Buying a home is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make.
It can also be one of the most stressful and overwhelming experiences in your life. There are so many things to consider, like how much money you have for a down payment, what type of loan you want, whether or not you need an agent to help with the process…the list goes on!
We’ve created this blog post to guide you through every step of buying a house- from getting pre-approved for a loan before looking at homes all the way up to negotiating with sellers. Our goal is that by reading this article, your home buying experience will be as easy as possible!
If you want access to my personalized Buying Guide, just drop “HITME” below!
Hi! I’m Alex I help homeowners and future homeowners achieve their real estate goals so they can build the foundation for success without the unnecessary burdens incurred by overspending. We do this by utiliting technology to leverage our market resources and get you the best deal with transparency and integrity.
Buying a home can be an exciting yet stressful experience. The following tips will help to make your home buying experience as easy as possible.
Get pre-approved for a loan before even looking for a house!
Get pre-approved for a loan before even looking for a house! Pre-approval is the process of applying for a loan in advance. This gives you lots of time to find the right home without worrying about financing.
When buying a home, it’s important to be prepared for anything. That’s why it’s important to get pre-approved for a loan before you even start looking for a house. This will give you plenty of time to find the right home without having to worry about financing.
The pre-approval process is very simple. You just need to provide your lender with some basic information, such as your income and credit score. This will help them determine how much money they are willing to lend you. Once you are pre-approved, you will be able to shop for a home with confidence, knowing that you have already been approved for a loan.
First time home buyer programs can be a great way to purchase your first home. These programs offer a variety of benefits, such as low interest rates and down payment assistance.
One of the best things about first time home buyer programs is that they are available in all 50 states. This means that no matter where you live, you should be able to find a program that meets your needs. This can also be a great way to get into your first home without breaking the bank.
In addition to low interest rates and down payment assistance, many first time home buyer programs offer other benefits, such as help with closing costs and mortgage insurance. The pre-approval process can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, so it’s important that you start this process as soon as possible.
Find a real estate agent that will work with your schedule and timeline.
Many people think that they have to work with a real estate agent who is pushy and always available. However, this is not the case. You can find a real estate agent who will work with your schedule and timeline. This means that you can take your time in finding the right home without feeling rushed.
A little tale about my previous experience.
We were told by our real estate agent that she was one of the best. We listened to her advice and trusted her judgement. We were eager for her to find us the perfect home, but after weeks of searching she became impatient with us. She would call us back quickly telling us that “this house is right up your alley”. It wasn’t until we found the perfect home on our own that she finally gave up on pursuing it. That was when I decided that I needed to become a Realtor®.
I didn’t like being told what I would like, or what was perfect for me, all I wanted to do was show her the properties I was interested in, get information and go see the house. I didn’t want to be forced into purchasing just any house, I wanted to buy the right house. You know, one that you just know you’re home when you walk in.
Be flexible on what type of home you’re looking for so you don’t overspend on features that don’t matter to you.
When you’re looking for your first home, it’s important to be flexible on what type of home you’re looking for. This will help you stay within your budget and avoid overspending on features that don’t matter to you.
For example, if you’re not interested in a large home, don’t spend your money on a home with a lot of extra space. Instead, focus on homes that are the right size for your needs. Likewise, if you’re not interested in a fixer-upper, don’t spend your money on a home that needs a lot of work. Instead, focus on homes that are ready to move into. This will help you stay within your budget and find a home that meets your needs.
Have your parents or friends come with you when meeting the sellers, they can be great bargaining chips when purchasing your home!
When looking for your first home, it’s important that you come prepared. This means that you should come to the appointment with information about the type of loan you want and your down payment amount. It also means that you should have a list of questions for the seller. These topics could include transportation routes, crime rates, schools and others.
The sellers can be great bargaining chips! Bring your parents or friends with you on the day of the appointment to show how serious this is for you. They can also help answer those tough questions from the sellers.
Your real estate agent can also be a buffer between you and the seller. This means that they can help answer any questions that you have and help negotiate a price that works for both parties. Your agent will be able to pick up on the information the seller is providing, either themselves, or through their agent, and combine that with knowledge of the contract process, and the home buying process as a whole to help guide you in a negotiation strategy that benefits both you and the seller.
It is important to make the seller feel like you want their house. Why? It can give you a better chance of getting it! One way to do this is by asking them questions about why they chose their home and what they like best about it. This will also allow you to find out if there are any unresolved problems that may be occurring in the home. After showing interest, continue to ask if there are other houses that may work for you.
Another thing to keep in mind is that sellers don’t always know what sells and what doesn’t. If the first house you see isn’t up your alley, don’t worry: many more exist and they will all be different from one another. In a world filled with statistics and market data, its very easy to get lost in the numbers and forget to understand that aesthetics and function create a habitable space. Because of this sellers may not understand where you are coming from.
I always tell my clients that the house may be perfect, but the seller might not, and in that case, we just continue looking. It doesn’t matter whether we are in a Buyer’s Market or a Seller’s Market, we are always in a Real Estate Market, and then a seller wants to sell, they really want to get rid of their home in exchange for money. What they have is something that you like, but may not necessarily be what you want, or even need. However, the money that the lender is willing to lend you, or the cash in your account is what they want or need. So at the end of the day, a buyer is selling money in exchange for a home, and a seller is selling a home in exchange for money.
Your Realtor® should be able to use their knowledge of the current market conditions, compared with the most recent sales, along with your interest in purchasing, and your financial ability to help guide you to your dream home. Now, what that looks like will always live inside you, so don’t keep it a secret from your agent. Discuss with them what “Home” means to you, and how you picture yourself living and enjoying the home. Some of my clients tell me the funniest things, and some really intimate things that they like to do at home. For me, it translates to needs, whether its privacy, space, or even amenities. Often times, I’m the one pointing out the things the property does not have in an effort to help them better understand their needs vs. wants vs. must haves.
Don’t forget to have fun!
Some of my favorite clients are the ones who come in with a clear idea of what they are looking for and aren’t afraid to share it with me. They know what their budget is, and what their priorities are. It makes my job easier when I can start from square one and not have to guess what they may or may not like.
Other clients come in with a more open mind, and that’s okay too! I enjoy looking at houses with them, whether we find something that day or not. The most important thing is that they are willing to look, and aren’t just browsing through the listings for their own entertainment.
Having fun with the process will always make it easier to follow the process. Sure, there are a lot of really scary situations, but when you have open communication, trust that everyone knows what they’re doing, and provides you with all the information you need at that moment to make the decision that best fits your needs, the scary situations are only a small speed bump.
Let me tell you a story about one transaction that got really scary, and how we worked together to solve the issues, come to agreements/compromises and eventually persevere through what could have been a horrible transaction.
I was the listing agent on a home. The seller was an amazing person, and the buyers were equally amazing. They came to me without an agent, and even though I don’t like representing one party and not being able to provide advice to the other, they were confident that this was the house for them, so I provided them all the information I had as quickly as I could. The seller, for reasons of their own, whether it was because they were afraid that we would not sell the house, or they were just so focused in the situation, or whatever it was, failed to inform me that the house was going into foreclosure.
When I was presented with this situation, we quickly got in contact with the lender and were able to convince them to hold off on foreclosinig until we were able to close on the house. So they prepared a list of the fees involved. That was the legal expenses, the pay off for the loan and any late payments that were owed to the lender. We got that information to the escrow officer who was diligent in processing. However, we also found out that the property was included in a bankruptcy situation and the seller had divorced their spouse, so additional documents needed to be provided to the buyers, the title company, the lenders, and the attorneys. It was so difficult to navigate this situation because no one knew about it before.
The seller and I had a meeting, we put everything on the table, no matter how ugly it might have been. I received their permission to contact their attorneys, lenders, and anyone else I needed to. I discussed with them what was going on, what had happened, and what had been agreed upon by the buyer and seller. Once we understood where everyone was in their processes, I was able to clearly discuss with the buyer the situation and present them with options available to them, and simply asked how they would like to proceed. They asked for a couple of days to digest the information, and I gave them the contact information to the escrow officer, who was available to answer any of their questions.
After a couple of days the buyers decided that they liked the house enough, and it was in a condition that was acceptable for them, and they weren’t in any absolute hurry to move, so they agreed to extend the contract with the same terms and move forward. What should have been a 30 day closing ended up turning into a 90 day contract period. It was stressful for me, since I was the one doing all the facilitating, however, the buyer and seller both continued to work out the various hurdles that came down the pike, and it ended up with a good outcome for all parties.
I was a new agent at this time, and I had to rely on the advice of my broker a lot, and even more on the escrow officer, who dealt with this situation a lot. It meant that the buyer’s lender was involved and there were some very hairy situations, but in the end, communication was all that was needed to smooth out what could have been an absolute horror.
To this day I still communicate with the buyer and the seller, and they are both very happy with the outcome. Having fun with any transaction like this is essential to a smooth transaction. If you experience any difficulties, definitely speak with your agent and discuss with them your apprehensions. There’s a saying, “People will never remember what you did for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” The same goes for purchasing anything. If the experience is bad, then those bad feelings will carry on to whatever you purchas, whether its a house, a car, a pair of shoes, a purse. Whatever it is, it’ll always be less than. So, why stress the small stuff?
Buying a house can be extremely stressful for first-time buyers as there are many aspects to consider. In this article, we’ve shared five tips that will help you make your home buying experience an easy one. We recommend getting preapproved before even looking at homes and finding a real estate agent who is flexible with your schedule and timeline. Once you find the right property, don’t forget to have fun!
I’m excited to invite you to my next discussion about the home buying process. I’ll be talking about how you can make the most out of your property tours, and share some tips on how to get started with this exciting journey.
If you want to get a copy of my home buying or my home selling guides, just drop a line with the word “HITME”