Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Home Buying Process: Step 1

This is the first post of ten in a series about the home buying process.  The purpose of this series is to educate the reader on different steps in the process to ease any anxiety of the unknown.  Whether you are a first-time buyer or have purchased in the past, it is always advantageous to be up-to-date with the latest news and information to make your path to home ownership as smooth as possible.

STEP #1:  Initial Consultation

Many would say that the first step ought to be getting pre-approved for a loan.  That certainly isn't wrong, but an initial consultation with a real estate professional helps to get you on the right path and see that you are meeting with the right people.  Buyers always want to jump right into the home search (many have already been searching on their own on internet searches) but jumping right in can lead to major disappointment down the road when you see homes outside of your price range or without proper preparation.  In the initial consultation, you should expect the following...

          -  Get to know your agent:  You should feel comfortable with the agent that advises you.  A great topic to discuss initially is the type of communication you prefer.  Whether it is texting, emailing, calls, or social media, it is going to be crucial that you and your agent can be in constant communication throughout.
          -  Agent recommendations:  Agents aren't going to recommend lenders, title companies, home inspectors, or any other crucial vendor that they have experienced trouble with in the past.  These folks are crucial to the transaction and going with vendors that have shown the ability to perform gives you a better chance of getting to closing with the least amount of resistance.
          -  Discuss goals:  Communicate with your agent as to what you may be looking for in a home.  Without getting too specific, communicate the area, neighborhood, or type of home you are looking for.    Your agent will want to wait for a pre-approval for specifics (step #2) to confirm that they do not show you homes out of your price range, but giving them a general idea of what you might be looking for allows your agent to be prepared once you get pre-approved and are ready to search for homes.
          -  Overview of the process:  Ask your agent to walk you through the process of buying a home.  A brief tour of the process will help you be certain that the timing is right and buying a home is indeed what you want.  This should help you feel more comfortable as you progress through the steps and get closer to closing.

Again, it is human nature to want to jump right in and begin viewing homes.  But, finding the right agent and laying the proper foundation for your buying process will make the home viewing much more enjoyable in the long run.

Coming soon- Step 2:  Mortgage Pre-approval

Take care,
Scott Morrison

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