Being a first-time homebuyer can be challenging to say the least, but realtors help demystify the process and help make sure you get the house that best fits your needs.
Determine Your Long-Term Goals
The first thing that most realtors would recommend you do is to determine your long-term goals and how owning a home will fit into those plans. You may be tired of spending your earnings on rent and would rather put your money toward something that could actually turn a profit down the road. Or, you may simply want to be your own landlord for a change. Whatever your goals may be, get a clear idea of them before you start shopping around.
Finding the Home You Want
Once you have committed yourself to becoming a homeowner, you can expect the process to be a bit chaotic. More than likely, you’ll make a lot of offers and get a great many counter-offers in return. But don’t be intimidated or allow yourself to get frustrated. A professional can walk you through each and every step so that you’re not overwhelmed.
You will more than likely have a wide range of financing options, even if you don’t have the best credit. You may be able to find a loan backed by the federal government or get financing that doesn’t require the standard 20 percent down payment. In addition, the state you live in may provide special incentives for first-time buyers. Realtors can provide you with easy-to-understand information on all your options so you can feel confident while shopping around.
Making the Offer
Once you have honed in on the house that meets your needs, your real estate agent can help you decide how much you should offer, as well as any conditions you should request before signing on the bottom line. For example, you could ask the seller to pay your closing costs. Your agent will then take your offer to the seller’s agent, who will then either accept your terms or reject them and make a counter-offer. This back-and-forth will continue until you reach a deal or decide to move on to another option.
When you reach an agreement with a seller, you may be asked to put down a good-faith deposit. The transaction will then move into escrow, which is a period of time (about 30 days, typically) that the seller takes the house off the market. He or she will do so with the expectation that you will buy the home – provided that an inspection does not uncover any serious problems.
Realtors can help you find homes in the neighborhoods you prefer at prices that fit your budget. Once you’ve made your decision, they can help you through the entire purchasing process, from making an offer to getting a loan and wading through the seemingly never-ending paperwork. Realtors can provide invaluable assistance through a trying time.