The Smart First Time Homebuyer Guide
Home Buyers Need Realtors Too
88% of buyers purchase a new home through a real estate agent or broker, according to statistics from realtor.com. Approaching a new home purchase can seem like an easy process because of the technology available online to home buyers; however, this is not the case. Talking to a realtor early on, even up to five years before a purchase, can be a great way to start preparing for your future home and avoiding common mistakes. 1 out of every 4 home buyers regret their purchase, according to a recent survey by Redfin, a real estate brokerage firm.
A great realtor knows how to listen to your needs and also know what’s available in the market and how to find what you are looking for in your price range. They also can help you get the best offer for what you’re spending, what features you can DIY, and how to get out of a contract if you are uncomfortable. Make sure you choose to work with someone who has lived and worked in your target area so they are familiar with the neighborhoods, amenities, property conditions, and pricing.
What to Look for in a Home
Show What You Can Afford
Get Pre-Approved…Not Just Pre-Qualified
A good realtor knows the difference between getting pre-qualified and getting preapproved…as well as timing for both. If you are serious about purchasing a home, it’s important to get pre-qualified right away. Most realtors can provide you with referrals to lenders, lawyers, title companies or sub-contractors. Once you find a trusted lender, get pre-qualified right away. While you can start your home search after getting pre-qualified, it’s generally a best practice to be pre-approved prior to attending showings or making offers.
Realtors, lenders, and sellers want to know if you have the financial stability to purchase a new home before starting the required processes.
Know What You Want & Where to Negotiate
It’s important to be patient when searching for a new home, as the market availability isn’t always where you want it to be. Employing a little patience in the short term can actually get you what you want for the best deal in the long term. Knowing what features you can and cannot compromise on is key. A realtor is your best bet to knowing what the best deal is in the market, but below is a short list of critical systems not to skimp on and updates you can do yourself later:
|Critical Systems||Possible DIY’s|
|Electrical||Colors or Paint|
|Heating/Cooling||Storage & Shelving|
|Roof||Carpets & Flooring|
|Structural||Trees & Landscaping|
Have you fallen in love with a home that has beautiful countertops, but has issues with the water heater? Critical systems such as electrical and plumbing should not be looked over. It may only take a hundred or so dollars to replace or install the counters you love, whereas replacing a hot water heater may cost thousands.
Feel Uncomfortable with a Contract?
Once you’ve located a home you are interested in, don’t feel locked down. The buying process can be stressful and you may feel like everyone is pressuring you to get it done quickly. A great realtor listens to your needs and doesn’t get pushy when you change your mind or don’t like an offer.