Home Buying in Downers Grove>Question Details

Jason A., Home Buyer in Illinois

How far in advance of buying should a 1st time home buyer contact an agent?

Asked by Jason A., Illinois Mon Nov 26, 2012

I am weighing my options for buying a home in March of 2013. When should I contact a agent? What homework should I do before contacting a agent?

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Hi Jason,

Now would be a good time to start contacting agents if you'd like to close in March 2013. Many homes on the market are short sales, which generally take a long time, i.e. 3-6 months to close. Hence, there is nothing short about a short sale other than the money owed on the current mortgage(s) vs. the present market value.

The best homework you can do at this time is contact realtors and interview them to determine if real estate is their full time career, how they relate to their clients, and answer any questions you may have. Their focus should be on you and not on themselves, their sales, etc.

Next, I would recommend contacting a mortgage broker or lender to determine the purchase price you qualify for and to give you time to clean up any credit issues you may have.

I hope this information helps you, Jason, and I would be happy to advise you in any way.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Hi Jason

First I would like to say I am located in Downers Grove however my Trulia Profile state Bolingbrook and that is incorrect.

I advise all my clients to start searching even if you are not looking to buy right away. This provides you with knowledge or ammunition once you do actually start looking. Also, if you haven't contacted a lender, make sure you do or ask your agent to recommend one for you so you know exactly how much you can get approved for. Then it is just searching for the right home that meets your needs and hopefully you find an agent that will teach you about all the different aspects of a home. I love to educate my buyers about roofs, hvac systems, mold, radon, leaking basements and any other issues that we may find in the homes we look at. If you are still looking for an agent, I am an ABR which is an Accredited Buyer's Representative and I would love to help you, if you have already found one "Happy House Hunting"!!

Lisa Wenzel, ABR, BPOR, GRI, RPA, SFR
Managing Broker/Owner
Wenzel Select Properties
630 430-4797
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Nov 27, 2012
Hi Jason,

I don't think you can ever be "too early" in contacting an agent. A good agent is more than just driving you around and opening the door to homes you want to look at. A good agent is the quarterback that can help you put together a great team to help you purchase that first home.

A great agent will be there for you not only one, two or three months before your purchase but 1, 2 and 10 years after. They will want to be your source for everything real estate related. Just as most smart people I know have a good accountant, a good doctor and a good lawyer (why not, right?) you should also have a good Realtor who you can refer to your friends and family down the road. The only way you will refer this person is if they went above and beyond for you and your purchase.

When you are ready, and if you are looking for a great agent, feel free to reach out with any questions you might have for me. I'd be more than willing to spend some time with you and get you going in the right direction and start making those important decisions in putting together a great team to represent you.

All the best,

Mike Long
Realty Executives Premiere
630-446-0289
Web Reference: http://www.LiveInDuPage.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Hi Jason, it's really never too early to contact me because as a good broker/agent I will ask the right questions and figure out what kind of "homework" you should be doing based on your situation and variables. I would figure on at least a one hour consultation session to accomplish this. I have often done this 6-12 months before a buyer was ready to look/buy. I would suggest contacting an agent even before getting a preapproval because again, depending on your specifics, I will guide you to the best lender or mortgage broker for your needs. There are many options and variables to navigate in today's buyer's market including short sales, foreclosures and good old fashioned standard sales....once again, depending on your specifics we would discuss the pros and cons of each of these for you. Going through this process as early as possible will not only make things clearer and more efficient for you, it could avoid needless potential problems/pitfalls common in today's market so that the process is not only smoother, but more enjoyable! This is one of the biggest and most exciting financial decisions of a lifetime, don't take short cuts.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Greetings Jason! The good news is it does not cost you anything to start looking and the more you look the more educated you get about the specific area you are interested in. You don't however want to waste your time (or anyone else's) looking at homes above or below your price range so meeting with a Lender is a must. One of the key components to determining what you will be approved for is your credit score. Unfortunately it is very common for credit reports to have bad and inaccurate information on them and it could take several months to get the information cleaned up. So I would say the first step is running your own credit report. This does not cost you anything, it does not ding your score, and it can be used as a starting point with your Lender of choice to get you a pre-qualification price range that you can target with your Realtor. Good Luck and happy hunting!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Inventory is down as much as 50% and average list prices trending higher so now is a great time to buy. I can provide you with market data to help you make an informed buying decision and there is no cost to you for my services as my commission is paid by the seller. I am the owner of Home Field Realtors, former Downers Grove resident and work all western suburbs. I hope to hear from you soon. Regards...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
I would first suggest getting a pre- approval through a reputable lender. Once that is done, and you know how much home you can afford, you want to sit down with an agent and figure out what you want in a house and what neighborhoods you want to live in. Then the Realtor can help you narrow the choices down to that perfect house. Good
luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
Hello Jason - I think now is a good time! I would love to start sending you listings.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
The first step in buying a home is to talk to a loan agent to see how much you are approved for. I would work on getting that preapproval now as there can be unforeseen problems which would prevent you from even getting a loan.

After getting a pre-approval then contact an agent to see what homes are available for you with your budget. If you already have a preapproval I would contact an agent now and see what is available out there in your budget.

Get everything done now as you can always chose not to buy a home until you are ready. As opposed to starting things later and finding out you missed out on a good buy had you began the process earlier.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 26, 2012
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