Congratulations, you have gone to your local bank and were pre-approved for a $350,000 home loan! You already know the location and the features you want in your new home, but now what? Where do you start? Do you go calling every listing agent in town? Or, do you just go on-line and see what is on the market? Here are some tips that may be able to help you during your home search.
1. Work with an experienced Realtor who can guide and advise you during the process. It is important you have your own Realtor representing you as the buyer in the transaction. A selling agent, will help you search homes, show them to you, and negotiate the deal for you.
2. Trust your Realtor. Your Realtor is the expert in the industry and can tell you whether or not you should offer asking price; or what terms should or should not be included in the Purchase Agreement.
3. When it comes to viewing homes; take all decision-makers with you (including those who are not buying but have influence in your decision-making). Many times, new homebuyers see a home they love, submit and get an offer accepted, but then get cold feet when their relatives or friends “warn” them about everything they should’ve considered before submitting an offer. Hence, causing the buyer to cancel.
4. Have an open mind. You might not be able find the perfect, dream home so you may need to purchase one that needs some tender loving care. Or, if you do find the home of your dreams; keep in mind it is also someone else’s dream home; so take your Realtors’ advise on the best offer you should submit.
5. Purchase a Home Warranty. A home warranty may save you a lot of money if a large item such as a water heater, air conditioning, plumbing, appliances, etc breaks down.
6. Do not purchase any large items on credit. This may interfere with your loan approval and may prevent you from moving forward with the transaction. This is relevant at all stages of the home search and, even more so, during the escrow process.
7. Communicate and cooperate with your Realtor and loan representative. It is imperative that you maintain constant communication with them as they are working hard to get you qualified and into your new home as soon as possible.
8. Don’t view too many properties. More than three trips and viewing too many properties may create the mentality that the more you see, the better deal you will find. However, instead, this will cause confusion and second thoughts; hence, prolonging the home search and possibly walking away from a good opportunity.
9. Obtain a home inspection. Even if the home appears to be in perfect condition, it is always recommended that a trained professional inspect the property. If the inspection reveals serious defects that the seller did not disclose you are generally able to rescind your offer and get your deposit back.
10. Avoid buyer’s remorse. It is not uncommon that somewhere during escrow, homebuyers may question if they made the right decision. You may avoid this by doing your homework beforehand and matching your expectations and price range. If you’ve done this, your stress level may be reduced and buyer’s remorse may have been avoided.