Buying a home usually represents your single biggest investment – and debt.
The home buying process is one of the most exciting, and frequently stressful, experiences you’ll ever go through. This holds true whether you’ve bought many homes or you’re looking to buy your first, whether you’re in the market for a new primary residence, an investment property, or that perfect vacation getaway.
Today’s real estate market can offer more opportunities, yet can be filled with more risks than ever before. There is a multitude of factors to consider and decisions to make. When buying, it’s crucial to have all the available resources necessary to make a well-informed decision, as well as the time required to make use of those resources. It’s important to enlist the help of a trusted real estate professional who will be able to provide expert guidance at each step of the buying process.
Finding and purchasing a home includes the following steps, which we’ll examine in more detail throughout the guide:1) Define your goals, research your options, make your plans
When choosing a real estate professional to guide you through the property search, financing, negotiation, and transaction processes, you should consider their local market knowledge, experience, and track record.
The benefits of pre-approval include:
• You’ll know what you are eligible to borrow and be able to plan accordingly
• As a qualified, motivated buyer you’ll be taken more seriously when you make an offer
• Lenders can tell you if you qualify for special programs that will help you afford a better home (particularly if you’re a first-time buyer).
Real estate financing is available from many sources, and an experienced real estate professional will be able to suggest lenders with a history of offering excellent mortgage products and services.
That said, here are a few recent facts about the search process that might put your experience in perspective:
• 92% of buyers use the internet or mobile apps to search for homes.
• The typical buyer searches for 12 weeks and views 12 homes.
• 97% of buyers view real estate agents as important in the home search process.
There are many benefits to starting the search process on a real estate professional’s website, like the one you’re on now. You can view many homes and their details, access neighborhood info, and read helpful blog posts.
However, it’s also important to view homes in person. While the property details may seem similar online, homes can be very different in terms of layout, design, workmanship and other aspects. Ideally, you should view homes with the help of an experienced real estate professional who’ll notice things you might miss, provide expert analysis, and act as an impartial sounding board.
You should carefully review these clauses with your real estate professional to be sure that they accurately express your intended offer. In addition to drawing up the contract, your real estate professional will be happy to address all of your questions about the offer process.*
Once you’ve written the offer, your real estate professional will present it to the seller and/or the seller’s representative. At that point, the process may vary somewhat.
Generally speaking, the seller can accept your offer, reject it, or counter it to initiate the negotiation process.
Successive counter-offers, with deadlines for responding and meeting conditions, may be exchanged between you and the seller until a mutual pending agreement is reached or the negotiations breakdown.
Negotiations involve many factors relating to different market conditions, the home itself, and the sellers.
As the saying goes, ‘let the buyer beware’. Unfortunately, too many buyers suffer negative consequences from not fully understanding their financing decisions. Thus, it’s crucial for you to work with people you trust. In this regard, a good real estate professional can become a true friend for life.