Preparing to Buy
As you likely know, the home buying process begins well before you ever set foot in an open house.
Especially in this competitive real estate market, I advise all of my buyers to get preapproved by a lender before starting to look at homes. Preapproval demonstrates that you are a serious buyer and that your finances are in order. This can make all the difference in a multiple offer situation. It is also important to examine your credit rating and clear up any mistakes on your credit reports. Now is not the time to make big career changes or large purchases as lenders look back three months at your finances and want to see stability. Any sudden changes can cause major headaches as you try to secure your home loan.
Choosing an Agent
Did you know that as a buyer, having a real estate agent represent you is free? Not only is there no cost to you, but having an expert by your side can help you navigate what can be a rather complicated process. I have pursued special certification as an Accredited Buyer's Representative from the National Association of Realtors to ensure that I am able to provide my buyers with the best possible service and highest level of expertise.
When looking for a buyer’s agent, you want to choose someone who is experienced, works in the industry full time, and is available to you when you need them. You also want to feel comfortable with your agent since you will be spending a lot of time together. Pick someone who listens, is responsive, and is very familiar with the location that interests you. Interview a few agents, read reviews, and ask for references so that you can feel confident in your decision.
I like to begin by listening to you share what neighborhoods seem appealing, what price range feels comfortable, and what styles and features you are hoping for in your home. Next, we get out there to see everything in your price range to get caught up on the inventory that’s currently on the market. You might think you know what you want, but until you get out there and look you can’t really be sure which house you will end up falling in love with.
Once I have a good sense of what you are looking for I go shopping for you. I attend broker open houses in the area, keep a careful eye on the MLS listings, and regularly check in to let you know what I think is worth taking the time to view in person.
When viewing houses, I help walk you through the pros and cons of the property from the house’s foundation and heating system, to the neighborhood, and more. There is a good chance that at some point, I will advise you not to buy a house. It might seem surprising to hear that, but buying a home is a huge investment and I try to protect you from making any decisions that you might later regret. Once we find the right house for you, I will help advise you on an appropriate offer and negotiate a fair deal.
The Offer and Purchase Process
After your offer has been accepted, it is time to schedule an inspection of the property. Some things that show up on the report are big red flags, but more often they are small issues that can be easily fixed. I will give you the heads up now: there is often the added fun of a whole new round of negotiations after the inspection. Having been through this process hundreds of times, I’m able to walk you through what your next steps should be. During this time period your lender will send an appraiser to assess the value of the home and make sure that your offer is in line with the appraiser’s valuation. Once these pieces of the process are all ironed out you will be able to sign the Purchase and Sale Agreement and breathe a big sigh of relief.
Closing and Beyond:
Closing day is always an exciting time—after signing your name more times than you can count you will be ready to schedule your painter and start making the place your own! You may think that this is the point where I ride off into the sunset. Instead, I like to take the time to ensure that you have a soft landing in your new neighborhood. I’m glad to continue serving as a resource as you settle in, providing referrals for electricians and plumbers, setting up opportunities to meet your neighbors, and being available to answer any lingering questions.
Want to meet to see if I would be a good fit as your agent? Let’s talk.