1. Hire a Real Estate Professional to Be Your Tour Guide, and Choose Carefully!
It has never been more important to hire the correct Realtor than in today’s market. It is crucial that you hire someone who is experienced in many types of transactions. You deserve to have a professional representing your best interests throughout the entire buying process. A buyer’s agent will help you with your home search, required contractual paperwork, negotiations, inspections, and any other concerns that may come up. A good tour guide understands market trends and how those trends will affect your personal real estate needs. Remember, it will cost you nothing to hire a buyer’s agent; the seller of your new home will pay their commission, so you have nothing to lose.
2. Understand Your Financial Profile and Get Pre-Approved For a Home Mortgage
If you’re looking to buy a house you’ve probably prepared a budget in order to determine how much you are comfortable spending on a new place. And while that is a good place to start, the reality is that the world of home financing has changed dramatically in recent years. Obtaining a home mortgage is harder today than it has been a very long time, which means you may not be qualified to borrow as much money as you think. Before you go out and tour any homes, you should meet with a mortgage specialist to determine an accurate budget and then follow the steps necessary to gain pre-approval for your loan. If you are pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer, you will not be considered a “wannabe” buyer. The result is that the home seller is much more likely to entertain your bid.
3. Prioritize Your Needs and Wants
Home buyers’ needs vary for many reasons. Families with children want to live near good school systems and they tend to want bigger yards and outdoor play areas. People who are devoted to their careers will pay more attention to the ease of their commute. Single people tend to seek out places that offer a certain level of entertainment and proximity to other unmarried residents. Likewise, retirees are concerned about the vicinity of local hospitals and perhaps, recreational activities like golf. As a home buyer you should have a solid understanding of your own needs. Make a checklist and prioritize the items on that list; what do you need vs. what do you want? Understand that your list will shift and change based on your budget constraints and market trends. And remember that when you buy a house, you are also buying the neighborhood.
4. Sellers Aren’t the Only Ones Who Face Competition
Typically, when people think about competition in the real estate industry, they envision a group of home owners competing to sell their houses. But sellers are not the only ones who experience competition. As a buyer you need to be prepared to compete for your dream house. Bidding wars are on the rise so you need to always lead with your best foot forward. The days of under bidding on a house are over. If you decide to make an offer, make it a good one! Work with your agent to think of unique ways to propel yourself above other buyers. Perhaps you could offer the sellers an extra day to move out, or if needed, you could rent the house back to the sellers until they are ready to leave. There are many ways create additional incentives with your offer.