Buying Tips

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Buying a home, especially as a new home owner, can be a little overwhelming. It’s not like the movies. There are offers, counter-offers, inspections, negotiations

Hire an Agent
Mostly, an agent will save you time.

  • 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

  • Buying a home can be an overwhelming process and emotionally draining. Finding the right home is not always an easy task. I advise buyers to look at a maximum of 7 homes at a time because any more than that will make a buyer’s head spin.
  • Most buyers conduct a lot of research online before ever stepping foot in a home. Buyers spend an average of 6 to 8 weeks, according to the National Association of REALTORS, trying to figure out where they want to live. But once the neighborhood is selected, most buyers end up buying a home after 2 or 3 home tours.

Get a Loan

  • It’s not always necessary to have a mortgage broker or bank in your back pocket before buying a home, but it’s smarter to get loan preapproval in advance. This way you know for certain how much home to buy.
  • Popular first-time buyer loans are FHA loans because the minimum down payment requirement is much less than a conventional loan. However, if you are thinking about buying foreclosures, for example, conventional buyers tend to get priority with REO banks.
  • You can ask your agent for a referral to a mortgage broker or check with your own bank / credit union. Compare the types of mortgages available to you and your GFE.

Negotiate the Offer

  • Buyers sometimes make the mistake of comparing the sales price of a home to other homes they have seen. It’s a mistake to compare sales prices among homes for sale. That’s because sellers can ask any price they want. It doesn’t mean the home will sell at that price.
  • An agent can provide comparable sales and examine the pending sales. Comparable sales are similar type homes in the same condition and location that have sold within the past 3 months. Pending sales will become the comparable sales by the time your home closes.
  • You may need to pay over list price in a seller’s market, especially if many buyers are vying for the same inventory. Your agent can give you a reasonable price range and help to manage your expectations. An good buyer’s agent knows there is always more to an offer than its price, but price is paramount.

Do a Home Inspection

  • In some states, a home inspection is conducted before buyers make a purchase offer. In other states, a home inspection is a contract contingency. A contract contingency means a buyer has the right to cancel the contract. You might not want to be locked in to buying a home that has a faulty foundation, for example.
  • Sellers are generally not required to make repairs if problems are discovered during a home inspection. A home inspection is for the buyer’s edification. However, sometimes when a buyer gives a Request for Repair to the seller, rather than blow the deal, the seller will often agree to make a repair.