The Homebuyers Checklist - The Smiling Heart

The Homebuyers Checklist

That home you are excitedly looking at right now started out as a design that was put into the hands of a home builder like Lloyd Claycomb who created it and then worked with agents who put it up for sale. You definitely want it but need to know the key steps to go about owning it. Here they are:

Item #1 – A Reputable Real Estate Agent

Hiring a reputable professional real estate agent is the best first homebuyer decision. When making the biggest purchase of your life, you need help and a real estate agent is the right help. They have been through it hundreds of times and their intimate knowledge of the process will empower you to make good decisions. Good decisions in real estate amount to two things: they save you time, money or both, so good decision making can make all the difference. You should lean heavily on your real estate agent to answer any questions about the process and to lead you to the right lender, title company, and other key entities in the home hunting and buying process. The best agents will lay out a plan for you and a checklist to follow to ensure you are prepared to house hunt and house buy. The key is to get the right agent, one who is knowledgeable insightful and receptive to your needs. Go to a few open houses and watch the agents closely. If you like the way this person operates, it may be the right person to become your agent.

Item #2 – Getting Pre-Approved

More than 95% of home purchases involve the buyer securing a mortgage, so it is safe to assume that you too will also seek a loan to buy your new home. The loan process is detailed and often counter-intuitive and demands its own attention ad time. The time to get it done is before you go house-hunting so you do not become infatuated with a home that no lender will approve you to purchase. So use your real estate agent to point you to lenders that they work with regularly. This will fast track the process and may get you added benefits including better rates or lower fees. However lenders have strict and regulated policies so do not expect too much leeway in terms of the paperwork and other requirements. Going through the approval process early will give you time to fi any credit issues and remove any hindrances that may affect you not being able to get the loan rate or amount you want. So get started early. Getting pre-approved will go a long way to positioning you at the front of the line of home purchasers and will signal to home sellers that you are ready to buy now.

Item #3 – Hiring a Home Inspector

A home inspector is the professional who you hire to inspect every key aspect of a home that you have an interest in purchasing. He will look at electrical wiring, review all of the major appliances installed in the house including the HVAC system and all of its ducts, check for any damage to the home or land around the home and even take a look at the foundation to make sure it is sound. Some inspectors will even check to make sure the home has no hazardous materials like mold, asbestos or lead paint. Often the seller will look to provide an inspector, but you need to have your own working for you. If there are unseen issues discovered, the inspector’s report can get you to be able to back out of a purchase legally, to renegotiate the home price, or to negotiate the repair of the newly discovered problem. Home inspectors are invaluable for home buyers.