Spring is here and that means many first-time buyers are looking to enter the market. Having the ability to get through that process with as little stress as possible is critical – especially in highly competitive real estate markets.
Here are five tips to help first-timers better navigate the real estate sales process without a lot of stress, confusion or hiccups:
1) Work with a Qualified Real Estate Professional
First-time buyers are advised to work with a real estate agent. There are about a million things that can pop up in the course of the search for a home and, even after a deal is agreed upon, the negotiation and closing processes need the assistance of a real estate agent. Having an agent to answer questions or concerns as they develop is an absolute must.
2) Get Pre-Approved
When trying to buy a home, one of the most difficult things for first-time buyers is finding a budget that works for them and their unique financial situations, and actually sticking to it. When buyers fall in love with a particular home, it can be easy to bid aggressively and end up agreeing to a price they might not actually be able to afford.
This is a big reason getting pre-approved for a mortgage is so important: A lender will let you know roughly how much credit will be extended to you, and that should serve as the ceiling for what you can afford. As an added bonus, borrowers will also be able to expedite the sales process once pre-approved.
3) Narrow the Search
With the help of your real estate agent and a budget in mind, first-timers will have a much easier time finding homes they’re interested in and really focusing on which home features are best for them based on their needs. Honing in on specific features within a certain price range can help reduce the number of open houses and showings you need to attend.
4) Look Beyond the Asking Price
In addition to the expense of buying the house itself, first-timers would be wise to remember the other costs associated with homeownership, according to DaveRamsey.com. Adding in expenses like electric and heating bills, homeowners insurance and the cost of making the small home repairs is a must when it comes to determining how much house you can truly afford.
5) It’s More Than the House
Finally, it’s also important to consider future plans. If first-time buyers think they will be looking to trade up for a bigger house in the next five years, that’s something to discuss with an agent. Home buyers also need to do their research about things that matter to them: local amenities, proximity to the highway, schools and other important items.
Start looking for homes here!
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