Buying a Home: What's the process?
Most buyers (about 90%) start looking for homes on the the most popular internet sites including company websites, Realtor.com, Zillow or Trulia. These sites provide active listings as well as scheduled Open House information.
1. Before seriously previewing Open House and/or new construction communities, I suggest you have conversations with Realtors* and select one you feel comfortable working with. Realtors who have taken additional education and have earned the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation is an important criteria to use when selecting who you might want to work with. Once formal representation is in place (Broker Buyer Agency Relationship Contract), this Agent represent only you and will be your advocate through out the transaction.
1 A. Concurrently, become per-qualified...better still become pre-approved by a reputable mortgage company. Please, no online companies. Determine your monthly payment comfort level. This will guide you and your agent to the appropriate price range for home searches. Check with your bank and your Realtor for Mortgage professional suggestions.
2. Make a list of specific criteria that is important to you such as location, school district, lot size, number of bedrooms, baths, fireplace, eat in kitchen vs breakfast room one story vs. 2+stories, finished basement, garage etc. and provide to your Realtor.
3. Your Realtor will develop a custom MLS search to help pinpoint properties in your price range that reflect your criteria. These will be e-mailed to your MLS portal for review and selection.
4. Once you have found some properties, doing a quick neighborhood drive-by is well worth the time. You want to make sure the home has curb appeal and the location is convenient.
5. Once homes are selected, appointments will be scheduled by your Realtor based upon showing instructions and your availability.
6. Plan on seeing no more than 5-7 homes a day (re-location Buyers may need to see more).
7. Develop a numeric rating system (1-10 or 1-100) with comment based upon your criteria. Give each home a numeric value immediately after previewing. NOTE to SELLERS: a home that is scrupulously clean and well maintained usually gets a higher mark!
8.Keep the numeric rating with the MLS sheet for reference. At the end of the day, determine if there are any homes that you would to see for a second time. This becomes your short list: an easy reminder of the homes that best suite your needs and that you feel drawn to.
9. Go back for a second showing to further fine sort your selection.
10. When you find THE home you and your Realtor will develop the offer (Agreement of Sale) based upon your instructions and your Realtor will provide all the supporting/signed documentation including the mortgage pre-approval, Buyer's Financials, reviewed and signed Seller's Disclosure etc along with an initial deposit to the Realtor representing the Seller. Your Agreement of Sale will serve as a road-map to your Realtor and serve as a guide for future negotiations.
Contact me today to start creating YOUR real estate Success Story. P.S. Not all Real Estate Agents are REALTORS®. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors and adheres to their rules and ethics.
If you are looking at new construction, ALWAYS take your Realtor® with you the first time you visit the housing site. The builder's agent represents the Builder...not the Buyer. There is no cost to you to have representation.