Tom Lee, ABR, CRS, GRI, LTG SRES's Blog
Believe it or not, the process of buying a home can become long and complicated. And if you're not careful, you may encounter many hurdles that prevent you from acquiring your dream residence.
Lucky for you, we're here to teach you about the ins and outs of buying a house and help you simplify the process of going from homebuyer to homeowner.
Now, let's take a look at three common misconceptions associated with buying a home.
1. You will be able to acquire a house in a matter of days.
The process of locating your dream home is unlikely to happen overnight. Instead, a homebuyer usually will need to perform extensive housing market research to discover a residence that meets or exceeds his or her expectations.
Typically, a homebuyer will look at several houses before he or she can find the right residence. This homebuyer then will need to submit an offer on a house. And if a home seller accepts the homebuyer's proposal, a home inspection will need to be completed before a home purchase is finalized.
It is important to set realistic expectations for your home search. In most instances, it may take a few weeks or months to find your perfect residence. But with a diligent approach to your home search, you'll be able to discover a house that can serve you well for years to come.
2. You will be able to buy a home for less than a property's initial asking price.
Understanding the differences between a buyer's market and a seller's market is essential for a homebuyer.
In a buyer's market, many high-quality residences are available. This market usually favors homebuyers, and in many instances, enables property buyers to secure great houses at budget-friendly prices.
On the other hand, a seller's market features a shortage of first-rate properties. As a result, this market favors home sellers, and many homebuyers may compete with one another to secure the best houses.
Regardless of whether you're operating in a buyer's or seller's market, it is paramount to avoid the temptation to submit a "lowball" offer on a residence. By doing so, a homebuyer can minimize the risk of missing out on an opportunity to acquire his or her perfect residence.
3. You can find your dream home without help from a real estate agent.
When it comes to buying a house, the early bird catches the worm. Therefore, an informed, persistent homebuyer is more likely than others to locate a terrific home at an affordable price.
Ultimately, working with a real estate agent is ideal. With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive expert assistance throughout the homebuying journey.
A real estate agent will set up home showings, keep you up to date about new houses as they become available and much more. He or she also will respond to your homebuying questions and ensure you can acquire a stellar home in no time at all.
Take the guesswork out of buying a house – collaborate with a real estate agent, and you can make your homeownership dreams come true.
The definition of a "dream house" varies from homebuyer to homebuyer. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to determine if a residence is right for you.
Now, let's take a look at three tips to help you evaluate a home so you can decide whether to proceed with an offer to purchase.
1. Review a Home's Features
Think about why you are searching for a home and what you want to find in a house. For example, if you require a home that features a deluxe kitchen, you can narrow your house search accordingly. On the other hand, if you want a home that boasts an above-ground swimming pool, you can focus on houses that offer this amenity.
Consider where you want to reside too. That way, you can hone your home search to a select group of cities and towns and find a residence that is located in one of your preferred locations.
2. Examine a Home's Price
The cost of a home depends on a number of factors, including the residence's age and condition. Of course, the housing market itself plays an important role in a house's cost as well, so you'll want to examine the real estate sector closely. By doing so, you can differentiate a buyer's market from a seller's market – or vice-versa – and determine if a home's price falls within your budget.
In a buyer's market, there may be an abundance of quality houses available at budget-friendly prices. If you shop for a home in a buyer's market, you may be able to purchase a house at or below a seller's initial asking price.
Comparatively, in a seller's market, there is a shortage of premium houses, and top-notch homes that become available may be in high demand. In a seller's market, you may need to act fast to acquire your dream home. Plus, you may need to submit an offer to purchase that exceeds a seller's initial asking price so you can purchase your ideal residence without delay.
3. Consult with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent is a home selling expert, and he or she is happy to help you weigh the pros and cons of buying a house. In fact, a real estate agent will go the extra mile to ensure you can make the best-possible decisions throughout the property buying journey.
With a real estate agent at your side, you can receive lots of support so you can enjoy a seamless homebuying experience. A real estate agent first will learn about you and your homebuying goals and help you search for a residence that matches your expectations. Next, a real estate agent will help you craft a competitive offer to purchase your dream home. And if your homebuying proposal is approved, a real estate agent will help you finalize your house purchase.
Use the aforementioned tips, and you should have no trouble deciding if a house is right for you.
When you view a home for the first time and speak to the agent hosting an open house or showing the home, you're talking to someone working for the seller -- not for you. Anything you share could be passed on to the seller -- and used to leverage a better offer from you if you do end up wanting the home. The best way to avoid this scenario is to work with a buyer's agent. This is a real estate agent that works for you and helps you get the best possible deal on a home.
A buyer’s agent represents you, the prospective buyer; this ensures that the agent you work with has your best interests in mind and that they do not have a stake in showing you one particular property over another. Just calling the name on a “for sale” sign isn’t enough if you want someone who can truly represent you and your needs – and successfully negotiate on your behalf. Agents who are working for a seller need to sell the home, and are not out to get you the best possible deal.
A buyers agent will show you a variety of properties and help you determine which one meets your needs best. Once you find a property that you love, your agent will help you get the best possible deal. You’ll sign a contract with this agent and they will receive a commission from the seller when you do buy a home. You should make sure that any contract you sign is a buyer’s agent agreement – and that the agent does not also represent the seller of a home. Any real estate agent you are considering working should reveal any conflict of interest before you sign a contract.
Benefits of Working with a Buyer’s Agent
When you work with a buyer’s agent you have someone on your side who can help you through the negotiation process. They will also be aware of market conditions, of terms that would be favorable to you and when you’re ready, help you make an offer. The agent you choose will have a big impact on your success and how much you enjoy the process.
Finding the Right Buyer’s Agent for your Home Search
Any agent you are considering should be a dedicated buyer’s agent. An Accredited Buyer Representative is someone who has been certified in this role. You should ask any agent who you are considering if they also list homes – and determine if there is a conflict of interest.
Choosing an agent who understands your needs and works with buyers like you can also help you have a successful experience. Some agents work mostly with luxury homes and well-established buyers, while others are dedicated to helping first-time buyers find a home.
Your buyer’s agent should be familiar with the areas you are most interested in. If they are not in the immediate area, they may not be able to provide you with the assistance you need to make a great deal
Choose the Right Agent from the Start
Since a buyer’s agent has such an impact on your success and the process, it is important to choose the right person from the start. Interview a few agents to see who you feel comfortable with and who meets your needs best. This is the person that will help you find your next home, so you should be confident in their abilities and able to work with them for a prolonged period of time.
A first-time homebuyer often proceeds cautiously as he or she navigates the real estate market. However, if this homebuyer discovers the "perfect" home, the risk to overspend to acquire this residence may prove to be too much to resist.
It is important for a first-time homebuyer to understand what it takes to purchase a house at a price that matches or exceeds his or her expectations. That way, a homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a house and reduce the likelihood of breaking his or her homebuying budget.
Now, let's take a look at three tips that a first-time homebuyer can use to minimize the risk of overspending on a house.
1. Assess the Housing Market Closely
The housing market frequently fluctuates, and a first-time homebuyer who identifies real estate patterns and trends may be better equipped than others to pay the right price for a residence.
Having the ability to differentiate between a buyer's market and a seller's market is key. If a homebuyer understands the differences between these markets, he or she should have no trouble submitting a reasonable offer on a house based on the current housing market's conditions.
In a buyer's market, there is an abundance of available houses and a shortage of property buyers. This market favors homebuyers, and as a result, a property buyer may be better equipped than ever before to acquire a great house at an affordable price at this time.
Conversely, a seller's market favors home sellers and includes a shortage of high-quality houses and an abundance of homebuyers. In a seller's market, a homebuyer may need to submit a competitive offer on a house, or he or she likely risks losing a residence to potential rivals.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Want to stick to a homebuying budget? With a mortgage in hand, a first-time homebuyer will know exactly what he or she can spend on a house and narrow a home search accordingly.
To get pre-approved for a mortgage, a homebuyer should meet with several banks and credit unions. This will allow a homebuyer to learn about all of the mortgage options that are available and choose a mortgage that corresponds to his or her finances.
Also, be sure to ask potential lenders plenty of questions about various mortgage options. By doing so, a homebuyer can boost his or her chances of making an informed mortgage decision.
3. Collaborate with a Real Estate Agent
A real estate agent can help a first-time homebuyer explore houses that fall within a specific price range, thereby reducing the risk that a property buyer will overspend on a house.
In addition, a real estate agent is happy to provide honest, unbiased homebuying recommendations. This housing market professional understands the ins and outs of purchasing a house, and as such, will do everything possible to guarantee a property buyer can acquire a terrific residence at a budget-friendly price.
Avoid the temptation to pay too much to buy your dream house – use these tips, and a first-time homebuyer can seamlessly navigate the property buying journey.
Before you commit your hard-earned money to a luxury home, make sure you know what you're purchasing. Just because a house has a high price doesn’t mean it’s truly luxury. A luxury home is built better and has more space and amenities in it than other homes. Even a home with the same number of bedrooms as other houses could be a luxury home, but the bedrooms are going to be larger, plus they will have more closet space – usually walk-in closets – and each bedroom might have its own bathroom. Other signs that a home is really a luxury home include better appliances, the best fixtures and additional amenities as space allows, such as a pool, an external game room and a larger garage.
Check the Neighborhood
If other homes in the neighborhood are in the same price range, you are likely buying a luxury home. However, be careful as some neighborhoods are just more expensive than others, but that doesn’t mean the homes are luxury homes. It’s easier to tell a luxury home that is in the suburbs because those homes usually have more space for pools and additional out-buildings.
Check the Interior
In addition to the items mentioned above, check the quality of the materials. Flooring, including carpet, should be top quality. Cabinets should be wood cabinets. If the house has crown molding, it should be good quality – and more than just a strip tacked where the wall meets the roof. Countertops should be of high quality if not marble. Look at window frames and door jambs to see how well they are put together. And the windows should be at least double pane windows, if not triple pane.
Be prepared to jump through some hoops to get financing. If the price of the home is above a certain amount, you’ll need to qualify for a jumbo loan. That amount changes depending on your location. It may also change every few years. Your real estate agent and mortgage lender will be able to tell you what the conforming loan limit is for your area.
Get it Inspected
Just because you are buying a luxury home, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have problems. Always hire a well-respected inspector to inspect the home before you close. The inspector will check for plumbing, electrical and structural issues, will make sure everything works properly, will let you know if he or she sees signs of wood-destroying organisms and other problems. In addition to a home inspector, always have the home inspected by a pest control company for termites and other critters that could damage the home.
Home prices are always negotiable, especially if the inspectors find problems. Ask your real estate agent for a list of comparables so you know if the property you're considering is priced appropriately.