Here are my â€œTop 4â€ bits of advice for new home buyers looking to assure successful outcome:
1) Find a professional RealtorÂ® to work with to protect you interests.
Simply put, your RealtorÂ® will be able to answer initial key questions and guide you through the process. One of the key advantages of involving your RealtorÂ® is access to seasoned Mortgage Broker/Bankers with a track record of getting the job done. You can check to make sure an Agent is a RealtorÂ® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O
The primary distinction of any RealtorÂ® is they have a real estate license by taking required classes and passing a written test - but most importantly - they must also subscribe to the Code of Ethics published by the National Association of RealtorsÂ® (NAR). Typically, RealtorsÂ® are also members of state and local association of RealtorsÂ® and further agree to abide by the bylaws, rules and regulations of those associations.
The full Code of Ethics can be found at http://www.Realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code
2) Obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (your most important step in my opinion).
You MAY need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case. Furthermore, this step can save you from wasting money on a purchase that does not close escrow!
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"
3) Make sure you obtain access to your local AND regional RealtorÂ® MLS data via an automated search your RealtorÂ® should most certainly create for you; here's why:
MLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€
4) Avoid Dual Agency!
There are specific duties an Agent must provide. When one individual represents both Buyer and Seller conflict between two of the most important duties occur.
â€œDual Agency: Why should I NOT use the listing Agent to buy a house?â€
The majority of the Bay Area housing market is experiencing a brutally strong Seller's market that has little time for haggling over price which I do not see significantly waning until Q3 or Q4 of 2013 after more Sellers are influenced to list their property (adding more supply) along with a slow increase in mortgage rates over the same time frame (reducing demand).
Take your first step today so you can position yourself to act when your opportunity presents itself!