The first and most important step in the home buying process is to speak with a qualified mortgage professional. You need to know that you will qualify for a loan and also determine what you can afford. Getting prequalified takes a great deal of the guess work out of house hunting. It allows you to structure your search to only the properties that are within your price range.
In addition to guiding your home search to what you can afford, loan pre-approval gives more weight to any offers you make on a property. A seller is always more confident when a buyer has put in an offer accompanied with a pre-approval for a loan, especially when multiple offers have been made.
Find a REALTOR®
Once you have been prequalified, your next step is finding a qualified real estate agent who can guide you through the home buying process. Make sure you find an agent who is experienced, who will listen to your needs, and is knowledgeable about the area you want to buy in. Don't be afraid to speak with several agents before deciding on one to work with. You must be able to trust your agent and speak to them honestly.
What Matters Most in a Home?
Now that you have been prequalified and found a real estate agent you are ready to start searching for properties. Most likely there will be hundreds of homes in your price range and the chances of you finding the home that has absolutely everything you want are slim. Ask yourself what matters most to you in a home. You can significantly narrow down your search by making a list of the things you cannot live without. This will eliminate wasting time looking at properties that will not meet your needs.
Look at Properties
You have figured out what area you want to be in and what matters most to you when buying a home. Now it is time to take a look at the properties that fit your budget and your wish list. Chances are the first home you see will not be the one you buy, and even if it is you will still want to look at some others to see what else is available. You will most likely be looking at multiple properties, and to keep from being overwhelmed, it is always a good idea to bring a digital camera and a notepad. Photos and notes help to keep all the properties from running together at the end of the day! It is tough to remember all the features that the house with the blue door had.
Make an Offer
Now that you have found the home of your dreams it is time to make an offer! Once you decide a house is the one for you, your well qualified agent will do a Comparative Market Analysis. This will give you the price range of properties sold and currently on the market in that neighborhood and give you a good idea of what you should offer. Don't forget that when you make an offer, it will need to be accompanied by earnest money, so bring your check book. Your offer will not be taken seriously without it. Having your pre-qualification letter will also go a long way to getting your offer accepted.
Once your offer has been accepted, your REALTOR® will continue to walk you through the inspection, appraisal, and other steps which will be done before closing. You need a REALTOR® who is experienced and knowledgeable, and that you can trust with one of the most important investments you will make in your life! Call 843-424-6900 or email us today!