HOME OWNERSHIP QUESTIONS
Are you ready?
Knowledge and experience are the keys to successful real estate transactions.
One of the keys to making the home buying process easier and more understandable is planning. In doing so, you’ll be able to anticipate requests from lenders, lawyers, and a host of other professionals. Furthermore, planning will help you discover valuable shortcuts in the home buying process.
Do you know what you want?
Whether you are a first-time homebuyer or entering the marketplace as a repeat buyer, you need to ask why you want to buy. Are you planning to move to a new community due to to a lifestyle change or is buying an option and not a requirement? What would you like in terms of real estate that you do not have now? Do you have a purchasing timeframe?
Whatever your answers, the more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more likely you are to effectively define your goals. As an interesting exercise, it can be worthwhile to look at the questions above and to then discuss them in detail when we schedule our first meeting.
Do you have the money?
Few people can buy a home for cash. In fact many buyers require a loan. The real issue with real estate financing is not getting a loan. Instead, the idea is to get the loan that’s right for you - the mortgage with the lowest cost and best terms.
My suggestion is that you start the mortgage process, (pre-approval) well before bidding on a home. By meeting with lenders, (either online or face to face) and looking at loan options, you will find which programs best meet your needs and how much you can afford.
I also recommend pre-approvals for another reason, purchase forms require buyers to apply for financing within a given time period, in many cases, 7 to 10 days. By meeting with loan officers in advance and identifying mortgage programs, it won’t be necessary to quickly find a lender, check credit and rush into a financing decision that may not be the best option.
“Pre-approval” means you have met with a loan officer, your credit file have been reviewed and the loan officer believes you can readily qualify for a given loan amount with one or more specific mortgage programs. Based on this information, the lender will provide a pre-approval letter, which shows your borrowing power.
Although not a final loan commitment, the pre-approval letter can be shown to listing brokers when bidding on a home. It demonstrates your financial strength and shows that you have the ability to go through with a purchase. This information is important to owners since they do not want to accept an offer that is likely to fail because financing cannot be obtained.
Who represents you?
One of the hot topics facing the world of real estate right now is the issue of agency. The topic of agency is important to you because it answers the most basic and fundamental question that can be asked of any real estate professional: Who do you represent? At the time of our initial appointment, I will provide for you in writing, a Buyers Brokerage Agreement to represent you. This agreement will define my duties to you, the buyer, spelling out exactly what you can expect from my services. All information will be kept strictly confidential.