First-time home buyers need a basic overview of how home buying should be done as even seasoned home buyers may still lose their way in the complicated and excruciating home buying process.
The process actually varies from state to state, but if you strip away all the crap, there are actually only 5 basic steps to buying a home. Here are tips to help you successfully buy your first house according to About Home.
Hire an agent
There are a multitude of advantages to hiring a real estate agent, especially if you are doing this home buying process for the first time. The following are just some of the reasons why you should get the service of an agent:
- An agent can send you listings directly from MLS that fit your parameters, and you won’t waste time looking at active short contingent listings that are under contract.
- Agents often know of new listings coming up that are not yet on the market.
- You can waste the agent’s gas and not your own when you tour homes.
- Some agents will preview homes for you.
- An agent can generally spot overpriced listings and advise you accordingly.
Find a home to buy
According to the National Association of Realtors, buyers usually take 6 to 8 weeks to figure out where they want to live. But as soon as a neighborhood is selected, it would usually just take 2 or 3 home tours until a deal is closed.
Get a loan
Most sellers won’t even consider looking at an offer if the buyer cannot present a loan. While it is not always necessary to have a mortgage broker or bank in your back pocket, you will have a great advantage and you will be more attractive to the sellers if you get a loan preapproval in advance.
Negotiate the offer
Don’t compare sales price of a home to other homes you have seen. Sellers can ask for any price they want, but that also doesn’t mean that they could sell the property at that price. So negotiate wisely with the help of your agent. Your agent should be able present to you a reasonable price range as well as keep your expectations in check. A good buyer’s agent knows there is always more to an offer than its price, but price is paramount.
Do a home inspection
States vary when it comes to home inspection. In some, a home inspection is required before buyers can even make a purchase offer. In others, it is a contract contingency which means that the buyer has the right to cancel the contract if an issue arises as a result of the inspection.