Everyone dreams of owning their own home, it’s definitely the wave! Realtor Richard Spears has 5 tips on how this could become your reality.
Selecting a Realtor
The first step for any buyer in a real estate transaction should always be finding a trusted Realtor. In all Real Estate transactions, sellers pay commissions, so as a buyer having a professional realtor at your side to assist and aid you through the tedious task of buying a home is absolutely FREE! It is very important to have someone working on your behalf and supporting your best interest throughout the transaction, to make sure you understand all of the legalities as well as all of the things that can go wrong when purchasing a home.
After completing your due diligence and selecting a great realtor, all decision makers should be prepared to meet with that realtor for a one on one consultation. A buyer’s consult is vital, it gives you the buyer an opportunity to meet with and interview the prospective realtor. This time is allocated for the buyer to make certain that the prospective realtor is capable of accommodating all of their needs while making sure the transaction is successful. Before a consult, I advise you as a buyer to make a list of questions and concerns just in case something is not covered by the prospective realtor. The buyer’s consultation will also serve as an opportunity for the prospective realtor to analyze your needs and explain the entire process of buying a home so that you can walk away with a clear understanding as to what is next. As a buyer, you should be prepared to give your realtor a clear understanding of your needs, concerns, finances, and timeline; by doing this your realtor will know exactly how to direct you moving forward based off of the information you have provided. Keep in mind that no two situations are the same therefore this is why the buyer consultation is vital in all real estate transactions.
Obtaining Pre-Approval & Selecting a Home
Obtaining financial pre-approval may be one of the most important steps of the home buying process. During this process, you will be in contact with a professional mortgage lender and will receive a clear understanding of what home buyer programs may be available to you. The lender will explain what funds you will need to purchase your home as well as explain the difference between closing cost and down payments, which are not the same and in some cases with certain programs or loans a down payment may not be required. When meeting with a mortgage professional it is important to give them a clear understanding of your finances and what monthly payment is most comfortable for you. This will help the lender let you know what price range will fit your personal budget. I always advise taking this step before selecting or viewing homes for several reasons such as; some homes may not qualify for certain programs that the buyer may want to take advantage of, most sellers will not accept an offer without a pre-approval letter which can cause the buyer to lose the opportunity to buy their dream home, and most importantly you will have a clear understanding of what price range to search for based off of your personal budget.
Inspections & Appraisals
Inspections and Appraisals are different but equally important. Inspection are not required to purchase your home but I would advise anyone buying a home to have that home inspected, even if it is new construction. A trusted licensed inspector will go through and inspect the entire home starting with the exterior which is very important because foundation and roof work can be very expensive if there’s an issue. After inspecting the exterior, the inspector will perform a detailed inspection of the plumbing, electrical, heating, AC, and all cosmetic materials in the interior of the home. Once an inspection is completed the inspector will provide you as a buyer and your realtor with a complete report of all issues found during the inspection. After receiving this report your realtor will now have the ability to negotiate repairs on the buyers behalf to keep the buyer from out-of-packet repairs that they may not have been aware of without a proper inspection.
Appraisals are equally important as well because they keep the buyer from over paying for a property. When an appraisal is conducted the appraiser will also go out and inspect the condition of the home and compare it to other similar homes that have recently sold in the area to give an estimated value of that home. If for some reason the appraisal is valued less than what you may have offered to purchase the home, you will now have the opportunity to negotiate and have the purchase price lowered based on the appraisal. It is also great to keep in mind that banks and lending institutions will not lend a buyer more money than what a home is worth.
Final Walk Through & Closing
Now that you have found your dream home and all of the repairs have been negotiated here comes the fun part. A few days before closing and after all repairs have been made is an opportunity for you the buyer along with your realtor to walk through the home one last time before closing, to verify that all repairs have been made, to assure anything that may have been negotiated to remain in the home, such as appliances, and also to make sure the home has not been damaged. Once this final inspection has been completed and you have received your “Clear to Close,” you will receive a closing disclosure. In this disclosure, you will gain a clear understanding as to where all funds are going, as well as what funds if any you will need in order to close. Lastly, If you have any closing cost be prepared to bring those funds in the form of a cashier’s check along with your ID, and if I am your realtor of choice you will be “Closing with Me and my Big Red Key”
Want to learn more about Richard Spears? Check out his story of how he built his business on his episode of HOMEGROWN here.