Buying a home can be STRESSFUL! The good news? It doesn't have to be! A few simple tips can really go a long way and unpack exactly what the home buying looks like for you AND what your REALTOR® offers during that process.
Tip #1: Your first offer sends a message
No matter how long you've been 'shopping' for a house, stepping into the one you love for the first time is exhilarating. You can see your possessions inside the space, love the layout, and, most importantly, it feels like home; the perfect fit.
In that moment, it's important to not get overzealous. In every aspect of shopping, we all want a reasonable price but it's easy to get carried away when putting an offer in on a house. Your offer sends a message about your true intentions.
What exactly does this mean? Some buyers, while looking for the best deal, submit an offer that is insultingly low. This not only puts a bad taste in the seller's mouth BUT makes them less likely to, 1. accept the offer, and 2. consider any counter offer you may make. The bottom line is that, unfortunately, it sends a message that you don't value the home or the current owners like you should.
Is it okay to submit an offer lower than asking price? OF COURSE! But, consider the home's true value and not what you think it's worth. This is such an important conversation to have with your REALTOR®.
Remember, the market sets the price NOT the agent. And your agent should be honest with you regarding this market value. Be sure your agent is not only explaining the asking price but providing comparable properties to compare the home's value to.
Tip #2: Get a home inspection
As you may or may not know, the housing market has been a bit crazy lately. Homes are selling quickly and, because of that, many buyers have foregone inspections. But, you should never feel as though this is something you need to pass up if you are uncomfortable with doing so. And, there are a few ways to handle this as well.
Getting a home inspection can not only catch issues in advance but can give you peace of mind when purchasing a new home. In a multiple offer situation, some home sellers may lean toward an offer that waives the home inspection. But, don't worry, this doesn't mean you should feel pressured to do the same.
If you're concerned with your offer being rejected due to asking for an inspection, consider writing in your offer that the home inspection is for you as the buyer and that you will not ask for any repairs to be done on the home. This would be considered buying the home as-is but still gives you the opportunity to inspect the home and back out of your contract should a major issue arise.
You can also consider writing in your offer that you will only ask for up to a certain dollar amount in inspection repairs should certain things need to be taken care of. Both of these options are easy additions to your offer and definitely something you should speak with your REALTOR® about once you've found the right home.
Tip #3: The title may come with baggage
Not many buyers understand home titles and that's okay. It's our job as your REALTOR® to sort through these issues so you don't have to. Every now and again, the seller may have a lien against their title. This can happen for any number of reasons. Perhaps an unpaid speeding ticket or even a name change. Typically, these are easy fixes and something we work through behind the scenes to take care of immediately.
If a title issue should arise, don't stress. Most of the time issues do not affect closing.
In rare instances, a closing date may need to be adjusted just to be sure the problem is taken care of in advance so you know your house title is clean when you close.
Tip #4: Account for closing costs
While, typically, sellers pay for a majority of the closing costs, there are always fees associated with closings. Lawyers and title companies work behind the scenes to provide a smooth transaction. Because of this, they have fees associated with their services. The costs associated with closings (for the buyer's side) are relatively low but are definitely something you want to consider when purchasing a home.
If you are financing, speak with your lender, but these costs are typically accounted for in your loan. If you're paying cash, they will be added onto the purchase price of the home. It's always a good idea to speak with your REALTOR® and lender so there are no surprises come closing day!
Tip #5: Rely on your agent
Lastly, never be afraid of asking your REALTOR® for assistance. We never expect you to be an expert in this process and there is NO such thing as a silly question- especially if this is your first home purchase! Reach out to us at any time and we are happy to provide you with information and get you in touch with the people you need throughout your entire purchase- and even after!
Check out Heather's video below for more details and never be shy to reach out!