Once you’ve found a Realtor to represent and advise you on what is going to be the biggest financial transaction you ever make, step 2 to buying a home is to get pre-approved by a mortgage lender. As a Realtor, I won’t put an offer in on a home for a client unless he or she has been pre-approved. In addition, it’s important that you have an understanding of how much you can comfortably afford to spend on a home, what your monthly payments will be, what interest rate you qualify for, and how much you’ll be paying each month in taxes, etc.
Having a good mortgage lender is a crucial part of ensuring a smooth transaction. Working with a bad mortgage lender can make the process of living hell for everyone involved and put your purchase in jeopardy of not closing. You also might end up regretting it for years by paying a higher interest rate than you should have if you had shopped your loan through various lenders, by losing out on your dream property because your mortgage lender was disorganized and couldn’t get you fully approved during underwriting, etc. That’s why it’s important to work with the best.
Finding the Home:
At this point, you’re probably excited and full of optimism. You’ve gotten pre-approved; now comes the most important step… Finding the right home!
Before we start, make a list of your top 4-6 needs and a list of your top 4-6 wants. Examples of needs are:
- 3 bedrooms (because we have 2 kids and they will fight and drive us crazy if they have to share a room)
- In a certain school district/s
- Yard for the dog (because you’re sick of walking the dog in the dead of winter)
- Central AC (because the kids are driving you crazy complaining about the heat)
- Updated and move in ready (because you don’t even own a hammer)
These are the things you absolutely cannot live without. You won’t even see a property unless it has every one of the above items. Get it?
Then, make a list of your wants. Examples of wants are:
- Hardwood floors throughout
- Master bathroom with double sinks
- Updated kitchen with granite and stainless steel
- Wood burning fireplace
- Rainbows over the home, flying unicorns, and pots of gold in every room
These are the things you’d really like, but can live without if needed (unless your budget is $40 million then we can probably find something with everything on your list).
Once you’ve made your lists, email them to us. That way when you see a property you love with the kitchen of your dreams we can remind you that it doesn’t have central AC so we don’t waste time seeing it. Once that’s done, we’ll set you up for auto search. This means that each morning, you’ll get an email with all of the new properties that have come on the market the previous day matching your criteria as well as any price changes which put homes in your budget that were previously not included. When you receive the email, we will need you to:
- Check the Listing email daily and review all of the properties. Mark properties you may want to see as Interested. That tells us to research and schedule a showing for those properties. Properties you want to think about longer mark as Maybe. Properties you definitely don’t like mark as Not Interested. If you have any questions about a particular property, write those questions in the Comments field for that property. We monitor those sections and will get answers back extremely quickly
- If there’s something you want to see, shoot us a quick email letting us know when you’re available and what which property you’re interested in. Remember, most properties are occupied and require a 24 to 48 hour notice for showings so it’s rare to be able to see a home the same day. Also, properties are usually available to be seen Mon – Fri from 9am – 7:30pm and Saturday and Sunday from 10am – 6:30pm. Sometimes sellers will allow us to view a property outside of those hours, but it’s up to the individual seller. Also, during the spring and summer, great properties sell in 3-4 days so it’s important that you review the Listing email daily so we can jump on a great property as soon as you see it.
- Once we have scheduled a viewing, we will typically meet at the property or at a central location if we are viewing more than 1 property. Remember to wear comfortable slip on shoes for showings as we’ll generally need to take them on and off at each property.
- We will bring printouts for each property so that you will be able to take key notes to remind you of significant characteristics about each home.
While you’re looking at the Listing e-mails on a daily basis, we will also be networking my contacts to find possible homes before they go on the market. At this point there should be no need for you to continue to look on other sites such as Zillow, Trulia, etc. as all of those properties should be showing up in your Listing e-mails. If one isn’t for some reason let us know so we can reconfigure the search parameters of your Listing e-mail feed. Now on to the showings!