Looking for a home as a new buyer can be stressful and confusing. Here are a few ideas that highly effective home buyers use when looking for a house:
Being proactive can help you make the home buying process easier down the line. A great way to get started is to get pre-approved for a mortgage, where you meet with a lender, he/she pulls your credit, looks at tax returns and verifies your income. Make sure you have completed all the steps before you start looking for a home.
Another great way to be proactive is to get referrals for real estate agents from friends and other trusted sources. Choosing your realtor partner can make or break the process!
Do Your Research
Once you are ready to start looking for a home, do some research. Narrow down the areas you want to live and let your agent know any places you definitely DON’T want to be in addition to where you’d like to target.
It is important to research the schools and the crime rate in the areas you are thinking about living. Real estate agents are generally not allowed to talk about the schools’ reputation and rankings, so make sure you do research on your own if that is important to you.
What activities do you love doing outside of your home? Hiking? Boating, Golf? Be sure to see what commute times to those activities will look like before making your final location decision!
Sometimes there can be multiple offers on the same home. Prepare yourself that you may not be the winning bid on the first house you offer. Be sure to partner with a realtor who has knowledge and experience of working in multiple offer situations! Also, if you find “your” house and fall in love, DON’T WAIT! Others are looking at that same house and will snatch it up fast! We like to say that if you must “sleep on” the decision, you won’t be “sleeping in” the house… someone else will!
It is important to be open minded about what you want in a home. You may check all the boxes you want or may end up with something totally different. Buyers always start with a long list but give in on a lot of their “must haves” by the end of the process; not necessarily because they have to, but sometimes those “must haves” just change!
Being flexible can get you a home that you fall in love with even if it doesn’t have all the features you originally wanted.
Your agent should ask you to meet for a buyer consultation. If they don’t, set one up. It makes the home buying process so much easier if you are aware of how the buying process works BEFORE you start looking.
Starting the viewing process before expectations are set and communicated can often lead to frustration and mis-communication.
Pick the Right Agent
Pick the right agent for you. Get referrals from friends and look at online reviews.
Once you find an agent, there are some questions you should ask them.
-How will you communicate with me?
-How much will it cost to buy this house?
-Do you work as a full time agent?
-Can you share references?
-Will you represent me exclusively?
-How many homes have you sold in the last 12 months?
These questions can help you decide if an agent is the right pick for you. It’s important to know that your real estate agent isn’t pulling a one-man-show… They have a team of resources behind them to assist YOU through the buying process and after!
Enjoy the Experience
Finding a home is stressful… Don’t let it overwhelm you. The home buying process has its ups and downs but trust that your agent will help you find the BEST home for YOU. Learn and grow through the experience.