Buying Tips

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Needs And Wants

It is almost impossible to find a home that meets every one of your needs and every one of your wants. Unless you are building your own home, you almost always will have to make some sacrifices.

Creating a list of your needs and a separate list of your wants, can be very helpful. When you view a home, check off the items on your lists. Later when you are at home and discussing the homes you’ve seen, break out the lists and let the fun begin.

It is good advice to try to meet all of your needs when buying a home. Don’t buy the two bedroom when you think you may need that third bedroom down the road. This is an example of a need. If you need storage to store a lot of personal belongings, then a home with storage space (ie. Attic or Garage etc..) is a need. Have a family member with trouble getting up the stairs, then a home with a bathroom on the first floor is a need. Check it off.

Then there are the “wants”. “I would love to have a home with a double-sided fireplace!” …that’s a want. Don’t let your wants encourage you to pass on the perfect home that meets all your needs.


Get Pre Approved

It is a very easy process and it will assist your REALTOR® in submitting an offer when you find the right home. All offers which will include a mortgage must be accompanied by a Pre-approval letter from a lending institution. Your REALTOR® should be able to recommend a lending institution if you do not have one. They will ask for some basic information on the phone and will fax or email you a letter, normally right away.


Choose the Best Team

Starting with your REALTOR®, choose someone you trust and someone you feel will represent you strongly and ethically. Your REALTOR® will spend a lot of time researching homes for you to view and will provide you access to those homes. Once you find the perfect home, they will also spend time researching comparable homes for you to guide you in making a strong offer.

If you think your REALTOR® has worked hard in finding and showing you homes then negotiating on your behalf to come to an agreement with a seller, it is then that your REALTOR®’s work truly begins. There are many fiduciary responsibilities including following up on time-frames, home inspections, appraisals, commitment letters and much much more which your REALTOR® will now have to accomplish with you in order to get to the closing table.

It is important to choose someone connected with the right people. Your REALTOR® can help you find professionals that will assist you in buying the home including attorneys, home inspectors, lenders and more.


REALTOR® Knowledge

Your REALTOR® has completed over 75 hours of Education becoming a licensed REALTOR®. Hopefully, they have had many years of experience, where they truly learned the ins and outs of the real estate business.  With every new sale there is a new lesson learned. This is so true.

They should also be well informed about the home values and trends in your area, so they will be able to guide you in making a strong offer and on negotiating a fair price.

One of the greatest values of working with a REALTOR® is their access to the MLS® multiple listing service. They will be able to show you any home listed in the MLS® which includes all homes by all REALTOR®s, who are also a member of that MLS.


Ask for a Free CMA

A CMA or Comparative Market Analysis is an analysis of comparable homes in your area. It will show you the closed prices for comparable homes in your area, in addition to asking prices for other homes in your area. With this analysis, you will have reliable data about how fairly a seller listed their home and if it is over-priced or not.


Act Fast

Home’s priced right sell fast. Luckily, your REALTOR® has instant access to homes as they are listed and can even set you up to be notified by email, the minute new homes come to the market. This gives you a great advantage, as you can make arrangements to view it as soon as possible before anyone else has seen it. If the perfect home for you comes to the market, and it is priced just right, you may be able to act fast and submit an offer.


Read the Seller’s Disclosure & Perform Home Inspection

Although you will be doing a home inspection to inspect for major defects, the only determining factors when you are creating your offer will be based upon your visual inspection and the disclosure of conditions by the seller in the Seller’s Disclosure document. Ask for this before making an offer. It will disclose the condition of the home, roof, appliances, systems and everything included in the sale. If anything major shows up in the home inspection, which was not disclosed in the disclosure document, then you have grounds to request it be repaired, replaced or that a credit be provided to you to remedy the situation. All contracts include a section which explains your and the seller’s rights during the process. You must also pay close attention to the time frame you have to perform these inspections and to submit any requests for repairs etc… This is normally 7-10 days after the inspection.


Home Inspector

This is an affordable way to ensure that there are no major defects with the home prior to purchasing it. The inspector will inspect nearly everything in the home including the roof, foundation, heating system, electrical, plumbing, drainage, windows and doors and all other pertinent areas. The goal is to uncover any major defects in the home. This should be something that was not disclosed by the seller in the seller’s disclosure and that was not anticipated by the buyer when making their offer. The buyer’s offer should be based upon the visual inspection of the home prior to buying and the stated condition of the home and it’s systems by the seller. The inspector will provide you with a very detailed report and it is important to keep in mind what is acceptable wear and tear on a home and what is a major defect. The contract will be contingent upon the buyer and seller agreeing on what is done based upon the results of the home inspection. Some inspections come out ok and there are no major issues and some have some major issues where the buyer and seller agree on a remedy. Hopefully, both parties can come to a reasonable solution.