Buying A Home: My Approach
“An agent’s knowledge is a highly valuable thing that far exceeds the price of any property you buy”
For nearly 40 years, and through hundreds of transactions, I have learned some great lessons that I pass on to my clients. Here are the top 10 points I believe you should consider when starting the process to search for a home. If you follow these steps, we will dramatically reduce the the stress of buying, closing and moving into your new home.
1. Begin by estimating the date in which you hope to move into your new home. Keep in mind that from the time you make an offer until it closes is usually 30 – 45 days. After your closing, a Seller may ask for extra time (“occupancy”) in order to move out. You’ll need to budget that into your schedule.
2. Interview at least 2 mortgage lenders to compare rates and closing costs. It has taken me many years to separate the eagles from the turkeys, in this business! The 2 eagles I have found are on my website under Start your loan today.
3. After selecting a mortgage lender, your credit report will be pulled to evaluate your credit score and verification of your income, employment, and available funds. This process will determine if you will be eligible for a mortgage loan in the amount you want.
4. Get a mortgage pre-approval from your Lender. Sellers need this to evaluate your offer and decide whether to accept, reject, or to counter it.
5. Hire an agent who is strictly a “Buyer’s Representative.” This is a must. A Buyer’s Representative is a Real Estate Agent who represents only the interests of the buyer in a transaction. This person must be trustworthy and have excellent negotiating skills. Ideally, your agent should come from a full-service, independent agency, like St. Aubin Real Estate. An agent from an independent agency, like ours, won’t be bound by any off-site rules or interests
handed down to them by “the corporate office.”
6. When looking for a home, take the time to drive through the neighborhoods in which you are interested at different times of day to get an accurate portrayal of the neighborhood. For example; check out traffic loads at different times of day and night. If you see a neighbor, ask them questions about life in the neighborhood.
7. Have any home that you intend to purchase inspected by a licensed Home Inspector.
8. Shop around for homeowners insurance. You may not automatically get the best rate from the same company with whom you have your car insured. It pays to compare rates.
9. Carefully examine your closing documents with your Buyer’s Representative to make sure everything is as you agreed.
10. Prior to closing, do a final “walk through.” Be sure to change the utilities into your name to prevent any “shut-offs” of your utilities before occupancy.