How can you be successful home buyer in this market?
You know you are ready to purchase a home… But Now what?
Much has been written about how to search for a great real estate agent, what to look for in a lender, or how is the real estate market right now.
But how often do you hear about how to be a great buyer when searching for a home? Here are some tips to help you as the buyer in this very competitive market.
Unless you are paying cash, the first step is to get pre-approved for a loan. You can’t assume you qualify, you have to go through the process. So, find a good local lender that you trust. We have some fantastic lenders here in Vacaville, and I would be happy to refer one to you.
Why is getting a loan approval the important initial step?
- First, so you are not put in the frustrating position of finding a home you love, just to learn you don’t qualify. An approval states the mortgage amount you can afford.
- Second, an agent works very hard to find your perfect home. To do that, they must know what you can afford.
- Third, home sellers want qualified buyers viewing their home.
- Forth, unless you are paying cash, a loan approval is your ticket to getting your offer accepted. No approval letter no acceptance….plain and simple.
Searching the internet on sites like Zillow or Redfin is a good way to start your search, but the more accurate information comes from the local Multiple Listing Service. Many agent websites offer this option. Keep an open mind about viewing properties. Some homes look great in photos, but not in person. Other homes don’t photograph well, but look terrific when you view them. The best home searches are done with a qualified real estate professional who understands the local market and communities. Therefore, the next step is to find a great real estate agent to help you find that perfect home. Here is something to consider when choosing an agent. Remember buying a home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make, where a great deal of money is at stake. Your Aunt Violet or cousin Eddie are wonderful people, but please consider if they have the experience required to take on the complexities of handling a real estate transaction. Choose wisely.
Now that you have your pre-approval letter in hand, and a great agent at your side, you are ready to start a serious search for your new home. This is where Buyer etiquette is so important. Be polite, and remember the house you are viewing is someone else’s home.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the home buying process:
- Communicate clearly with your agent agent about what you are looking for.
- Preview neighborhoods ahead of time so you know where you’d like to live.
- When viewing, treat the home with respect.
- Follow Covid guidelines; one or two visitors at a time and wear a mask.
- Be careful about negative comments. Recording devices are everywhere now.
- Too many friends or family makes the process confusing. Keep to a minimum.
- Write reasonable offers, including your approval and proof of funds for down payment to prove to the seller you can afford the house.
- Once in escrow, get a home inspection. Also, consider a pool, roof, septic or any other applicable inspections. Sellers don’t usually provide inspections.
- Keep repair requests to a minimum, and only include health & safety items. Sellers are not going to remodel for you.
- DON’T make any large purchases after your approval. The lender will run your credit again even if you are approved. A large purchase can STOP the transaction.
- Don’t make any employment changes. Once again, the lender will check. (If you consider a change ask your lender first.)
- And always listen to your agent’s advice. They are the professionals.
Successfully finding and closing escrow on the perfect home can seem like a daunting process. But, surrounding yourself with a team of great real estate professionals, and keeping these tips in mind, will help make it easier, and maybe even fun. And very soon you will have the keys to the front door of your very own home!
Vera Gleason, Realtor®
707-394-8372 or 951-334-6002
RE eBroker Group, Inc