Buying a property is one of the most exciting milestones of their life. To prepare themselves for this moment, they need to know what to expect during the process. The step-by-step first-time buyer's guide created by their agent will help reduce the stress of buying a property and allow them to enjoy the journey as much as possible.
Do they already know where they want to buy? If they want a condo, townhome, or single-family? Which features do they like and dislike? What’s available on the market now? If they answered no to any of these questions, now is the time for them to start researching. In addition to looking for properties that interest them, they should also take note of any changes in asking prices. This could provide them with valuable insight into housing trends in specific neighborhoods and assist them in making an offer.
Notice he said to decide on their budget—not determine how much the mortgage company will give them. In many cases, a mortgage company will pre-approve them for more than they’re comfortable spending, which is why they need to determine the monthly payment they feel comfortable with before talking to a lender. This likely includes doing a full household budget and taking into consideration what changes other than a mortgage payment will occur once they move into your new property. If they’ve lived in an apartment or with roommates, they may overlook new expenses like garbage, water, or HOA fees that could easily blow their budget.
Just because they think they can afford a certain payment every month doesn’t mean the mortgage company will agree. Just as they may approve them for too large of an amount, they may also approve them for a lesser amount or deny them a mortgage altogether. Lack of time at a job, insufficient credit, past bankruptcies, or other financial issues can cause major problems when trying to secure a mortgage. Before they get your heart set on a property, talk to a mortgage professional to find out what amount they can qualify for. This will also be an advantage when they make an offer on a property, as some sellers won’t entertain offers from those who aren’t already prequalified for a loan.
Can they shop for, look at, and ultimately make an offer on a property without a real estate agent? Technically yes, but why would they when it costs them nothing for an agent like him to take much of the stress off your shoulders? Not only will he help identify properties they might be interested in, arrange showings, and ultimately handle the offer process, but he also has a knowledge of the market that they don’t possess. Finding the perfect property can be a daunting task, this is where his expertise and wealth of knowledge come into play. Let him show them around some properties that meet their dream property criteria so they can find the one that's right for them.
This should be the most enjoyable step of the entire process (other than moving in!). He will arrange showings of properties they’re interested in that are within their price range. Take notes about what they like and don’t like, and make sure to pay attention to details. Turn light switches on and off, open and close doors, and run the faucets in various rooms. Don’t limit their inspection to the property itself. Make sure to take time to explore the neighborhood and keep an eye on traffic at certain times of the day, the parking situation, and how close it is to necessities like schools and grocery stores.
Once they have selected the perfect property, work with their agent to craft a fair offer based on the value of comparable property on the market. Depending on what the property is listed at and whether the current environment is a buyer’s or seller’s market, their offer may be below, at, or even above the asking price. He will be able to help them negotiate if they receive a counteroffer and reach an agreement. At this point, the house will go into escrow.
In most cases, their offer will be contingent on having the property inspected to ensure there is no major structural damage or large repairs needed. He can help them arrange this, and they can schedule it within days of making an offer. If there are no major issues, the process goes to step eight. If there is, they can renegotiate their offer based on what needs to be fixed, or they can withdraw it.
Now is the time to go back to the mortgage lender who pre-approved or pre-qualified them and choose their mortgage. They will be presented with various options based on their unique financial situation, including fixed-rate, variable-rate, 15-year, 30-year, or special programs such as VA loans or FHA loans. Work with their mortgage lenders to select the option they feel the most comfortable with.
Their lender will have their new property appraised so they have their independent value of it. The appraisal is to ensure that all parties involved are paying a fair price for the house.
No one looks forward to all the paperwork involved in buying a property, but it’s a necessary part of the process. Fortunately, everything will be arranged by their lender and title company and, when they’re finished, they’ll know they are the legal owner of their new property.
After signing the final paperwork to complete the purchase, they are now the property owner. It may take a few days for their loan to be funded once the paperwork has been returned to the lender, but once that check is delivered to the seller, they’ll be all set to move into the property of their dreams.
He is a longtime sales professional whose expert results have earned him a fine reputation for quality service, responsiveness, and follow-through.