Are you wanting to buy a home? Don’t know where to start?
Here are a few initial steps to get you started on the right path in your home buying process. First things first, you need to get started right away. A lot of buyers wait to long and don’t give themselves enough time to prepare before their home search. You need to start a few months ahead of actually starting to look at properties. Here are the initial steps to preparing to purchase a home:
- Interview Real Estate Agents- You most likely know a few realtors or have friends and family who have suggested one to seventeen different people who they think are “the best”. I tell anyone who asks that they should interview 2-3 realtors to see who felt like the right fit. You want to find someone who you fit with personality wise and is willing to discuss anything and everything you want to talk about to get your questions answered. If they aren’t helpful and willing to give you time at the beginning, they wont give you the attention you need throughout the process. Ask lots of questions!
- Interview Lenders- You want to talk with 2-3 lenders also. It is very time consuming, and can be stressful to start the process of getting a home loan. Not all lenders and mortgage companies are created equal. I always suggest working with local lenders so they are aware of your current market. A lender in Nebraska isn’t always educated in the Colorado markets or a Colorado lender in the New York markets. You will want to go through the process with each lender until you get an initial quote at a minimum. This will allow you to look at the numbers and compare which lender will benefit you financially. I suggest making sure you fit with your lender in personality and communication, as well as make sure they are competitive in rates and fees. Once you have a pre-qualification and/or pre-approval with a lender then you can finally look at houses! A pre-qual and pre-approval are very different so make sure you discuss this with your lender(s).
- Start Looking at houses! The best and most accurate way to start looking at houses is to ask your chosen realtor to set you up on a search that comes directly from your local MLS. You can also ask if there is a best site to look at locally. A lot of consumers use Zillow, Realor.com, redfin.com, etc and these are typically not the most up to date, so in hot markets you may think something is available when it actually is already under contract.
This is just the beginning of your home search but it will get you ready to be able to know the price you qualify for and can start your house hunting. Choosing a good Realtor and Lender will allow you to find your new home and make a competitive offer, and not long after close on your new home!