It is such an exciting time, when all of the saving and sacrificing finally pays off. The search for a home begins.
It is a fact that most homebuyers now search on the internet for their home before they ever contact a Realtor. Searching on the internet or going to open houses results in a more savvy and informed buyer and is a positive step in the home buying process.
However, there is an initial, more important step that should not be ignored. Talking with a lender is vital in an intelligent, directed search for a home. A buyer should know, from the outset, what loan amount they can qualify for. The quality of the lender is also a factor in having the home buying experience be a positive one. A reputable lender will not charge “garbage fees”. An experienced lender will know the range of loans available and which loan will best fit the buyers needs. A good lender will keep in contact with the buyer on a continual basis. The Realtor can give great referrals if the buyer needs some recommendations.
Speaking of Realtors, don’t take this selection lightly. To be redundant, be sure to work with a Realtor…they are held to a higher standard. A Realtor must work under a Code of Ethics (unlike an agent). Ask for referrals from friends, relatives or neighbors. Be certain to select a Realtor who is knowledgeable about the neighborhood in which the buyer wants to live.
Once the buyer has been pre-qualified or pre-approved, the home search begins! The process can be made much more efficient and enjoyable if the buyer knows how to approach the search. A “wish list” is a wonderful indication to the Realtor as to what the buyer would enjoy in their new home. However, it should be delineated into the “must haves” and the “would like to have”. A “must have” list that is too specific or too exact may eliminate a home that otherwise would have been perfect. Buyers need to be somewhat flexible. Possibly the family room is so appealing that the “must have” office becomes secondary. The “must have” large yard might become secondary to the beautiful remodeled kitchen because the property is located near a lush park.
Finally, don’t be shy about asking questions. The buyer should understand the process and have a Realtor that is more than happy to help in any way. The home buying experience can be fun and exciting if it is approached in the right way. Enjoy!