10 Steps to a Successful Home Buying Experience
When you decide to buy a house, there is a chance you are going to want to dive right in and start looking at homes for sale in person. This is common among buyers, and typically means you’re allowing your emotions to drive your decision making. This is a common mistake buyers make. Take a step back and understand that preparation is how you win in real estate and that begins with an education.
Knowing what to expect after you make an offer is going to help your confidence in making an offer. If you don’t know what happens after you make an offer, there’s a good chance you’re not ready to make one.
Knowledge is power, and obtaining as much information as possible when making a decision will give you the highest percentage chance for success. Educating yourself throughout the entire process, and beyond will go a long way. The best way to begin your learning process is our next step; finding a realtor!
Searching for a Real Estate Agent is one of the first steps to buying a house. They will provide you with the local market reports and keep you up to date on new listings that match your criteria. Aside from some of a Realtor’s main responsibilities they will also be an educator, explaining to you the process of buying a home.
When choosing a Real Estate Agent the most important thing to look for is trust. You have to be able to trust that your Realtor has your goals in mind, and not their own. There are clear differences between Realtors who sell homes, and Realtors who help people find great lifestyles. Knowing what motivates your Real Estate Agent should be a clear indicator of their intent and actions.
The type of Realtor® you don’t want to work with are the ones who are afraid to tell you something you don’t want to hear. Transparency is, in my opinion, the most redeeming quality of a sales person. I want to work with the type of sales person who isn’t afraid to tell me the bad news. Our KRES agents are fully educated in the process, the market, and negotiating skills. They are also committed to your best interest!
Now that you have chosen your KRES agent, ask them to recommend a few lenders to interview. This will assure you that you are talking to proven lenders who know the mortgage business inside and out. You want to have a great understanding of your financial limitations BEFORE you start searching homes for sale online. If you don’t know what your limitations are, you may end up wasting your own time looking at homes that are outside of your price range. Or worse, you may end up buying at the very maximum of what you can afford and not being able to enjoy the lifestyle you were use to before purchasing the home. This is a common mistake among first time home buyers.
A fifteen minute conversation with a mortgage lender will go a long way in your home search. Especially if you address this conversation upfront (that is why it’s step #3).
We recommend buyers be pre-approved for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that you will have much more buying power in case of a multiple offer situation. Many thing can happen that the lender cannot see when you’re pre-qualified, this can cause problems for you when it comes time to receive funding. Most of us can’t buy a home with cash, nor would we want to lose that type of leverage with interest rates so low, unless it was the only way to buy the house. Knowing the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified is important.
After you understand your finances, you should begin searching homes for sale online and start building a frame of reference. You’ll want to make sure your search is geo-specific to the certain locations you’re interested in. Before you jump into homes, pick a city or neighborhoods to focus on. Your KRES agent will set up your custom search criteria and email you the listings that best fit your needs and wants.
Drive the neighborhoods, understand what it is you like and don’t like about each subdivision before you start asking to see properties. If you’re going to buy a house do not allow yourself to be distracted by a poor paint job or landscaping, these items can be fixed. Location is one thing buyers should never sacrifice! Once you’ve narrowed your search down to a few select areas you should start setting up appointments to see homes in person with your Real Estate Agent.
Viewing homes in person is a fun step in the process of buying real estate. At this point you should have a clear understanding of what you can afford, the King Real Estate Services agent you want to work with, as well as specific locations chosen.
If you don’t have at least one of these three things you aren’t ready to preview homes in person, even though you may think you are. If you are ready, your KRES agent will arrange the necessary appointments to set up the showings. Be sure to keep short detailed notes for the properties that peak your interest the most. This will help you when it comes time to chose the right one for you.
What has always surprised me is how quick some people are to make offers, and how slow others are. There is no right or wrong way to write an offer on a house, but once you find one you love don’t hesitate.
There are plenty of ways to back out of the deal with little to no harm done to the buyers, if any at all. You can offer zero to little money down to hold the house during your due diligence period. You can back out for any reason during this timeframe and you will lose the money you put down for due diligence. Don’t be surprised if your first offer is not accepted right away. Your KRES agent will help you with a winning offer strategy. Every situation is unique, from the sellers to the other potential buyers; therefore the offer strategy has to be too.
Your KRES agent will help schedule your dates and times. This includes closing, inspection, due diligence deadline, and many other dates that will be key stepping stones in the home buying process. There is a good chance your bank or lending institution will determine a lot of the dates involved as they will be the one’s having the home appraised and need a certain timeframe to close.
One date you are going to want to pay special attention to is the due diligence deadline. You’ll want to negotiate all repairs before the end of this period.
Then it’s time to schedule a final walk through for the property you’re buying.
It’s important to do a final walk through on the home to ensure that there is nothing that went unresolved or it could lead to potential problems after closing.
There may have been items the seller agreed to fix that remain unresolved. You’ll want to be sure these are fixed BEFORE you hand them a check or you will lose a lot of the leverage you had. Most sellers will welcome any last minute fixes to help close the deal, so definitely don’t wait until after closing.
Closing will require a little time for the buyers, so be prepared to spend an hour or so at closing (this is conservative) in case anything is to go wrong with the lending institution or any problems arise.
Most closings will not take very long for buyers, though we have seen some take a couple of hours.
Once you have closed the deal and signed all the paperwork necessary, the realtors and sellers will congratulate you and hand you the keys!
Now that you have the keys, you’re ready to move in to your new home! This step is sure to put a smile on your face.
Chances are the home buying process has sent you on a wild ride of emotions, and it was all for this moment! Now you can relax a little bit, allow the title company to record the deed, and get ready to write the next chapter of your life in your new home!