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.
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
Wenzel Select Properties
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,
Realty Executives Premiere
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.