5 “Must Do’s” to Make Buying Your Next Property a Stress Free Process
1. Understand the Process. Sit with your Realtor and ask them to give you a full step by step overview of the process before you start. Ask what reasonable timelines would be for each stage in the process. Ask what you need to do to assist your Realtor in preparing required documents at each stage.
2. Get Your Support Time in Place. You will need a mortgage lender, a home inspector, an insurance broker and if you are wise, a home inspector, for most real estate transactions. Selecting each one of these people in advance will mean you already have a relationship established and that will make for a much smoother process. Often the time line for each of these professionals to get their part of the process completed is short. If you only have 5 days for an inspection and the first one is spent in finding the inspector, you will be hard pressed to stay on track!
3. Get Pre Approved For Your Mortgage. Being pre-approved for a mortgage gives you a clear idea of how much you can borrow and it addresses any potential problematic issues you may have like a credit-rating blemish. It gives you and your lender time to fix issues and to be certain that they will not come up at all during the buying process. An additional benefit is that it identifies you as a serious buyer.
4. Understanding Market Conditions. Real estate is a fluid marketplace which can change over a period of a few short months. It is important to understand value. Depending on the current market a properties’ asking price may or may not be reflective of the market value for that property. A home listed 60-90 days ago may have been priced right but if the economy is falling it may in fact be over priced now! This can work in the other direction too. Remember when you have a Realtor under contract in a Buyer Agency Agreement it is there fiduciary duty to give you advice on property value and they will prepare for you a CMA of any property you are considering an offer on.
5. Hiring the Right Realtor. Buying real estate is a huge investment. You are about to make one of the most important purchasing decision of your life. You need to have a high level of trust in your Realtor. Choosing a Realtor because they are #1 in the area may not be the best for you. You need to be able to communicate with your Realtor. There are many different styles of communication; you need to pick a Realtor that matches your style! You should also consider the responsiveness factor. Are you a - let me know everything when it happens kind of person? or are you a - call me if you need me but do not bug me with the small stuff person? When choosing a Realtor let them know how you like to communicate and verify they will meet your needs. No matter which Realtor you hire, once you have selected them allow them to do their job. Remember, they know the market better than Uncle Joe and your best friend’s sisters next door neighbour, so let them be the expert you hired them to be. You can always fire them if they fail to preform according to your agreement but it is very hard for any professional to do a great job for you, if you keep looking over their shoulder.