So, you want to buy a home? If you’re new to this process or haven’t done it in a while, you may be uncertain about where to start. Here are a few initial steps that you should take when looking to buy a home.
Connect with a real estate agent
A real estate agent will be someone that you rely on throughout the home buying process. Your agent will help you figure out what to do and when to do it. He/she will also ensure that you have the right information on the market and buying process,… enabling you to make educated home buying decisions. So, finding an agent to work with should really be one of your first steps!
It seems that lending practices, programs, and interest rates are continually changing. This is especially true at the beginning of each year. Contact a local lender for a free pre-approval. This will give you a sense of what mortgage programs you qualify for, how much you can afford, and what funds you may need for closing.
Without this vital information, you may end up searching for a home beyond your price point, which could be psychologically and emotionally detrimental. Let’s face it, once you’ve seen more expensive homes, the less expensive ones just don’t compare. Don’t set yourself up for that disappointment.
Monitor the market
It’s easy to follow the wrong information. The media often reports on national trends, but things may be different in the communities within your home search. Additionally, friends or family may share their experiences with you, but again, their markets may not be the same as yours. Don’t rely on inaccurate information.
Ask your real estate agent to provide you with access to MLS listings through his/her account so that you can see what listings are coming on the market and how quickly they may go under agreement. Additionally, your agent can provide recent sale statistics. Understanding the market ahead of time will allow you to make better decisions when you’re ready to make
Shop from a position of certainty and strength
By taking these initial first steps, you will…
– Effectively utilize your time by viewing homes within your price range.
– Have the pre-approval necessary to make an offer on a home that you love.
– Understand what type of offer you may need to make to effectively compete for a listing.
Approaching home buying from a position of certainty and strength will make it a more enjoyable and fruitful process.