The Home Buying Process
You are about to embark on one of the most important and exciting decisions in your lifetime, the selection and purchase of a home. It is a decision that will bring you years of comfort and joy. Yet, the idea of spending your free time evaluating homes and neighborhoods, figuring your down payment and monthly costs, applying for a loan, and finalizing the purchase can be an overwhelming process. For some buyers, the process is tedious and confusing. This is why consulting a professional realtor is a smart decision.
The Benefits of Working with a Licensed Realtor®
A licensed real estate agent can help you find a house, efficiently and quickly. Discuss with your agent the type of home you believe will be right for your needs. Is your family growing? Do you entertain a lot? Garden? Barbecue? Work at home? Are you a chef? A wardrobe buff? Are you a fixer-upper or a total couch potato?
Your realtor's expertise and experience will be crucial in helping you find the right home of your dreams. He/she has access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which provides information on virtually every home for sale in the market. This is a useful tool because it provides the most current comparative information available for more informed home shopping.
Working within Your Price Range
In addition, your agent will show you homes that you can comfortably afford. They will have the resources to help you understand how much a lender will let you borrow and on what basis it is calculated. Once you have calculated a price range, your realtor will work with you to establish the criteria that will lead you to the right home.
The Offer Process
When you are ready to make an offer, your realtor can assist you. Your realtor cannot suggest a lower price than what is listed, but they can tell you what comparable homes are selling for in the same neighborhood. Your realtor will act as the intermediary between you and the seller who is likely to also be represented by an agent of their own. If there are negotiations over price, closing dates, contingencies, and items - such as appliances - to be left or taken, your realtor will be your representative.
Once your offer is accepted, you will have a lot to do in a short period of time. Your realtor will direct you to a lender, and inspection and insurance professionals and a title company for your escrow and title needs. Your realtor will keep you on track and organized.