Tips For Buyers
Find a Realtor You Trust
Despite it being easier now more than ever to search for homes, the transfer of real estate is a very complicated process - learning about different communities, market trends and pricing, handling offers and multiple legal documents, negotiations, inspections, knowing great inspectors and what should be inspected, knowing great lenders and the complexities of getting a loan, title work, ensuring that closing happens on time and making sure everything goes as scheduled, and much more. A great Realtor manages all of this for you and advises you along the way. You are likely spending six figures on your home and there is a lot to consider. Blunders can cost thousands of dollars! Don't risk it - hire a good Realtor!
Ok maybe not real marriage counseling but there is a good exercise you can do with your spouse or whoever you are moving with to make sure you want the same things. Many times couples are not on the same page when it comes to what they want in a home. If you don't make sure you are on the same page or at least close to being on the same page, finding a home that suites both of you can be very difficult. Sit down and write out must-haves, must-avoids, and figure out where you can compromise.
Know All Your Lending Options
There are many different loan options available. Sometimes one option is the clear winner. Other times you have a few good loan options.
A good lender will talk to you about your financial goals and give you multiple options if your financial situation allows it. Some options could be downpayment assistance programs, paying down interest to get a lower monthly payment, FHA loans, Rural loans, Conventional loans. All have pros and cons. Make sure you ask your lender about all your options.
I've seen countless people in all price ranges miss out on a home they love because they weren't prepared. This mostly means getting your finances in order. Get pre-approved for a loan so you know you are ready to buy. If you need to sell your current home in order to purchase another home it is vital that you get this process started. It can take a while to prepare your home and time for your realtor to get marketing ready. Get started early talking with your Realtor about a plan for buying and selling. Spending six figures on a home doesn't happen over night. Don't miss out on your dream home because you aren't prepared!
Find A Lender You Trust
Like a great Realtor, a great lender is more advisor than paper pusher. There is much more to the process than pushing a few buttons and presto - you have a loan. The most common reason for closing delays is because of the lending process. Realtors work with lenders every day and we know who is good and who isn't. Ask your Realtor who they recommend. I have found that local lenders are much better than online lenders to work with because they have a reputation to uphold in the community. A great lender will communicate often and advise well. Which leads me to my next tip...Know your lending options.
Communicate With Your Realtor
If you find a Realtor you trust, that Realtor can do a lot to help you through the process. One of the biggest mistakes I see buyers make is not being picky with who they choose to hire as their Realtor. Because they weren't picky, they don't trust or communicate well with their Realtor. A good Realtor is not out to sell you anything - they are there to advise and help you have as smooth of a process as possible. BUT we can't help much if you don't communicate with us!
Talk to your Realtor about your goals for your home, let them know about any of your concerns, and give good feedback about each home you see.