We’re first time home buyers. Where do we begin? (continued from last week)
For those of who just picking up the conversation today, check out my blog at www.askkathe.com to read last week’s introduction to the home buying process. If you are following along, so far you have gotten pre-approved for your mortgage, researched and chosen a buyer’s agent to be your advocate, and hopefully saved money for your down payment. Now the fun begins!
Once you are preapproved for a loan and have determined what price range you are comfortable shopping in, you can start your home search. Typically this begins with an online search – your buyer’s agent should set you up to receive new properties as they become available. As interesting homes come on the market, you will want to tour them immediately. In most price ranges, we have an extreme shortage of inventory and those who snooze tend to lose. It is important to have seen enough properties upfront so when you see the right one, you know it and are ready to make a move. When evaluating homes, it is also important to be realistic. There is no perfect home, so establish your list of criteria upfront. If a home achieves 7 out of 10 wish list items, in real estate we call that a home run. If you are going to hold out for all 10, a move is probably not in the cards for you in the short run.
Once you find a home that works for you, in this market you do need to anticipate a bidding war is a realistic possibility. Interestingly, even homes that have sat on the market for seemingly prolonged periods of time will often receive more than one offer at the same time, so if you find a home that peaks your interest, do not delay in making an offer. Any delay could end up costing you money if another buyer comes along! If there are multiple offers, you must put your best foot forward out of the gate. I have written many articles in the past on how to do that, and they can be found in my AskKathe archives on www.askkathe.com, but briefly stated, you should not assume you will get a second chance – work with your buyers offer to make the highest, “cleanest” offer that you can out of the gate, and consider including a personal letter to the seller telling them why you love their home and hope to make it yours – that personal touch will often sway a seller when they are reviewing multiple similar offers.
Once you have a home under agreement and have deposited your hand money (anticipate 1%-5% of your purchase price depending on your price range), you will be ready to schedule your inspections. Next week I will talk more about inspections and how to get through them!
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REAL ESTATE SERVICES
401 Broad Street
Sewickley, PA 15143
Office: 412-741-2200 x238