Whether you’re a first-time buyer or looking to move homes, there are some tips you should know before going into it. Here is a list of fifteen facts you may want to know before purchasing a home.
1. Get pre-approved. When you’re looking to purchase a home, this is the number one step you must pay attention to. This will help to determine how much you can afford and for the mortgage broker to do a full review of your credit. Once you can figure out how much you can afford, it will help you determine how much you want to spend.
2. You won’t be able to see homes without getting pre-approved. For the most part, agents won’t show you a home without being pre-approved. A pre-approval gives them insight into what you are able to afford and they will then know what houses to show you. Most sellers require a pre-approval with the purchase offer, therefore, it is a good idea to ensure before you do anything, you get pre-approved.
3. Prepare to buy. Buying a home will most likely be one of the biggest purchases you will make. Make sure you have covered all your bases like your credit score, saving for a down payment, and making sure you’re in the right mindset to move.
4. Stay within your budget. Make sure you’re solely looking at homes within your price range. A lot of the time, they may sell for a little more than asking price so be sure you are looking at homes you can afford. Know what cap you have for spending and stick to it.
5. You do not have to pay the realtor. Unless you’re selling a current home, you do not have to pay your realtor. You’re going to want to have a real estate agent when purchasing a home, however, this will be one less expense you have to worry about.
6. Do not make large purchases or quit your job. Your first instinct may be to buy some big-ticket items for your home. This is generally not a good idea due to the fact you may negatively affect your credit score, so try to keep the big-purchase items to a minimum or wait until you’re settled in. Quitting your job is a general rule of thumb as well, as it will not help you in the home buying process.
7. Be flexible. The process of home buying is supposed to have a good outcome on both sides. The seller wants to get the best price for their home and the buyer wants their dream home. Be open to anything that comes your way and know that being flexible will make the process much easier.
8. Making an offer. Allow for an expert real estate agent to help you make your offer. Sometimes it’s best to offer exactly what they’re asking for, other times it’s best to offer a higher or lower amount. Trust that your agent can help you when it comes to making this decision.
9. Negotiate. If you have truly found your dream home, you may need to consider negotiating the price. This does not mean you should go far over budget, but if it is something you’re able to afford then consider being able to negotiate.
10. Repairs. Most homes will need repairs or you may want to make changes in certain rooms. Leave room in your budget and consider if they will be more low-cost repairs or high-cost. You may want to reconsider your purchase if there are too many repairs that need to be made.
11. Inspection. The seller does not need to repair low-cost items. However, if there are any major errors caught during a home inspection, repairs should be made before closing or a price reduction should be considered.
12. Look past certain aspects. If a home isn’t completely spotless or has minor errors, try to look past it and see the bigger picture. That being said, don’t ignore any red flags and pay attention to the inspection results.
13. 20/20 vision. Once again, look toward the bigger picture. Just because there may be bad decorations, a carpet you don’t like, or old wallpaper, does not mean the overall home is bad. Small things you can fix, so try to see a home the way you would decorate it.
14. A good investment. Keep in mind that real estate is a good investment and will help you with your long-term goals. Owning a home can help save you more money than renting, so be confident in your decision.
15. Choose your real estate agent wisely. Not all real estate agents have the best interest for their clients. Do your research and make sure you’re with someone you can trust. At Coldwell Banker, we are committed to finding the best home for you in your price range. We want to make this process as easy as possible. Buying a home is a big deal, but it is also very exciting! Know that with the right realtor, they can help you make the right decisions.