Aside from the search process, the first step is to get a prequalification letter from a lender and then find yourself a good real estate agent. People sometimes get confused about real estate agents. There are listing agents and buyer agents. Example: If I find a home I want, the Sellers agent will be the name on the sign. I need to find an agent to represent me, not the seller; this is the buyers agent. The seller pays all the commission, so a buyers agent costs you nothing in term of paying them if you are the buyer. So why not be represented? The buyers agent will search and find properties and present them to you; then they will guide you through the process.
How do I find a good buyers agent? Many use relocation services. A relocation service is usually a division or branch of another company that has a list of experienced and accomplished real estate agents that they will refer you to. This also does not cost the buyer and may even include rebates on the property that is bought. The only downside is that they will charge a referral fee to the agent that gets the referral which means they will be paid less.
I think it is probably best depending on circumstances to do a little research on the major real estate firms in your area and give them a call. Ask for an agent with at least 2-4 years experience and some industry designations such as GRI. On the other hand, a new agent will have much more time to spend on you.
I think this explanation of the steps to take and the resources provided make this a must read....
This is also full of info .... http://portal.hud.gov/portal/page?_pageid=73,1827624&_da
The first step is to determine what you can afford. Sit down, plan a budget, get that number. Once you figure out what you can afford, you need to get pre-approved for a mortgage. For this, you can contact someone local or find someone online. Thats up to you. But remember, sometimes what you are pre-approved for doesnt mean that fits your monthly budget. Once you are pre-approved, find a realtor. put in some offers.
But like I said, you need to figure out what YOU can affored. Don't forget to include the property taxes and insurance/association fees. Good luck and if you need any more help, feel free to contact me.
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