Tis’ the Season and that means it is a time for giving… And one of the best gifts you can receive, at any time of the year, is good sound advice. In the spirit of this Holiday Season, I am writing this article to do my part in helping Buyers get the best tips for your next Real Estate Purchase.-in.
Our top 10 Home Buying Tips
1. Choosing the right agent. Seems simple enough and everyone out there seems to know a Realtor. But when choosing an agent, you shouldn’t necessarily be using your aunts friend who practices Real Estate on the side. A good agent is supposed to be knowledgeable and have experience in transactions so they can help relieve some of the stress that comes with buying a Home and make sure your best interest are protected.
Get recommendations from friends, family and co-workers in your area. Interview a couple of agents to find the right chemistry and knowledge of the area you are looking in. Once you have found somebody you like, make sure she is willing to communicate with you in the form you want (email, phone, text, etc.) and as often as you want.
2. Getting preapproved for a loan. There are not a lot of quality homes on the market right now and contrary to what you may read in the paper, the nice homes are moving fast and most likely you will have competition on the deal. So getting pre-approved allows you to make sure you are looking within your budget, and when you do find a home, you are ready to act quickly and with a strong offer.
3. Don’t look at too many homes. I know looking at homes can be fun but at the same time it can be very overwhelming and confusing if you look at too many homes or seek too many opinions from friends and relatives. No home is going to have everything you are looking for or be perfect, so I suggest making a “must have” list including the features that are non-negotiable, versus just “thing you wants. From there, have your agent help narrow down the field. There’s a lot of inventory out there, but there is not a lot of inventory that fits your specific criteria.
4. Keep an open mind. Everyone out there has their vision for their new home and what it will look like and in what area. Many buyers will want that perfect single story home in a certain neighborhood only to find that the features and amenities they crave are in a two-story home. Be open to suggestions from your real-estate agent, who might show you something you didn’t know existed or that you may love.
5. When you find a home you like, learn about the neighborhood. Once you find a home that you could see yourself in, the next step is to make sure you the neighborhood fits your lifestyle and needs. Keep in mind the amenities, schools, access to freeways and neighbors where you live. These will all be vital day to day places you will have go and do.
6. Never buy a home without a home inspection. It is vital that every home buyer gets a home inspection for a licensed inspector. You should never just rely on what you see in a walk-through or what your brother the handyman points out. Problems hide under carpeting and inside walls and attics. Always get that home you’re buying checked over by a certified home inspector and follow through on any additional inspections he recommends.You’ll be glad you did. I cannot emphasize this enough!
7. If you don’t understand something, ask. The home buying process is very complex with many moving parts. Ideally, your agent will have run through the homebuying process and what to expect at the outset of your search, but i can all but guarantee that there will be something that comes up that was not covered. It is very common and expected as it would be impossible for the agent to cover every scenario. So if you don’t understand any part of the paperwork, process or terminology, ask.
8. Submit your highest and best offer upfront. Now this can be up for debate and varies greatly depending on the condition of your current market, but I cannot tell you how many times I have had buyers who have tried to play the negotiating game with a seller only to have the seller accept another offer during negotiations. Like I mentioned above, in most markets there are not a lot of quality nice homes on the market, meaning you are competing with every other buyer out there who probably has interest in this home. The quality properties often will receive multiple offers, so you have to make sure it’s a realistic offer and submit it with a list of comparable sales to support it. You do not want to lose the home over a couple thousand dollars.
9. Be prepared to compromise. Every home that is over a week old will have issues… So don’t expect sellers to consent to repairs that amount to upgrades or remodels. Be realistic for the home you are buying and don’t lose a house you love over something small like carpet, appliances or countertops. It’s not these things that will make or break your experience in a house, it’s the big things such as layout, size and location.
10. Don’t get emotional. It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and tension of buying a home. But you should never over extend yourself, no matter how much you love the house. Make sure that you do your due diligence and don’t let things slide that are non-negotiables because you “Love the House”. I promise you will come to regret it.
I hope you enjoyed this posting and it helped shed some light on the home buying process and provided some good insight for your next real estate purchase. As always, feel free to contact me with any questions and have a GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON!