How to Buy Your First Home
3 Minute Guide for Your Success
Buying your first home is super exciting and also very scary. As an investor, property manager, and Realtor, even I get nervous when I purchase something new. That's why I wanted you to have this quick FAQ so you know the process - straight and to the point.
Step 1: Talk to Your Lender
Many first time home buyers start at the bank that has their checking/savings account. This is a great place to start since you already have a relationship there. Many banks now have online applications so you don't even have to mask up and go visit them in person. The other portion of first time home buyers check out online brokerages because they have attractive terms or other options. Here's what you need to know:
Make your banks compete with each other, it will save you $1000's!
All you need is a pre-approval letter so you and your agent know what price range you can look at and how much a month that payment will be. After that, you can switch lenders or whatever you need to get the best price, term, closing costs, etc. Even though it's your personal house, its business to them. FIGHT FOR YOUR BEST DEAL.
Step 2: Find an Great Agent
As an agent who didn't like Realtors to begin with, I've had to change my attitude. For those who have the time to learn everything there is to know about a house to make their own decisions - yeah, fine. Skip the agent. For the other 95% of people who need and agent or should have an agent, you need a great one.
How can you tell if they're good or not? *That article will come later* More people go with the first agent they talk with than shop around. To keep it simple, your gut will tell you after meeting them. Another great way is to check out their online reviews. Otherwise ask your friends, family, and other trusted people who they used.
You want to work with someone who cares more about you than their paycheck.
When an agent is $$ focused, we call them 'transactional'. When they actually care about you, we call them 'friends'. This is your largest purchase, its best to work with someone you feel comfortable calling with all your questions.
Step 3: Search, Sort, and Filter
You agent will hook you up with a direct feed to your local MLS service. Otherwise Realtor.com is the next best resource because they actually purchase their data from the local Realtor Boards. Zillow.com just rips the information off which is why they have so many inaccuracies. #ZestimatesFail
Find the area, size, amenities, bedrooms, yard, garage and kitchen size of your dream. Make sure it fits the budget and makes sense. Most times you'll make your list before you agent even gets to sit down. Its fine! You're excited and it really helps us narrow down the search.
Pick your top 3-5 houses, do walkthroughs, and see which one feels like home. If you're analytical, see which one makes the most sense and checks off the majority of your boxes. The home might have repairs or paint thant needs updating, but that can all be worked out.
Step 4: Your Agent Will Take Care Of
Yup, that's right. You hire an agent instead of doing it all yourself and you don't need to know much more. Just know this:
The seller has offered to pay your agent if they bring a buyer.
What's that mean? You don't pay an agent to work with them, the seller has offered to do it. If you team up with a good agent who cares about you, they will handle writing offers, picking prices, negotiating, finding inspectors, contractors, handle title documents and closing documents and get your home sale finished! BOOM - DONE.
What to Do Next?
If you're reading this and would like to know more, feel free to give me a ring, send a message, text, or email. The truth is many people start with an agent or a house, then figure out the financing. It doesn't matter the order so much but it saves time and heartache if you know what you can afford up front.
Buying your first home is a very exciting time and there is too much information out there. Get approved, get an agent who cares about you, and the rest will be taken care of.
Contact Me Today
Let's find you the right home at the right price.