There’s nothing quite like browsing houses for sale in search of your dream home. Before you set your sights on beginning your search, you may want to take some time to read a bit about the home buying process. While this is an exciting time for you, it can become overwhelming and frustrating without the right information.
Step 1 – Savings & Credit Importance
The Fair Credit Reporting Act allows you to request a copy of your credit report for free each year. This is the perfect time to make use of that report. A home mortgage lender will be checking your credit score and report to see if you are loan worthy. It’s a good idea to stay a step ahead and know what is to be found.
Take care of any negative items you discover as quickly as possible. Don’t let a couple of unpaid accounts stand in the way of your dream home. Look closely for any errors on your report. If you do find one, contact the reporting agency to have the matter addressed immediately. Keep in mind that there are three major credit agencies. It’s a good idea to check all three.
You’ll need enough money in your savings to cover the down payment, closing costs, and any additional fees that arise during the home buying process. Plan to have approximately 20 percent of your target price for the down payment and 2-5 perfect for the closing costs. It’s always a good idea to have more money saved than you expect to need.
Step 2 – Real Estate Agent
You wouldn’t purchase an expensive piece of jewelry without consulting a professional jeweler. Why would you consider making one of the biggest investments in your life without a real estate professional? They have the experience and the knowledge you need to navigate the buying process without unnecessary hassles and delays.
Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions when interviewing a real estate agent. Ask about their methods of communication. If you like to be updated once a week, having a real estate agent who doesn’t return calls isn’t going to make for a pleasant transaction. You want an agent who listens to your needs, cares about your concerns, and has strong negotiation skills.
Step 3 – Mortgage Loan Pre-Approval
Start off on the right foot by getting pre-approved for a home mortgage loan. You don’t want to waste time looking at houses you can’t afford. That can be frustrating and heartbreaking. A pre-approval will give you the numbers you need to search in the right direction.
There is another benefit to having a pre-approval letter from your lender. If your offer hits the table at the same time another buyer as set sights on the same house, your pre-approval letter could turn the tides in your favor. That pre-approval shows the seller that you are serious about your offer and that you have the means to follow through with the purchase.
Step 4 – Home Search
Checking MLS Listings online can be a huge time saver when it comes to searching for homes with specific criteria. You can search by number of bedrooms, price ranges, and neighborhoods. You can even search for something as specific as school zones in most MLS searches.
Your real estate agent is the best resource for knowing which homes are the best choices for you. They have the experience to know which options are worth your time. In fact, they often know about homes as soon as they hit the market.
Step 5 – The Offer
Once you’ve found a home within your price range that meets your criteria, it’s time to make an offer. Your real estate agent will know the best way to approach this part of the process. They can advise you on how to make the strongest offer. You want one that will show your serious and keep the eye of the seller.
In the event of multiple offers being placed on the same house, don’t panic. This is where your real estate agent will shine with their negotiation skills. You’ll need to know where you are willing to compromise, but don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel uncomfortable.
Step 6 – Closing
There will be inspections and an appraisal, but once your offer is accepted, you are on your way to closing. You’ll make your down payment, pay closing costs, and complete paperwork. You’ll be handed the keys on closing day, and you’ll be on your way to enjoying life in your new house.
The best source for information about the local area is your real estate agent. Give the Sweeter Real Estate Group a call at 714-514-5004 to ask questions, discuss selling your Orange County house, or to tour available homes for sale.