For First Time Buyers
Congratulations, you decided to buy your first home! This is an exciting time, but it can get overwhelming if you let the little details get you down. Don’t let that happen. Allow yourself to enjoy this experience since most people don’t get to buy new homes every day.
Step One: Visit a Lender
First you’ll need to figure out how much you can afford to spend on a new home. Your first appointment should be with a mortgage lender. Your lender will help you decide the right price range of homes based on your income and debt. Get a written preapproval – your REALTOR® will need this on file to prepare an offer when you find a home.
Step Two: Determine Your Needs and Wants
Figure out what to look for based on what you need and what you want. Make a list of things you must have such as 3 bedrooms, the location (city or school district), etc. Then make another list of things you want – large yard, finished basement, fireplace, etc. Remember that finding the perfect home is nearly impossible. The idea is to find a home that comes close to meeting your requirements, then you can make it your own. Also, the more things on your ‘Needs’ list, the fewer choices you will have. Are you sure a ‘Need’ isn’t just a ‘Want’ in disguise?
Step Three: Call Me!
I can search the MLS based on your wants/needs list and locate properties that might work for you. I can also set up automatic searches to notify you daily or weekly of any new listings that come on the market meeting your requirements.
Step Four: Let’s Go Shopping!
Choose a handful of homes for us to view together. While it’s fun to see lots of different homes, sometimes too many choices can get overwhelming. Making a decision can be tough when you have too many choices. Take notes, sketch floor plans, and take pictures (if the homeowner will allow it).
Step Five: Make a Choice
Hopefully, you can get your options narrowed down to 1-3 top contenders. Feel free to request a second showing to be sure you’re on track. If you’re considering making an offer I will prepare a Comparative Market Analysis to determine a fair offer price based on the selling prices of similar homes in the market, and obtain any seller disclosures for your review.
Step Six: Make an Offer
I’ll help you prepare an offer to purchase and help you through the negotiating phase. As your buyer agent, I’ll be working in your best interest to be sure you get the house you want at an acceptable price and will work with you to make sure all the important details are handled.
Step Seven: Closing
Finally – you’re closing on your first house. There will be a few papers to sign… Okay, I’m joking here – there will be a LOT of papers to sign. But, it goes quickly and when it’s done you get the keys to your own home!
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or have done this many times before, I always provide my clients with the same personal level of service. Yes, it may be frustrating at times – I usually get at least one phone call from an anxious buyer during each transaction – but nothing worth having is ever easy. But, I’ll try to make it go as smoothly as possible.