- Pre-Qualification: Meet with a mortgage
broker and find out how much you can afford to pay for a home, with the
monthly payments that fit your budget.
- Pre-Approval: While knowing how much
you can afford is the first step, sellers will be much more receptive to
potential buyers who have been pre-approved. You'll also avoid being
disappointed when going after homes that are out of your price range.
With Pre-Approval, the buyer actually applies for a mortgage and
receives a commitment in writing from a lender. This way, assuming the
home you're interested in is at or under the amount you are
pre-qualified for, the seller knows immediately that you are a serious
buyer for that property. Costs for pre-approval are generally nominal
and lenders will usually permit you to pay them when you close your
- List of Needs & Wants: Make 2
lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of
bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if
accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things
you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely
necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not
get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what
you are looking for. Know what you want, the locations, styles, size,
etc you will consider before you every schedule viewings.
- Looking at houses: Some realtors don’t
agree but I see nothing wrong with the buyer getting a list of prospective
houses MLS printout from their realtor and doing drive-bys. This saves a
lot of time for the buyer and realtor by narrowing the showing schedule
to those that appear from the curb to be true prospects. It also allows
Mom, Dad and the children to discuss the house, the neighborhood,
distance to schools, work, shopping, etc, in the privacy of their car or
living room. If the location won’t work the house won’t either. Forget
it and keep looking. Please! Only if Mom and
Dad agree the house is a prospect should you schedule a viewing of the
house. Be considerate of your realtors time and he / she will
bend over backwards to help you find and purchase the right house.
- Representation by a Professional: Consider
hiring your own qualified real estate agent, one who is working for you,
the buyer, not the seller. Consider an “ABR”
– Accredited Buyer Representative. Fewer then 2% of all licensed
realtors in the USA have qualified for and hold the Accredited Buyer
Representative (ABR) designation. David Wynn of WynnDcorp Realty is one
of that elite group.
- Focus &
Organization: In a convenient location, keep handy the items
that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items
Visualize the house empty & with your decor:
Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
- One or more detailed maps with your areas of interest
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to
you, along with ads you have cut out from the newspaper or printed from
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search.
- Instant or video camera to help refresh your memory on
individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of
- Location: Look at a
potential property as if you are the seller. Would a prospective buyer
find it attractive based on school district, crime rate, proximity to
positive (shopping, parks, and freeway access) and negative (abandoned
properties, garbage dump, source of noise) features of the area?
- Don’t expect the impossible and don’t look for
everything to be perfect. Visualize the house with fresh coat
of paint, or updated carpet. That old kitchen stove can be replaced if
the house price is right. That is why you
should have an ABR and insist your realtor provide written or computer
generated, professional CMV … Current Market Value analysis for the
house before making an offer, but only when you have selected your first
choice of the one you want to buy.
- Be Objective: Instead of thinking with
your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home
really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't
make a hurried decision that you may regret later. But, in some markets
if you “snooze you loose”. Don’t let that rush you but don’t delay in
proceeding with an offer when you make your decision.
- Be Thorough:
A few extra dollars well spent now may save you big expenses in the long
run. Don't forget such essentials as:
All the above may seem rather overwhelming.
That is why having a professional represent you and keep track of all
the details for you is highly recommended. Please email me or call me
directly or our office staff to discuss any of these matters in further
detail. David Wynn, RRS, RECS, Broker, ABR – firstname.lastname@example.org Phone:
- Include inspection & mortgage contingencies in your
- Have the property inspected by a professional
- Request a second walk-through to take place within 24
hours of closing.
- You want to check to see
that no changes have been made that were not agreed on (i.e., a nice
chandelier that you assumed came with the sale having been replaced by
a cheap ceiling light).