Choosing your real estate professional is, perhaps, the most important decision you will make when buying property. I believe the more you look around, the more you will see the value of working with me.
However, no matter whom you choose, these simple tips will help you find and purchase the home of your dreams more quickly and efficiently. If you're a first-time buyer you can find more information here.
Before you shop:
Be a smart consumer. Learn the financing basics. Know how to shop for a home loan that's right for you.
Get pre-approved. This takes very little time and lets you know the price range that fits your lifestyle.
Know what you want. The last thing you need is to close a deal and realize you bought a house you don't want. Ask yourself what you're looking for in a home, before you shop. Think about size, commute time and necessary repairs.
Keep your debt load to a minimum. Don't make major purchases or incur any additional debt until after your purchase. Pay down credit cards and don't apply for new ones. Remember, financial institutions evaluate your financial situation on your gross monthly income. Your total monthly house costs should not exceed 28 percent of your gross monthly income. However, with VA or FHA loans you may be able to go as high as 41%, be sure to ask your lender for your qualifying limits.
Be prepared to view new properties quickly. Sometimes homes sell quickly, so be ready to make fast decisions especially on new listings. Be accessible to change the terms if you are in a counter offer situation. Many times after making an offer another buyer will decide to make an offer. The preferred way is to not be in a multiple offer situation. However, if it's a great house and the price is low, be prepared to compete. Your Realtor knows how to handle multiple offers so don't let another offer scare you away from trying to buy the home you want.
Use email for faster access to your Realtor. With today's busy markets, most realtors can respond quickly with a blackberry while voicemails can build up to be returned later in the day. In today's technological world, email can, in most cases, provide faster communication with your Realtor than a phone call!
Before you buy:
Submit a strong competitive offer. Ask your Realtor for advice as every house and situation may be different. Rely on your professional Realtor to guide you when making an offer.
Use a Reputable Mortgage Lender. Sellers will want to know that you are a strong buyer and by using a reputable and experienced lender you will receive stronger consideration than if you use a lender no one has ever heard of. Ask your Realtor for advice when obtaining Mortgage financing.
Include a substantial earnest money deposit. Sometimes offers are accepted based on the amount of the deposit.
Try to minimize the number of contingencies. Fewer contingencies mean a stronger offer.
Hire an inspector. A professional building inspector can assist you in making sure the house of your choice is in satisfactory condition.
Check zoning regulations and covenants. Good residential neighborhoods will be zoned to keep out commercial and industrial users. Read any restrictive covenants and make sure they fit your lifestyle.
Request a current property survey. All property boundary markets may not be visible or even removed during construction but a current plot plan can assist you in measuring to make sure you know where your yard begins and ends!
Make sure you know what stays or goes.
Your contract should be very specific about which items (appliances, etc) are included in the sale.
Get agreements in writing. Make certain verbal agreements are written into the final contract to avoid any stressful and expensive issues later.