Ten Tips for Home Buyers
Following are ten tips to help buyers in the process of home buying. These tips are critical and often misunderstood home buying issues.
1. Be Committed to the Process
Buying a home will probably be the largest purchase of your life. However, surprisingly many people treat it like buying a new pair of socks....they just pick one and go. This is not a good tactic for home buying.
A smart home buyer makes a well thought out decision and commits to buying with careful financial plans. They take set time to look at home, keep emotions in check and listen to professional advice.
2. Hire a Buyer's Agent to Represent You
It used to be that seller's agents served both the seller and the buyer BUT with only the seller's interests at heart. It also used to be that buyer's were unaware of their agent's true allegiance (by contract) and believed the agent was working for them.
These days buyers can and should be represented by their own agent, the buyer's agent. This type of agent is allegiant to the buyer and their interests by contract. A buyer's agent ensures the buyer is being well taken care of through the process of buying a home.
3. Get Pre-Approved For Financing
Sellers have no way of knowing who you are or if you actually have money unless you're pre-approved. Seller's only have two questions on their mind when it comes to you; how much is your offer, and are you good for the money? Sellers are also more likely to negotiate price and other terms if the money is assured.
Getting pre approved lets the seller know exactly how much home you can afford and puts you in the strongest place for negotiating. Learn more: 3 Mortgage Tips to Know
4. Choose the Neighborhood
You've heard it. Location location location. Location is everything! Even if a home is a good buy or completely beautiful...it can all quickly pale in comparison with a bad neighborhood. When choosing a neighborhood, think about schools, commute time to work, location to shopping and emergency facilities.
5. Be Realistic About Needs and Wants
You probably need sufficient bedrooms and bathrooms for your growing family but do you really NEED that jacuzzi or three car garage? Stick to your non-negotiables you want in a home and be flexible about what you can do without or add on later down the road. Don't be the home buyer who has to have it all, because you will probably miss out on a lot of great opportunities and buying a home will take forever.
6. Make the Right Offer
To make a successful offer on a home, buyers should always listen closely to the advice of their buyer's agent. Offer too low and you may lose the home or pay more than you should. Offer too high and you can send the wrong signal to the seller, making them less agreeable to other terms and conditions.
7. Get a Home Inspection
You're about to make the largest purchase of your lifetime. You owe it to yourself to spend a few hundred dollars for an inspection that can open your eyes to problems now or simply give you peace of mind as you move forward with the deal. Additionally, some things the inspector may find may be things you can get the seller to fix before you move in.
8. Avoid Midstream Changes
When in the midst of looking to buy a house, it's not a good idea to buy a car, loan money to a relative or procure a new job. If any of these are things you need to do, you should do so before getting pre-approved.
9. Get a Survey and Title Insurance
A survey is nice to have especially if you're buying in an older neighborhood where neighbors have made additions including decks, garages, ad ons and fencing. Surveys verify property boundary lines and should display any encroachments of easements. It can let you know if you're neighbors have crossed on to your property BEFORE you buy.
Title insurance guarantees that when you purchase real estate there is no one else with any claim to it.
10. Be Pro-Active
Don't just sit idly by and wait until you're asked to sign contracts. Be fully aware of the whole process, get involved and ask lots of questions. Be your own advocate!