Face it. Sometimes buying a house is hard. Especially if you’re out there on your own.
But that’s why your professional Realtor — your buyer’s agent — is here. If you listen to your Realtor, you can get into a new home with the least amount of hassle possible at the best price possible.
All you need to do is follow a few simple rules and you’ll be getting those house keys before you know it.
1.) Choose Your Realtor — As a buyer, you deserve to have an agent who is looking out for your interests in a home purchase transaction. Did you know that the person whose name is on the sign outside of that cute house you just drove by is working for the seller — trying to get the best deal for the seller? Think about that. If the seller has an agent, shouldn’t you? This is a professional relationship built on mutual respect and loyalty between the buyer and the agent. You owe each other honesty and integrity to form a great team with one goal — to get you into a new home. If you’re looking for a new home here in (618) St. Louis’ Illinois suburbs, I hope you’ll choose me!
2.) Get Pre-Approved — There is no point in looking at homes before you know how much you can afford and in many areas you can’t even submit an offer without an attached pre-approval. Go to your lender. They will ask you a variety of questions and — if you’re qualified — will issue a pre-approval letter. Get a copy for yourself and a copy for your Realtor. Don’t know a lender? Ask your Realtor to give you two or three names of lenders who have successfully closed buyers for her this year. Your agent also can tell you if there are city and county grant programs that can help with your purchase.
3.) Make a List and Check it Twice — Decide in what part of the region you’d like to live, how many bedrooms you need and what other “must-haves” are on your list for the home you’d like to find. Make sure you understand the difference between “needs” and “wants.” You might “need” three bedrooms, but you might “want” four. Do you “need” a two-car garage, or do you “want” one. Do you want a large yard or a small one? It’s easiest to develop this list in a consultation with your Realtor.
4.) Now Look at Houses — I like to play “Bracketology” with my buyers. We’ll look at four or five possibilities and the buyer will choose the one that best fits his needs. When we go out again, he’ll choose the best from that lot. Then we’ll pit the two top candidates from each outing against each other to get a “winner.” We’ll repeat if necessary, continuing to compare and contrast the top houses from each round.
5.) Make an Offer — Your Realtor will research the home you’ve chosen to see what recent comparable sales tell you about its listing price. Is it overpriced based on recent sales? Is it already underpriced to elicit a quick sale? She also will check the seller’s disclosures to make sure there are no red flags about the property’s condition. She’ll prepare the offer to purchase and will contact the seller’s agent to begin negotiations.
6.) Get to Closing — Inspections, appraisal, loan commitments, contract timelines and deadlines are just a few of the many pitfalls that must be navigated between getting an accepted offer and achieving a successful closing. Your Realtor will understand what needs to be done to protect your interests and help you hold the deal together along the way.
It can be done, my friends. Just follow the steps in order and enjoy your new home. Questions? Call, text or e-mail me.