Home buyers have a lot of information thrown at them from the instant they start to think about buying a home. Knowing what to do first and how to do it can be very daunting. Take a look at this home buyer’s checklist. It’s intended to break down the stages of buying a home and help home buyers navigate them easily.
1. Know What You Can Afford
Keeping an eye on your credit scores is very important. It will inform you of potential lending opportunities and help homebuyers know what personal finances or debt they need to work on before getting in too deep.
Pre-Approval can help with a few things. First, it will provide peace of mind knowing what properties to view without getting too attached to a home you cannot afford. Second, it also means home buyers are one step closer to closing a deal on a property without approval hiccups down the road. Be careful to wait to get pre-approval. Pre-approvals have an expiry date, and credit is affected with every credit check.
3. Get a REALTOR®
After buyers consider what they can afford and find a property that aligns with their budget, finding a REALTOR® who is familiar with the area and the kind of property they’re looking for is the next step. A well-established REALTOR® will know which properties to look at for the neighbourhood, and some REALTORS® will probably have a line on properties that aren’t listed, allowing buyers exclusive access to find their dream home.
4. Attend an Open House
Visiting an Open House is to your benefit. It’s one thing to look at the photos attached to a listing, but it’s entirely different to see the house in person. Buyers can see things that a professional photo looks to minimize but might be a deciding factor. At an Open House, buyers should look for signs of damage or neglect, storage space (including garages and closets, and pantries), the neighbourhood, and privacy. Ask questions about maintenance and repairs, why the sellers are selling, how long the property has been on the market and offers. Don’t be afraid to eavesdrop on other potential buyers’ questions and comments.
5. Make an Offer
Once home buyers have found a property they love, the next step is to make an offer. If they have a REALTOR®, the agent will do the paperwork and present it to the seller’s agent. They will also help home buyers understand what a reasonable offer is, what it should include (maybe home buyers will require specific maintenance or repairs), and a timeline for closing. Home buyers should also prepare themselves for the chance of the sellers returning with a counteroffer, with which the real estate agent can assist.
6. Home Inspection
A home inspection means there are no unpleasant surprises. While some sellers may offer a lower price point if the home buyers wave a home inspection, that should be a non-negotiable. A home inspection gives clear insight into what the home buyer can expect in the coming weeks, months, and years regarding upcoming necessary repairs and maintenance.
The mortgage lender will want the property appraised before the final approval of a mortgage, requiring an estimate of the home’s fair market value. It gives the mortgage lender the information they need to confirm the mortgage amount and authenticates that the property is worth the mortgage price.
8. Close the Sale
The transaction is ready to close when all parties have signed all necessary papers. The homeownership and deed title then transfers from the seller to the home buyer – now the homeowner.
Working with a Wellington County REALTOR®
Buying a home in Wellington County is an involved process with many steps, some taking longer than others. It’s easy to get excited or impatient; however, you want to take your time with the process. Accuracy will ensure things are correct and legal and avoid coming back with paperwork issues. Working with a Wellington County REALTOR® can help guide you through the process, offer objective insight, and help protect your interests.
Contact one of our Fully-licensed REALTORS® today!
Looking for an experienced REALTOR® that specializes in real estate across Wellington County? At Royal LePage Royal City Realty we are focused on helping you unlock your future.