Whether you are a first-time home buyer, or you’ve bought and sold several homes over your lifetime, there are 4 simple steps to take when you are ready to purchase:
- Get your financial house in order. Hopefully this one is something that you do all the time and not something that you are scrambling to do at the last minute. When you apply for a loan, your bank will look at your credit, your amount of debt, your income, and your assets to determine if the loan will be a good risk for them. Keeping an eye on each of these things (especially credit and debt) are essential. Not sure where to start? Here is an article that we originally published in August of 2017: Raising Your Credit Score
- Get Pre-Approved. Now that your financial house is in order, the next step is to choose a reputable lender and get your formal pre-qualification. This will likely require minimal effort on your part and you may not even have to provide any written documentation to get it – just 15 minutes on the phone may be all that it takes. If you’d like to put yourself in a superior negotiating position, you can ask your lender to help you do a “Full Pre-Approval.” This will typically involve you supplying pay stubs, tax returns, and other relevant financial information in addition to the credit check that you underwent for the pre-qualification. This information will be reviewed by the bank’s underwriter and if it looks good, they will issue the formal pre-approval or sometimes what’s called a “Conditional Approval.”
- Choose a Real Estate Professional. One of the most important steps to take is to choose a local real estate provider. This should be someone that is familiar with the local market and trends. You know that you’re working with a pro if they ask you to come into the office to do a needs analysis and learn about you before going out to see houses. This will give you the chance to educate your agent about what you want and gives them the information they need to help find you the perfect home. Don’t be afraid to sign a buyer’s agency agreement. That’s the agent’s way of knowing that you are serious and are committed to working with them. After all, they’re going to be spending a lot of time for your benefit and this ensures them that you are as committed to them as they are to you.
- Scout out neighborhoods. Even though you’ve hired a great agent who will be helping you to find the perfect house and guiding you through the process of purchasing it, there are some things that only you can do. For instance, we recommend that our clients drive the neighborhoods that they are considering at various times of the day, check out the local schools, crime statistics, and even visit the grocery stores and gyms that they will be using. You must make sure it’s a fit for you and you’re the only one that can make that decision.
Following these steps will help you to have the best experience possible. If you are even thinking about purchasing a home in the next year and would like to sit down for a free buyer’s consultation, give us a call at 614-726-6971 and we’ll be glad to help!
…Helping YOU Is What We’re Here To Do!