Buying a home can be emotionally and physically draining, but selling a home can be even worse. In fact, many sellers are so attached to their homes that they want to hand-pick the people who will live in it next. Some of them even do this without realizing it.
With this in mind, you can imagine how simply making the best offer may not always land you the home of your dreams. Instead, you’ll want to use the following tips to be the buyer who stands out without annoying the seller.
Prequalify for your loan
One of the easiest ways to outshine other buyers and grab the seller’s attention is to come prepared. A seller would typically rather have cash in hand than wait for another buyer to come up with funding.
The prequalification process is sometimes lengthy, so it’s best to get started the second you start thinking about buying a house. This usually requires several steps. First, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports yourself so that you have a good idea of where you stand before you go in. At this point, many people wish to shop around for the best rates. You can conduct an online comparison of investment loans if you plan on renting out the house, or traditional mortgages if you plan on being the sole occupant.
Next, you’ll need to talk to your banker who will verify all of your financial information. This usually includes income, assets, and personal identification. Within 30 days, your banker should be able to give you your loan pre-approval amount along with your specific terms. At this point, it will be up to you to decide whether or not you can afford the interest rate and payments. Then, you can start shopping for your dream home.
Find the right real estate agent
Working with the right realtor can make all the difference in your home-buying process. The reason this is not always an easy task is because realtors technically work for the sellers. In other words, the sellers are the ones paying their commissions when the house sales. So, as you can imagine, real estate agents are motivated to get top dollar for their listings. This doesn’t mean you won’t find an agent you like. It just means you need to remember that they’re not necessarily trying to snag you the best deal.
Talk to more than one real estate agent and find someone who seems to listen to what you want. They’ll probably take notes during your conversation and may even have some properties to show you right away. If these properties match up with your wish list, your realtor is probably taking your needs into consideration.
Additionally, get recommendations and references. This is fairly easy to do if you live in a small community, but even if it’s a large city, you can probably find information online. This goes for the firm the agent works for, as well. Don’t settle for a pushy real estate agent who is only concerned about their commission check.
Get input from family and friends
You don’t have to base your decision on others’ opinions, but it doesn’t hurt to get their feedback. This is especially true if you’re buying a home by yourself. The whole process can become extremely overwhelming and you’re likely to overlook some things you might otherwise catch.
The best way to do this is to either take one or two trusted friends or family members along with you while house-hunting. You’ll also want to take lots of pictures. Don’t rely solely on the photos that sellers post online. Chances are, such photos were taken by professionals who may have adjusted the lighting in hopes that they make the sell. Take photos of every detail that catches your eye, including flaws and things that need to be repaired. Then, be sure to store them on a private photo sharing app so that the people you know can see them.
Purchasing the house of your dreams may seem difficult, but it definitely isn’t impossible. Plan ahead, get your finances right, and consult with professionals, friends, and family. By doing so, you’ll increase your chances of landing the perfect home in no time.