Home Buying Progress: Part 1
What to Expect, When You’re Buying
Before the Offer
Step 1: Select a Realtor
What’s the difference in a Realtor and an Agent?
A Realtor is held to higher ethical standards, has more training, education, and resources than an agent.
How do I choose a Realtor?
Make a list of questions to ask the Realtor. Call, text or email them and see how quickly they get back to you. You want to make sure that they respond within a timely manner. Statistics show that most people expect to receive a response within 7 minutes and some expect a response even faster. Make sure the realtor is listening to your needs and wants and not just trying to sell you something.
Step 2: Buyer Counseling
Buyer Broker Agreement
All agents/realtors represent the seller until a buyer broker agreement has been signed. This allows the realtor to represent you and look out for your best interests. Until this is signed, they can not say anything that would “harm” the seller.
Additional paperwork will be signed at this time to include your basic information, needs and wants in a property, The Realtor’s Role, and disclosures.
Step 3: Loan Pre-Approval
Many buyers think they don’t need a pre-approval or think that they can do that later in the process. A pre-approval does several things for you:
- Tells you exactly the amount that you can go up to. That doesn’t mean you have to buy a home up to that amount, but it tells you what the bank thinks you can afford. Now, if you’re not comfortable with that payment, you can always stay under that amount.
- Tell you what steps you can take to better your credit to get a lower interest rate.
- If you aren’t pre-approved, the mortgage loan officer can tell you exactly what steps to take to improve your credit so you can get pre-approved.
Most importantly, I pre-approval gets you into houses! We have an agreement to only take qualified buyers into homes. You might wonder why: Imagine this…you’re selling your home. Maybe you want to move, maybe you have to move for work, either way you have to go. You get a call from your agent telling you someone wants to see your home. You spend hours cleaning and getting your home ready for the showing. After the showing you find out the potential buyer loved your home, but can’t get pre-approved. Now you wasted time cleaning your home and the time you were actually away (usually an hour or two).
Step 4: Get a reoccurring search set up by your Realtor
You can look through homes together with your agent or you can get a search set up and look through them in the comfort of your own home. This search can notify you as soon as a new property comes on the market. By getting these notifications, it allows you to be one of the first to see the property so you can get there quickly if you are interested before there’s already an offer on the property.
Step 5: Go see the home
When you go see the home you should take pictures and notes, especially if you’re going to be seeing several homes. They will all start to run together and you may forget which has what. While this might be time consuming, it will be helpful later in the day or the next day.
Look through the home thoroughly. When you find one you’re really interested in I would make sure doors, drawers, and cabinets work properly. Turn on the water. Flush the toilets. Look for any cracks or any other imperfections. Most homes won’t be in perfect condition, so by doing a thorough inspection, you can determine any work that you may need to do after moving in or work that you may want to ask the seller to do. There’s also the inspection later in the process that I will go into.
Step 6: Write an offer/Contract
The agent will go over the offer/contract with you. This is where you decide if you’re going to offer full price or a lower price. This is also where you will decide your move in date. When you write an offer, a pre-approval must be sent with the contract/offer.
See part 2 for more of the process!
If you would like additional information, please reach out to me on social media or fill out the contact form!