Buying a home is exciting, but it can also be daunting. There are many things to think about, multiple steps to take, and it’s important to make sure you’re prepared for the process. Here are a few tips to help you buy a house and make the transaction as smooth as possible.
Make a List of Needs (and Wants)
The first step is to sit down and list everything you need in a house and everything you want (but can ultimately live without). This will help you focus your search and make sure you’re looking for homes that meet your criteria.
Be strict when categorizing your list. Keep the “needs” minimal; when you are flexible, you’re more likely to find a property within your budget.
To Buy a House, Get Pre-Approved for a Loan
Talk to lenders to learn how much of a mortgage you qualify for. Not all lenders are created equal; shop around and compare rates. Once you know how much you can spend, the next step is to get pre-approved for a loan. This demonstrates to a seller that you’re serious and financially able to buy. In a competitive real estate market, some sellers are less likely to show a home to unqualified buyers.
Find a Real Estate Agent to Help You Buy a House
A professional real estate agent is a great asset during the home-buying process. They help you find houses that meet your criteria, and they’ll handle the negotiations with the seller.
It’s important to find an agent you trust and feel comfortable working with. Look at reviews online and team up with someone who knows the local market.
Look for Houses in Your Budget
Once you’ve found an estate agent, it’s time to start shipping for a home. This can be challenging, and you’ll need some patience to find the right property.
Many websites have search tools to filter properties based on price range and other criteria. Use the tools, and follow up on recommendations from your real estate agent.
Make an Offer on the House
After you’ve found a house you’re interested in, it’s time to make an offer. This is one of the times working with an agent comes in handy. They will be able to give you an idea of the actual value of the home and help you draft an appealing offer to the seller. Your estate agent will advise you during negotiations and help you secure a good deal.
Order a Home Inspection
When drafting an offer, add a home inspection contingency. This gives you a chance to have the property inspected by a professional to make sure there are no major problems with the house.
If only minor issues are found, you can go ahead with the purchase of the property. If there are serious concerns, talk to your agent about negotiating for a lower price or asking the seller to make repairs before closing.