Tips for Buyers
First, you need to speak to a lender:
The guidelines for loans keep changing so make sure to ask him/her lots of questions, and take notes. We have several lenders that we can recommend whom we work with on a regular basis. Of course, you are welcome to choose your own. A local lender is usually best as they are familiar with the subdivisions an types of homes in the area, plus there is usually better communication with local lenders. We will need to be in contact with them as well before & after we go out shopping for your home. Communication with the lender is key.
By contacting the lender first, you will learn what your price range is based on approximately what your payments will be and you’ll be better informed about the choices for the best type of financing for you. There are differences between conventional loans and FHA loans, 5% down vs 10% down vs 20% down. These are some of the details you want to go over with the lender ahead of time and we can also help guide you through this process. You may even want to talk to your tax professional before or during … everyone’s situation is unique.
Also, ask your lender about how much your closing costs will be so you’re not surprised at the end, strategize if you need a co-signer, or need more time to save money, pay off some bills, etc. These are just a few of the details you want to go over with the lender before you go out house hunting. When we find the home you want, we’ll need a Pre-Approval letter from your lender and a Proof of Funds (ie bank statement) for down payment in order to write an offer.
Make a list of what you need & want:
The list should include what you’d like to find in your new home and prioritize them. We suggest you start with 3 musts, 3 wants, and 3 no-ways. Involve all the decision makers in this step. You may find that your financial partner’s wants or concerns are the same as yours, or not, and often some new ideas will develop! You can always make changes & adjustments as we preview homes. We know the areas and floor plans very well and can help you with this when we get together.
MLS search & email search updates:
Let us set you up on a MLS auto search so you can follow the market in areas where you are interested. MLS = Multiple Listing Service; this site is subscribed to by agents to search for properties. This is a fantastic tool so you can educate yourself on the current market trends in real time. The MLS is not a public site like Trulia or Zillow. Those are fine for basic information but are often inaccurate and not timely. Search criteria can easily be modified as we dial in on your home search needs.
We will also provide area comps (comparable sales) so together we can make informed decisions on how much to offer.
Patience and education are the keys:
Don’t be afraid to ask us questions, we are your consultants.
Realize the process takes some time:
Real Estate markets go in trends and it is very helpful to know what the current trend is when you are shopping for a home. The more you know about the market, the better it is for you when decision time comes, you’ll know when a property is right for you.
We will do our best to make this a fun and memorable experience.
I check the Multiple Listing Service several times a day for new listings as well as network and interact with other agents and network groups looking for a property that fits your needs … sometimes before it hits the open market.