By: John Ternullo, REALTOR
The Ternullo Real Estate Team
RE/MAX Heritage. LLC
- GET PRE-APPROVED by a reputable lender, before previewing homes. Many REALTORS will not show properties to potential buyers without having a pre-approval letter. By getting a pre-approval beforehand, it allows you and your real estate agent to search homes for sale that both meet you criteria and your budget. In addition, if you were to search for homes for sale, and fell in love with a home, you would not be able to put in an offer (or at least an appealing one) since you can?t show the seller and/or listing agent you are qualified to buy the home.
- CHOOSE A GOOD LENDER - Of course you want to shop around for rates and fees, however that should not be your only criteria. Lending as changed so much just over the last few years, and many transactions have not made it to closing because of banking issues. A good lender should be proactive and diligent about the lending process to assure the smoothest transaction possible to alleviate the stress of losing the home you chose and potentially losing your deposit!
- HIRE A GOOD REALTOR - Plan to meet your REALTOR before previewing homes to discuss not only your search criteria, but to learn about the home buying process and time line. Ask about local market trends as well as strategies for getting your offer accepted at the best possible price. You should feel comfortable with your REALTOR to ask questions, and discuss concerns. Besides helping with your search, a good REALTOR will evaluate the market for you, strategize the offer, guide you through the process and stay on top of the details to solve inevitable problems that occur when buying a home.
- SET REALISTIC SEARCH CRITERIA - Make a list of ?must- haves?. Then make a list of ?would-likes? Consider if you are able to make any improvements. Enter your ?must-haves? in your search criteria online and see what comes up. Are the homes listed within your price range? If so, enter your ?would- likes?. As long as you have set realistic goals within your budget, it is common not to have all of your ?would-likes?. If you are willing to do some cosmetic work than you will have more flexibility in your search criteria. If you find your list doesn?t match the price points available for sale, than it?s time to revisit the search criteria.
- DRIVE AROUND the areas where you are considering buying a home. A home purchase is much more than the home itself - you?re buying into the location and neighborhood as well. What is the feel of the neighborhood? What are the other homes like? Well maintained? Similar style/size? What is the proximity to important areas like work? Family/ Friends? Shopping? Highways? Churches? Parks? Schools?, Etc.
- ASK FOR A MARKET ANALYSIS - Once you have found a home that you are ready to put an offer in, ask your agent for a market analysis on the property. They should provide you with a current market value of a home based on recent comparable sold homes, as well as local market trends. This information will not only help you make sure your offering and/or getting a fair price but will also provide insight on strategies on getting your offer accepted at the best possible price.
- BE PREPARED for some heartache. Buying real estate can be an emotional roller coaster! Are you ready to keep looking if your offer doesn?t get accepted? Are you ready to look at the home inspection report that has an endless list of problems? Are you all packed up and ready to move but the closing got delayed?
Do your homework and get mentally prepared. Buying a home is the largest financial decision many of us will make, so its normal if it feels a little scary to take the first step. Don?t be in a rush or make hasty decisions, but when you find something good ? go for it!