Buying a home, whether it be your first or your third time, can be a pretty intense process. To help ease this process, we have provided a checklist of the must do’s in the home buying process. Today’s checklist will be covering tips to help you prepare for the process of finding your home and closing.
GET A REAL ESTATE AGENT
There is a common misconception that buyers will need to hire and pay for their real estate agent. This is not true; services to the buyer from a real estate agent will always be free as the seller covers this cost. A real estate agent and their expertise will help you in many areas throughout the home buying process from finding available homes to handling negotiations for you. You will see throughout today’s blog the many areas a real estate agent assists with.
COMPILE YOUR WISH LIST
A real estate agent can help you find available homes, but it is always best to communicate what your wants and needs are in a home. Build a wish list of the wants and needs you are looking for in your home and be sure to distinguish the difference between a want and need.
Needs are items that are a must for your home. For example, for a growing family a two bedroom/one bath may work out for the next couple of years, but a three bedroom/two bath would be more fitting.
Wants are items that would be awesome to have, but aren’t imperative. Examples of this would be something you could change overtime. Are vaulted ceilings really important? Will not having a pool break the deal? Be sure your wants do not stop you from getting a home that you can obtain now with your needs.
Create your own checklist of wants and needs via Pinterest. This is also a great avenue to find ideas for the wants you maybe didn’t find in the home with all your needs.
INVESTIGATE THE HOME
Finding your home can be the more exciting part of this process. It can also be a pretty exhausting process. To avoid any stress we recommend you consider the following tips before setting an appointment to see the house in person.
Are there any images available online? There are a number of different sites online that provide details and pictures of the home. This alone may give you an idea of what the home looks like and if it would be a good fit for you.
Drive by the home during the daytime and nighttime. Take a look at the neighborhood and also see if you catch any potential issues with the home that you may not have caught within the pictures online. Doing a drive by once in the day and once at night will allow to get a feel for what the house looks like at both times, and also what the neighborhood is like.
PLACE YOUR BID
This is another one of the areas of why your real estate agent will be one of the most important individuals in this process. Speak with your realtor about researching comparable properties and comparing them to the home you have in mind BEFORE you make the bid. Find out what the average selling prices of the comparable homes are and bid a bit lower for starters. Keep in mind that all markets are different. Your realtor will also let you know if the market is a competitive one and if a lower offer would be advised.
Set your emotions aside, and let your real estate agent take care of the negotiations. This is one of the biggest purchases you will make in your life. Due to this your emotions may cloud some judgment. Whether it's asking to replace an item in the home, or going through a back and forth bid war, your realtor can tackle this for you without letting emotions get in the way that could affect the sale.
GET AN INSPECTION
Not only is it important to get an inspection, but it is also important that you attend the inspection. An inspection will allow you to find out if there is anything wrong with the home. Inspections may also allow you to find out important details such as where shut off valves, breaker boxes and water valves are located. Additionally, by attending the inspection, you can have more of an assurance that the inspection will be conducted thoroughly.
Obtain a thorough report of the inspection. Does it have thorough documented pages? Pictures? Great! You may now start searching for estimates on the repairs and hire appropriate parties for the repairs. Also keep in mind that the seller may be willing to fix the needed repairs, or provide a credit at closing
PREPARE NEEDED DOCUMENTS
During the loan underwriting process, your lender will request a number of documents. Get a head start and gather these documents together. We have provided a checklist of some of the main requested documents.
Buying your first home is a very exciting and important milestone in everyone’s life! We hope that the tips we have covered will better help you prepare and allow for the home buying process to be as smooth as possible.
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*The information in this article has been provided strictly for educational purposes.