Educated, well prepared, and methodical buyers are more successful in purchasing a home than those who approach the process haphazardly. Following the “Buyer’s Checklist” to navigate the purchasing process:
- Hire a trusted buyer’s agent - A buyer’s agent will be your trusted fiduciary and help you navigate the complicated process of buying a home. A good buyer’s agent fully understands the market, knows about off market opportunities and properties that are coming soon, and will have fully vetted resources that are willing to step in and help you.
- Consider timing if you are both selling and buying a home - If you are selling and buying simultaneously, the process should be carefully nuanced and thought through with your agent to prevent unnecessary and unexpected financial implications and stress.
- Speak to a few lenders - See what you can afford and the type of loan that makes the most sense for you and your circumstances.
- Get a pre approval letter or ideally a pre commitment letter - A pre approval letter indicates that the lender has reviewed your financial information and will write you a letter that indicates that you have been “pre approved” for a loan. A pre commitment letter takes this one step further, whereby a bank will fully underwrite your loan pending the appraisal of the property you are buying.
- Look around and educate yourself - There is no perfect house. Buying a home usually involves making some tradeoffs. Be familiar with the inventory and the values of properties in the areas that you would like to live.
- Set aside a budget for inspections - All buyers should hire an ASHI certified inspector to conduct a full inspection including a full inspection report prior to committing to buying a home. In a competitive situation an inspection may need to occur before submitting an offer and in a less competitive situation there should be an inspection contingency.
- Hire a real estate attorney to represent you - After an offer is accepted and you are moving to a P and S (i.e., Purchase and Sale), all buyers should hire an experienced attorney that specializes in real estate in the area that you are buying.
If you are considering buying or selling a home, please reach out for personalized advice and a checklist that fits your needs.