Steps and tips to buying a home

Prior to looking at homes make sure you do the following:

  1. Be pre-qualified. Contact a few lenders to become pre-approved. You can even do this online. You will need to provide your social security number, your current debts, current income, contact info etc. It should only take approximately 1-2 days to get an answer back at most. Some can do it on the spot nowadays. If you have already contacted a Realtor, some Realtors have approved lenders they work with all the time and may refer you to a great company that has competitive rates and flexible programs.
  2. Contact a few Realtors
  3. Ask them questions such as:
    • Are they a licensed REALTOR? This is very important. Realtors have a strict code of ethics that they are bound by which will insure that they practice real estate ethically and in your best interest.
    • Do they work full time as a Realtor?
    • How often will they stay in contact with you? How quick do they respond to their voicemail messages? By that evening or following morning is best. If the realtor is successful then you may not reach them right away, but should hear back within a reasonable time.
    • How long have they practiced real estate?
    • Do they have any other qualifications or background experience that would assist a buyer in making an educated decision?
    • Why do they think they would be the best choice for you?
    • Find out their views on Buyer Agency. What would they do to best represent you?
    • Do they have a resume? Have them send you one.
    • How will they notify you of new listings on the market? How often will they contact you with new listings? Remember, the best deals sell the quickest. If you don’t have any agent working hard for you, most likely you will miss out on those great deals. Did you know that the majority of homes you see in an advertisement are at least 2-3 weeks old? It takes 2 weeks at least for the magazine to get to the next ad.
  4. If you feel comfortable with a few by phone, set up an appointment to view a few homes with them or possibly lunch to discuss some of the homes available, pinpoint areas you are interested in, let her know what you are looking for in a home and get a feel for her personality. If you do not feel comfortable with this REALTOR now, most likely it will get worse. You need to first enjoy their company, feel like you can trust her and also feel that he or she will work hard for you and will listen to your needs.

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