You’ve made the decision and you’re ready to buy, that’s great! This may be your first home or it may have just been a while since you’ve been through the home buying process. Either way there are some essential steps you can take to get yourself ready for this huge purchase. Following the steps below will help you prepare for this investment as well as prepare in general for the home shopping and buying process, which if done correctly can be a breeze.
Step 1: GET A LENDER
This is an essential step that many first time home buyers think they can skip. We understand you’re eager to start shopping and looking at properties, however it is so important that you DO NOT skip over this step. It may seem like something you can focus on once you’ve found the perfect home but in reality it is the step that will help you get that perfect home and this is why. When you select a lender you will go through the process of getting pre-approved and this will give you your affordable budget. This helps you select the perfect home because, the perfect home will have everything you want and it will be in your price range.
Another reason to get a lender who can pre-approve you is that when you start looking the market may be moving faster than you think. Properties may be listed for only 2 days before they go under contract. With you pre-approval letter from your lender as soon as you find a property you are ready to make an offer on, you can. Sometimes without that pre-approval letter you will not be able to make an offer on that home and while you wait for your letter the property could be snatched up right in front of you by another home buyer.
Let’s not forget that in some instances you may be ready to buy a home, but when trying to get that pre-approval letter your lender may not be able to approve you. Don’t let this get you down. If you selected good lender they can help steer you in the right direction. They can show you the necessary steps to improve your credit and what to do to get yourself on the path towards that pre-approval letter. Depending on the person this could just be some simple changes like paying down a credit card or closing out an account.
Regardless of the circumstances, do not skip getting a lender as your first step. They can help you determine your budget, get pre-approved, and if you’re not pre-approved they can help you work towards improving your credit so in the future you will be able to get the pre-approval and purchase your new home.
Step 2: GET AN AGENT
Now that you’ve been pre-approved by your lender it’s time to GET AN AGENT! Why you may ask, because an agent has the “in” on this thing we call the real estate market. Yes you can see so many homes now days online but the agent will know the most up to date information on new homes and when a market is moving fast that information is vital. In this step it is important to select a Buyers Specialist who is familiar with the area, who knows the market, who you feel comfortable with and who is ready to take on the role as your personal shopper. For your buyers specialists to be able to do their job they need to get to know you and what you’re looking for so that when they set up showings they are setting you up for success by showing you homes that fit your criteria.
One of the most important things to remember is if you don’t tell your agent what you’re looking for they cannot read your mind. Letting your agent know what you are looking for in the beginning is a good starting point, however you cannot forget to update them as you see homes. In the beginning you may have known how many bedrooms or what school district you wanted, but there will be things as you shop that you never knew you were looking for. Some things like high ceilings, a large yard, or a bathroom on the first floor could all be things that as you shop you start to realize you would prefer purchasing a home with this amenities. Providing your agent with these details will help keep them up to date on the things you are shopping for. This can also let them know why you did or didn’t like one home over another so that they can better understand you and what you’re wanting in your new home.
On top of helping you shop and showing you homes the buyers agent represnts you. This is very important to remember and sometimes can be overlooked. The buyers agent is working FOR YOU. They are there when it gets down to the contract part of this transaction they can help you navigate through the complicated process. You will have full representation just as a seller would with an agent. Your buyer’s specialist works with buyers as their main focus. They will have your best interest in mind throughout the entire process.
Selecting an agent, specifically a buyer’s specialist, to help you prepare for buying a new homes is extremely essential. From helping you narrow down your search with your nerw home criteria, to showing you new homes as quick as they come on the market and be there to represent you throughout the transaction; it’s clear that this is a step that everyone should take when preparing to buy their new home.Once you’ve completed the two steps above of getting a lender and getting a buyer’s agent, congratulations, you’re ready to go home shopping!