According to a survey of more than 400 real estate professionals conducted by Market Leader in 2014 (“Top Home Buying Tips” survey), there are six home buyer tips that stand out above all the rest.
They named their list “The 6 Most Essential Homebuyer Tips.”
1. Get a home inspection to evaluate the safety, overall condition of your new home. Whether you are buying a resale home, a spec house, or building from scratch, home buyers should always hire a third party inspector to evaluate the property. Even if repairs aren’t made prior to closing, at least you’ll be aware of any potential problems before making the purchase.
2. Before you start house hunting, get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This is especially important in today’s real estate market. Most home buyers have become conditioned to being in a seller’s market and realize they need to be pre-approved for financing before a seller will take their offer seriously. Perhaps more important is for prospective home owners to have an understanding of their financial picture and what they can afford before spending time with an agent looking at homes.
3. Direct all communication with the seller through your real estate agent. This should go without saying, but buying and selling a home can be emotional for both parties. Professional agents are able to keep emotions out of the transaction and keep the ball rolling for both sides to accomplish their goal of a successful closing.
4. Get the seller to put every component of the deal and any verbal agreement into writing. Verbal and handshake agreements may work among friends, but if you want that subzero fridge or fancy chandelier to be there when you move, write it into the contract. Agents will often assist buyers with a separate bill of sale outside of the contract for personal property such as furniture or decorative curtains to remain with the house, either at no cost or for a specific sum paid outside of closing.
5. Include important contingencies, such as financing and property inspection your offer. In North Carolina, there is a section in the real estate contract that allows the buyer to disclose the specifics of the financing they intend to use when purchasing the home. The contract also states that there is a time period called the Due Diligence Period in which a seller may inspect the property, secure the proposed financing, request repairs, and more as a contingency of buying the home. Just remember that North Carolina is an “as is” state and sellers are not required to make any repairs requested by the buyer unless they agree to do so in writing.
6. Come up with a realistic wish list – what you an afford in terms of house size, neighborhood, amenities. Knowing what you want, what you need, and what you can afford at the beginning will save you and your agent time, tears, and energy and will make the home buying process more enjoyable and successful for all parties involved.
Bonus: Hire a Realtor®. Technology may be changing the way people shop for real estate, but there is no technology that is a substitute for the knowledge, guidance and expert advice provided by an experienced real estate professional.
You consult with professionals when it concerns your health and legal matters, so why wouldn’t you do the same when it comes to securing one of your most basic needs – shelter – and your most significant financial investment?
Consult with a local real estate advisor like the ones at Skyecroft Realty Group and hire an agent you trust to guide you through the process of buying or selling a home.