The home buying process can be intimidating if you don’t have the right information. This should be one of the most exciting times of your life. Don’t let a lack of preparation bring you down. Check out these 6 steps to buying a home before you start looking for your dream house.
Step 1: Get Your Accounts in Order
A mortgage lender is going to go through your credit report with a fine comb to make sure you’re credit worthy. It’s a good idea to secure your credit report from the three major reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian, and Trans Union.
There’s good news when it comes to getting a copy of your credit report. Due to the Fair Credit Reporting Act, you can request a copy of your credit report once a year. You can find more information on this process at the Annual Credit Report website.
Once you get your reports, check them over carefully for errors and negative items. If you find an error, contact that credit agency to have it corrected. If there are negative items showing that you owe money on an account, take care of paying those off as quickly as possible.
Another account you need to have in order is the one that holds your savings. Before you begin a house search, you need to have enough money saved to take care of the down payment and closing costs associated with the transaction. A good plan is to have more money saved than you think you’ll need
Step 2: Find a Real Estate Agent
Let’s put what you know about real estate over here in one pile. Now, let’s put everything a real estate agent knows about real estate in another. Look a little off balance? It’s easy to see why it’s smart to find a reputable real estate agent to represent you during the home buying process.
When someone does a good job, or a bad one, people like to talk about their experience. Ask your friends, family, and colleagues for their recommendations.
Interview potential real estate agents and ask about their methods for communicating, how they use technology, and their experience with home buyers. Find an agent that cares about your needs, will listen to your concerns, and communicates at the highest level.
Step 3: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
Apply early for a home mortgage loan pre-approval. The pre-approval will give you an idea of where to begin your home search. This saves you time because you’ll be looking at only the homes that you can afford.
When it comes down to a war of offers on a house, having a pre-approval could be the one thing that pushes your offer to the head of the line. A seller wants to know that they can put faith in your ability to follow through on the transaction. A pre-approval shows them that you can do just that!
Step 4: Search for a Home
You can search for homes the old fashioned way by hopping in the car and cruising the area. Alternately, you can use the power of technology to search MLS listings online. Your real estate agent will have access to the newest homes on the market, which is another good reason to have one working on your behalf.
Know what you need in a home, but understand that it’s rare to find a house that has everything you want. Be clear with your real estate agent about your must-haves and the items for which you’re willing to compromise.
Step 5: Bring an Offer to the Table
When you’ve found your dream home and have checked to make sure it’s within your price range, it’s time to make the offer. Your real estate agent will assist with this part of the process. They can help you come up with the right offer that is strong enough to impress the seller.
Be prepared for multiple offers to be placed on the house you are dreaming of calling home. Know how far you’re willing to go to secure this house, and be willing to move on to the next choice is things fall through. This part of the process is where your real estate agent’s negotiation skills will come in handy.
Step 6: Time to Close
Once the inspections are complete, the appraisals are done, and the offer is accepted, it’s time to put your money on the table. You’ll make your down payment, pay any closing costs, and sign all the paperwork. Remember to ask your real estate agent any questions if you’re feeling unsure about part of the process. On closing day, you’ll be handed to keys to your new home.
Call Central MD Homes today at 410-790-1345 to discuss selling your house or to tour available homes for sale.