STEP 1 – FIND A REALTOR
Gone are the days when looking for a realtor falls in the middle of the buying guide of finding your perfect home. Changes in the Real Estate and Lending Industry made this possible that is why having the right Lender that is skilled at closing loans and a knowledgeable Real Estate Broker are a critical part in making your real estate purchase a success.
So what makes Listings.com agents different from the rest?
- Our agents are professionally trained to guide you with your search for a perfect home from start to finish.
- They can advise you through the different stages of acquiring your home such as explaining the legally required contracts and disclosure forms.
- They have access to all active property listings such as bank owned foreclosures that are soon to be available on the market and other off market sellers.
- They can represent you throughout the home buying process and act as an advocate for you.
They are absolutely FREE. As a Buyer you do not pay for the services of one of our agent.
Get to know your agents and check out our references before making a decision. Rely on your instinct when it comes to evaluating them. Listings.com agents are honest, loyal and most important of all, has your best interests in mind. So take a step and find out why Listings.com’s focus is all about YOU AND WHERE YOU WANT TO BE! Contact us to discuss WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!
STEP 2 – GET YOUR CREDIT RATING
Credit Score is an important number if you will be acquiring your home through loan or mortgage. Banks and credit card companies use this to determine if they will lend you money. It is also used to determine your interest rate on loans and credit cards. Credit Bureaus or Annual Credit Report Service provides with credit scores upon purchase.
A credit score usually ranges from 340 being the worse to 820 being the best score. If your score is lower than you expect it, you can request for a credit report to find out if there are any errors. You can improve your credit score by paying your bills in a timely manner and making sure of eliminating consumer debt.
STEP 3 – GET PRE-APPROVAL
Most people often neglect this very crucial step in buying a home. Prequalified is not the same as preapproved. In a hot market, you’re going to want to go the extra step and get preapproved for a home loan before you make an offer on a home.
Getting pre-approved sometimes gives you an edge over other buyers specially if the real estate property that you are looking to buy is a prime property. This means that having been pre-approved is a guarantee to the seller that you have funds and they are actually available.
Ask a lender to prepare a letter of prequalification which states that your initial financial and credit information has been reviewed. This will put you on top of the seller’s list when presenting an offer.
STEP 4 – THE HUNT
Many home buyers spend their Saturday afternoons going from one Open House to another in the hopes to stumble upon the perfect home! Buyers are more likely to be successful with their hunt if they go through the process in a more organized way. Listings.com Real Estate experts have some suggestions that will help anyone have an easier time with their home search, whether this is their first or fifth home purchase!
- Establish a realistic price range. Try to stay a below your maximum price range so that you will feel more comfortable financially. This will also help you enjoy the house much more in the future!
- Once you have a price range, find a neighborhood that you like. Check the neighborhood of your chosen property. Locate the schools and investigate the crime rate.
- Begin with a checklist. List all the absolutely non-negotiable items which your new home must contain. Include on your checklist items such as: condition of the property, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, garage size, laundry room, etc. Highlight those items that are absolute requirements and those that are “wishes” in another column. Make copies of this checklist.
- Don’t rely on remembering all the details of each house. Take notes, and lot’s of photos. Many of the homes may be eliminated right away because they lack one or more of you essential requirements. Of those that are left, choose the best and make arrangements to look at them with your Realtor. As you look at each property, check off everything on your checklist. Write comments at the bottom. In addition, take several photos of each property. After looking at 10 or more properties, you will have difficulty remembering the features of each one, if you do not have your photos, the checklist, and the MLS listing together.
- Take this information home with you to consider for a day or two. Go back and drive around the neighborhood during the day and at night. Does the neighborhood feel safe? Try driving a practice “commute” from the neighborhood. Is the traffic manageable? Once you have narrowed the properties down to the best two or three, go back and look at them again. By the time you have gone through this process, you will feel confident that you have made the best choice from the properties that were available when you went house hunting!
STEP 5 – MAKING AN OFFER
Once you have seen the properties and have considered everything on your checklist, double check on the property’s structure, features, deed restrictions and even how much renovation will be needed. Your agent’s information is crucial as they are experts and has more knowledge and experience placing your best interests in mind. Once you both feel that this is the best property for you then you’re ready to make an offer!
This stage involves strategy where your Real Estate agent must be involved. You don’t want to pay more than the property’s worth and at the same time you don’t want to push the seller away by giving low offers. Our agents can advise you on a realistic offer that will give you more chances of buying that property.
STEP 6 – INSPECTIONS
Some inspections are done when you want to short-list on the properties that is of interest to you. These inspections are more of a view from the top and sometimes can overlook the important details.
Inspection after an offer has been made is critical. It is usually the seller’s responsibility to conduct home inspections and fix any possible issues that result from a less than satisfactory inspection. Deals should not be closed until all home inspection has been thoroughly completed.
Final home inspection must include the following:
- Ceiling, Walls and Floors
- Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
- Plumbing and Electrical Systems
- Septic tanks and Sewer lines
- Hazardous materials concerns
- Common areas (for condominiums)
STEP 7 – CLOSING THE DEAL
The home buying process doesn’t end once you have negotiated an acceptable price. There are still a few more things to take care of before you even think of moving.
There will be an exchange of contract. Your Real Estate agent can help you make sure the contract of sale itemizes all fittings and inclusions that you think is deemed necessary to be incorporated in the purchase. The contract is signed after all inspections are completed and the exact payment is approved in writing. Once this is signed it cannot be changed or altered. Provided all parties agree, there is no reason why changes cannot be made.
If you have arranged for a provisional finance, you will need to contact your lender and tell them of the offer. They will then arrange for a valuation of the property to know if this meets their requirements. If all requirements have been met they will process the loan and arrange for the amount to be available by settlement.
Settlement is the completion of the property transaction wherein this is the day you will finalise all payments and assume possession of the property.