Buying a Home
Have a real estate professional guide you through the entire purchasing process. This person's responsibility is to help you negotiate with buyers as well as help you prepare your home for sale, market it locally or nationally and guide you through the complex paperwork of escrow and closing. Talk to more than one Realtor to determine his or her experience and willingness to work with you in order to find the perfect home. Do your own research as well. You can travel through your favorite areas and neighborhoods, read real estate sales publications, search the Internet, and talk to others who may know of properties that may fit your requirements.
Shop for the best mortgage rates and terms and then get prequalified for a mortgage loan. This will enable you to know how much you can afford to spend as well as to move quickly when you find the right home. In addition, the seller will be glad to know that you are a serious buyer and can afford the property.
Provide your Realtor with a list of features and amenities that you wish to be included with the home. It is equally as important to define those features that you do not want. This will save some time and gives the Realtor the ability to search more effectively for properties that best meet your specific desires and needs.
When viewing or visiting properties it's always a good idea to keep notes on each property. This is a great way to list desirable features as well as any drawbacks, etc. Upon reviewing your "favorites" list you can then determine which properties may be of further interest to you.
A Realtor can offer some pointers on certain features that may or may not affect the home's future value as well as resale value. For instance, depending on the home's location, a pool or other features may actually detract from a home's value making it more difficult to sell.
Once you locate the home of your dreams, it's time to get down to the business of making an offer. It is imperative that both parties remain calm and respectful of each other since the first or even second offer may not always be accepted by the seller. There is always a possibility that the seller will make a counteroffer. Trust your Realtor to take you through this negotiation process in order to reach an acceptable agreement between both parties.
Now that an offer has been accepted it's time to order a home inspection. Your Realtor can assist you in finding a professional, trustworthy inspector. Often times there are certain repairs that need to be made such as leaky plumbing or roof, cracks in foundations, termites or other insect infestations, etc. Cost of repairs can be negotiated with the seller as part of the purchase agreement. Once the repairs have been made you will have a chance to "walk through" the home to make sure everything has been completed on the inspector's report.
Your Realtor will help you complete the closing process before the closing date. There will be a check list of items that will include all monetary deposits and necessary paperwork including mortgage, title, homeowner's insurance as well as any paperwork required by local or state governments.
It's time to enjoy your new home! Some basic reminders would be to make sure you have the utilities turned on before your move and to notify the local post office of your change of address. Congratulations on your purchase and welcome home!