When it comes time to purchase a home, whether it’s your first time or your tenth, there are several things to keep in mind in order for the buying experience to be a smooth one for buyer, seller, and real estate agent alike. Below are three tips on how to maximize the experience.
Crunch the Numbers
One of the most important factors in determining the success of a home buying experience is to start with very realistic expectations on what you can generally afford and how much cash on hand you need to have saved up. Many in the market to purchase a home think of that magic savings number as simply having money set aside for a down payment. It’s wise to also include in that number, additional dollars for potential closing costs and moving expenses.
Do Your Research
In addition to having clarity on your affordability numbers, it’s imperative that you begin the legwork that moves you from a prospective buyer just browsing home listings online, to a serious home buyer with financing approved and ready to make an offer. Steps like monitoring your credit through a free service like Experian or TransUnion, researching your mortgage options by learning about the different loan products (Conventional, FHA, USDA, or VA), comparing rates and fees from these various loan types, and finally getting official pre-approval from a lender will ensure that when the home you want to purchase comes across your radar, you are poised and ready to make an offer.
Choose Your Agent
By having a realistic budget in place and having your pre-approval ready to roll, finding an agent that aligns with your values is the final step in securing an ideal home buying experience. What should you look for in a professional real estate agent who will help you close the deal on your next home?
Successful agents offer you excellent communication. From email and text messages to personal phone calls, your agent should always be proactive in communicating your needs and expectations to other realtors like the seller’s agent, as well as keeping you informed of ongoing changes and next steps in the transaction process.
Successful agents are also excellent marketers and networkers. Being plugged into either a brokerage or working closely alongside other real estate pros will open up opportunities for the word to get out about potential upcoming listings that might fit your wishlist. Additionally, you want a realtor who will market you and your needs to his/her team. Having multiple sets of eyes and ears working for you opens up the potential and speed at which you may find your dream home.
Finally, successful agents showcase the utmost professionalism when dealing with you, other agents, title and closing experts, and their administrative staff. Professionalism has less to do with how many years a real estate professional has been helping clients to buy and sell homes and much more to do with how they communicate information, kindness, and efficiency. Make sure the buyer’s agent you chose meets these criteria and you’ll be on your way to making your next home a reality before you know it.
In today’s hot real estate market where homes are receiving multiple offers above asking price within minutes of hitting the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), it is more vital than ever to make sure you have savings dollars in hand, a tight grasp on your mortgage options and financing pre-approval, as well as the right agent for the job. The ideal buying experience is the one where you, the buyer, walk away with your dream home and a seamless transaction between the seller, closing, and unloading your moving truck.