you find out your budget isn’t what you thought it was and now you can’t buy this home?
Sellers are aware of this risk so they tend to focus on offers that have the lender pre-approval letter attached to the offer, because it acts as a better guarantee that you are able to buy the home.
A lender will help you choose the finance options that work best for you and your family, and they also help to estimate the right price range for your home buying budget. And of course the amount they provide is the top cap…. you don’t have to spend that much! If you are pre-approved for $400,000 but you really only want to spend $350,000… then you can do that!
If you don’t have a lender you can trust, give me a call and I’ll connect you with a reputable lender in my network!
2. Give me a call as soon as you have lender approval!
Not only can I help you find the right home, but I will hold your hand throughout the entire process. We will start out by discussing your wants and must-haves, determine the areas we should focus in, home styles, and more. I can search by lot size, elementary school, fireplace, garage spaces, and so many more variables besides the standard number of bedrooms, bathrooms and square feet.
When we find homes that meet the criteria, we can schedule an afternoon or morning to go tour those homes.
When we find a home that you want to write an offer on, we’ll pull reports on the home and neighborhood, review comparable sales to ensure you are paying the right price, and I will work hard to negotiate the best deal. I’ve had a lot of success going up against multiple offer situations and ‘winning’.
I’ll be there every step of the way through the entire process….making sure you understand the forms you are signing, letting you know where we are in the process and what to expect next. If we encounter hurdles along the way, we’ll talk about options and work together to work through them.
Take advantage of my experience in the local market to help you buy the home of your dreams.