Once you`ve made the decision to buy a home, it`s time to start thinking about what comes next.
Select the Right Realtor
It is always to your advantage if you select a local realtor who has lived in the area a long time. It is even better if you select an agent who currently lives in the exact “community” you are interested in buying. Local agents who have lived in the area a long time will know all the details about the various communities, the homes, and the people. Plus, they will be available to assist you even after the close of escrow. Selecting an agent to represent you who is not local will not provide you with all the knowledge & guidance needed to make an educated and well informed choice.
Get a Free Credit Report
Every 12 months, you are entitled to request a free copy of your credit report from each of the three major credit reporting agencies - Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian. You should make this request before you begin looking at homes in order to allow yourself enough time to identify and dispute any inaccuracies in your credit file(s). When you approach a lender, you will need to make sure that everything is correct and up-to-date.
Get Pre-qualified & Pre-approved
Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved arms you with critical knowledge ahead of time helping you avoid unnecessary pitfalls. This process will help you narrow your search to include only homes that are within your predetermined price range. Knowing what you want to pay beforehand will save you both time and disappointment in looking at homes that do not fit your budget. Finally, it can help avoid delays in closing, put you at an advantage during the bidding process and could be the difference between getting in your dream home, or someone else living there.
Ask For Comps
This is an important step which an agent should do for you. An agent should give you a list of similar homes that have recently sold, plus a list of homes that are currently for sale, and how long have they been on the market. This important information will give you a competitive advantage, increase the chance of having your offer accepted, and ensure you won’t be over paying.
See The House at Different Times
Ask your agent to take you to see the house you are interested in buying at different times ……… morning, mid-day and evening. Sun direction and shading factors come into play.
Talk with Neighbors
Don’t be shy, talk with any neighbors you see. Ask them how they like living in the community.
Once your offer has been accepted it is strongly advised is to have the home checked out by a professional home inspector. This will allow you to identify any significant defects which can then be mutually resolved, or can even allow you to back out of your offer, free of penalty, within a certain timeframe.