Choose your agents well
Commitment is not a bad thing in Real Estate and Mortgages. Make sure you create a strong relationship with both your Mortgage professional and Real Estate Agent upfront. No one succeeds when you have multiple agents hounding you with listings and rates. It just creates confusion. Most great agents will not work like this. If they know you are playing the field they will move on from you. Remember the goal is to find you a new home with a great mortgage. You need to have pros on your side and available to you when you need them. If they know you are committed then they will move mountains for you.
Getting a proper mortgage pre-approval is the first step. Full Stop. Even if you are selling your current home it is extremely important to open a file with your lender or agent to ensure they know all your most recent credit history. You can use apps like Credit Karma to check your score without issue just to check for any irregularities. A more robust credit check will be done later. However you need to fill out the applicable paperwork early and send your documents to your Mortgage Pro so they can ensure there are no issues that need to be taken care of. One important thing regarding your existing mortgage, you will want to know if you are subject to any fees for breaking your mortgage. This is very important and often a pain point when you find your closed mortgage will have a large penalty tied to it.
Know your Numbers and Stick to them
Having a very good idea of your Mortgage capabilities is vital. It’s actually the number one most important factor in purchasing a home. Having a pre-approval is key to knowing your limits when purchasing but the process of going through the approval will assist in preparing you to get the final mortgage commitment. I like to use the phrase No Surprises because unforeseen credit issues can sink your deal in seconds. When you are buying in a hot market you don’t want surprises. When you do get your budget, Stick to it! Don’t feel compelled to shop for or bid on houses that are in excess of your Budget because there is no magic button at your mortgage company that will change your upper limit.
Research the areas you are interested in
You probably know the type of house you want but you need to make sure you are very familiar with the area you are looking in. Check out schools, shopping, transit, businesses or recreation areas. Whatever is most important to you and get familiar with your target areas. Any preparation you do now vs. in the heat of the moment when you have found the right home will save stress and make things run more smoothly.
Be Flexible and Creative
Look past the Staging and polish of a potential home. Good Bones? Does the home have potential for your design ideas, does it need renovations? Can you make it your own. Staging works because we are all trained to look at things on the face. Remember on move in day the stagers will be long gone and you will be stuck with the 4 walls and floor!
Don’t get married to the outcome
This is a sales term. It means keep some distance to your process. In a hot market you will lose out on some opportunities. Don’t get so wrapped up in one property that when you lose it you can’t envision any other homes. Many people start to measure every subsequent property to “The one that got away” Believe me do your best to have a more clinical view during your search. You will have less sleepless nights.
Work the process effectively
This means respect your agents and listen to them. Don’t put off showings, understand the urgency of the market. If houses are selling in Days in a given area then the “Oh let’s go see it on Sunday” when it’s listed on Tuesday won’t cut it. Dedication to your home search will pay off.
Make sure your agent is giving you value feedback for each property. Look hard at comparables, they tell the story. Chances are you’re not going to get the Diamond in the Rough low priced property, one in a million etc etc… If you have a good idea of where the market is in your target area you will feel more comfortable analyzing what you are looking at.
Consult the Pros
Whenever possible consult with the Pros. Inspections are essential so don’t pass on them if your negotiation will allow it. Speak to your Lawyer if you have doubts about any part of the deal. Check with the Municipality if you have questions about a Basement Apartment. Talk to an accountant about Tax questions. Your Realtor can help however it’s in your best interest to go to the most qualified Professional. Spending a little money now on a consultation can save you much more if things go wrong later.
It’s an exciting and sometimes frustrating process. Just go with it and don’t get too discouraged. Your Real Estate Pro will help you. You will succeed.
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