10 Important Buyer Tips:
1.) Get your loan pre-approval BEFORE you start looking at properties with your REALTOR. Lending is much more strict in the current market. You will know what you can afford, and your offer will be taken seriously.
2.) Shop lenders for the best rates and terms. There are banks, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, credit unions etc... Not all loans are equal. Ask many questions so that you understand the costs and benefits of each one.
3.) Find a good REALTOR that will keep YOUR GOALS the focus of your property search and work only with that agent. The search will be streamlined and as you work together. They will learn more about your needs, negotiate on your behalf and work with you every step of the transaction so all contractual deadlines are met. A Buyer's Agent works for YOUR best interest (not the seller) and gets paid by the commission already established by the seller (so not cost to you!).
4.) Have your REALTOR provide you with current comparable properties and all data necessary for evaluating the market value of a property when making an offer. Discuss the details with your REALTOR.
5.) ALWAYS have a Property Inspection by a professional and be present at the inspection.
6.) Consider Location, Floor Plan, Neighborhood, School DIstrict, Noise, Lot size, View (you can change the "style" - fixtures, flooring, appliances, paint etc... but you can't change the "substance").
7.) Continue to ask questions along the way. It is very important you understand the process. Your REALTOR is there to assist you. You want to be able to make educated decisions and understand the details.
8.) Do not over-buy. Realize that there will be maintainance costs in owning a home. Budget for extras. You don't wan't your home to own you.
9.) Buying a home can be very emotional. Learn to balance the emotional side of the purchase with the logical or investment side. Write down your goals in a home. Don't fall too much in love with any one home that you overlook important factors. There are always more choices coming on the market.
10.) Enjoy the process. Don't rush yourself or be pushed into buying a particular home. Take the time to see enough homes that you get a sense of what is important to you and understand what you get for the cost. Do your homework so you feel confident when making an offer and ready to act quickly if necessary. This is one of the biggest investments you will ever make, so treat it that way.
Marcie Sands, REALTOR
Simply The Best Real Estate Co., Inc.