Home buying doesn't have to be scary if you know the facts! Wouldn't it be great if buying a home was as simple as a Monopoly game? But buying a home is a bit more complicated, especially if you are a first time buyer. Buying in the current housing market can be tricky, as there is fierce competition among other buyers, especially in the entry level priced homes. If you are a serious buyer, it is imperative that you work with an experienced Realtor®, and follow their lead. Listed below are helpful tips to guide you through the home buying process.
Hire a Realtor®:
The first step in the home-buying process is to find a real estate agent that you feel comfortable working with on what will likely be the largest financial decision of your life! Choose a Realtor® who has experience in dealing with multiple offers, has a proven track record and is a good communicator.
Find a Mortgage Lender:
Once you've chosen a real estate agent you trust, ask him or her to recommend a few mortgage lenders. Your Realtor® has experience working with good mortgage lenders and can give you a few recommendations. Interview a few lenders and select someone that’s competitive on rates, communicative, and available on weekends.
Get Your Credit in Order:
Once you find a good mortgage lender, ask them for suggestions on how you can improve any credit score issues you may be facing. Whether it’s a small or large, they will provide helpful suggestions as to how to repair your credit so you can be approved for your loan. Make sure to follow all of their instructions!
Become Pre-Approved for Your Mortgage:
In order to obtain a pre-approval letter, you’ll need to complete your lender's loan application. The lender will look closely at your credit report, employment and residential history, income, debt, and down payment source. This information helps them determine which loan programs you qualify for, the maximum amount you can borrow and the interest rates you will be offered. Also, having a pre-approval letter when you are ready to submit an offer to a seller will strengthen your offer. This is especially important in the competitive home buying market.
For detailed information about obtaining a mortgage pre-approval, see: "Mortgage Tips: Pre-Qualified vs. Pre-Approved - What's the Difference?"
Create a List of "Musts" and "Wants":
Once you know what you can afford, talk with your real estate agent about your ideal home. Come up with a few “musts,” as well as "wants" that you’d be willing to compromise on.
Start Your Search:
Once your real estate agent receives your "musts" and "wants" lists and reviews your Mortgage Pre-Approval status, they can set up your custom MLS search which automatically emails you listings that meet your search criteria. Go through these listings carefully and let your agent know which properties you'd like to tour. When touring homes, keep notes of the negative and positive aspects of each property. After you narrow it down to one or two properties, schedule a second showing of these properties if time allows.
Make an Offer:
In a sellers' market, homes rarely stay on the market long. Buyers should view new listings immediately and be prepared to submit offers quickly! Submit your highest and best offer with limited contingencies: Don’t try to “make a deal” in this competitive market. Work with one of Acuity Group's experienced Home Buyer Agents and listen to their advice. We'll give you the extra advantage needed to win in a competitive housing market! Your offer will include earnest money that will apply toward your down payment on the home and may include contingencies such as home inspection. Expect some negotiation, and remain calm.
Attend the Home Inspection:
To make sure you’re not buying a money pit, you need a professional home inspection before you commit. During an inspection, the inspector thoroughly evaluates the physical structure of the home as well as critical internal systems. You should make sure the examination includes the following: electrical & plumbing systems, heating & cooling system, walls, ceilings and flooring, windows & doors, roofing, foundation, basement, attic, insulation, and upon your request, they can also inspect for pests, mold or radon gas. A home inspection won’t turn up flaws in areas that are below ground or otherwise inaccessible to the inspector, like wells and septic tanks. To identify those types of problems, you’re going to need additional inspections that your real estate agent will recommend to you.
Attend the Closing:
Once all of the above steps are completed, you’ll be on your way to the closing table. This is when the deed to the home is transferred from the seller to the buyer. Every transaction varies, but plan to sign a ton of paperwork. An settlement agent will guide you through the process. Then you’ll officially be a homeowner and receive the keys to your new home. Congrats!
Ready to Buy a Home? Click HERE to Schedule a Buyer Consultation!
Acuity Group Real Estate Professionals
564 Dodge Ave Suite A
Elk River MN 55330
OUR SPECIALTIES: Residential & Commercial Seller and Buyer Services, Property Management & Residential Rentals, Association Management, Residential and Commercial Investment Property Specialists, New Construction, Listing & Marketing Specialists, CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Experts), Short Sale Specialists, REO/Bank Owned Sales. Golf course properties, water front properties, acreage & hobby farms, vacant land, condos & townhomes, industrial/manufacturing/retail properties, association maintained properties, senior housing, luxury homes, vacation & secondary housing.
Serving the following Minnesota Counties: Sherburne, Anoka, Wright, Hennepin and portions of Mille Lacs and Isanti Counties