Buying your first home can be scary and intimidating. In fact, some buyers who are otherwise ready, delay their home search because they simply don’t know how to get started. So where do you begin?
Let’s start with what NOT to do. Many first-time home buyers believe that they should either look online or drive around and find the home where they want to live first. There are few problems with going this route:
- Representation: Often, the buyer contacts the listing agent by calling the number found online or from the sign in the front yard. The listing agent represents the seller, not you. If the listing agent agrees to represent you as the buyer as well, how can they look out for your best interest as well as their sellers best interest? It’s practically impossible. If you are interested in purchasing that home, most listing agents will refer you to a different agent. If not, look out. Generally, you never want to contact the listing agent yourself. Work with a REALTOR who is trained at negotiating and will do all the work on your behalf. And if you didn’t already know, buyers normally do not pay any of their agent’s commissions. This is paid by the seller in most situations. So not only do you not have to do a lot of the work yourself, it doesn’t cost you, the buyer, anything at all.
- Pre-Approval: Even more so, let’s say you find the perfect home and fall in love with it. You want to be prepared to make an offer right away so that another buyer doesn’t swoop in and get it first. When submitting an offer, you need to have loan approval. Most sellers will not consider an offer that is not pre-qualified. Therefore, it’s really important to become pre-qualified beforehand. This will also determine the price range that you are able to qualify for.
So where do you get started? Contact a REALTOR first. A good REALTOR will have you reach out to a reputable lender to get pre-qualified as one of the first steps. Next, they should schedule a buyer’s consultation to walk you through the home buying process and to get an idea of the perfect home for you. Only REALTORS have access to the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) where most homes are listed. They will be able to set you up with access to see properties that are right for you. And they can then show you any of those properties. Keep in mind that all REALTORS can show you ANY property that is listed for sale with ANY Real Estate Company.
Call me today at 972-837-7307 and let’s find the perfect home for you and your family!
Written by Kevin Matthews on behalf of M Realty Group.