Buying a home is exhilarating, but it can also be frustrating for first-time homebuyers when you don’t know where or how to start the homebuying process. Overall, when you are buying a home you have three options for your prospective home:
- New Home Construction
- Traditional Home Sale (aka Resale)
- Foreclosure or Short Sales
We are going to delve into the traditional home sale, in which a home is being purchased from a homeowner. To learn more about your other home buying options, click on the links above for more information about buying a New Home or a Foreclosed Home.
Buyers: Prepare Your Finances
Buying a home is more affordable than many believe and in fact, according to a study by Bank of America, published in their 2017 Homebuyer Insights Report, around 75% of first-time homebuyers they polled said that buying a home actually had a positive effect on their long-term finances.
Using a mortgage calculator that estimates your monthly payment, including interest, can help you to decide just how much home you can afford. You’ll need to do this before you check out any open houses or schedule a viewing. No point in falling in love with a home if you won’t qualify or couldn’t afford the mortgage for it.
In addition to sorting your monthly budget to comfortably accommodate your mortgage payment, you’ll also need to start saving for a down payment. Don’t get too hung up on this part though, many lenders offer loan options the require far less than 20% down.
Request a credit report for yourself (and spouse if they will also be on the loan). You are eligible to receive one full, detailed report every year from each of the three credit agencies. Check for fraud and use this information to improve your score. Better credit scores and credit history are typically afforded a better mortgage interest rate.
Buyers: Get Pre- Qualified, Or Even Better, Pre- Approved
There is a difference between being pre-approved and pre-qualified. Getting pre-qualified is the initial step in locating a desirable mortgage lender and showing them how much you can afford and backing that claim with your income, assets, credit history, and outstanding debt.
Pre-approval is when the lender takes that information you provide and calculates an estimated amount of loan that the lender is willing to let you borrow up to. This amount is not guaranteed but can provide a general idea of how much home you can afford and what your payments will look like.
Often times, sellers will want to see a copy of your pre-approval letter to make sure that you are a serious buyer and capable of getting the loan needed to complete the home purchase.
Buyers: Search For Tampa And Brandon Homes
Now its time for the fun of homebuying to begin – searching and viewing homes you think could be a match to what you are looking for. We can aid you in the search by collecting what you are looking for in a home – how many bedrooms, bathrooms; how much square footage or property size are you interest in; if you want a pool, lake front view, family friendly neighborhood – we ask it all and will hunt down homes that match your criteria and schedule a visit so you can explore it yourself.
As your real estate agent, we will help you find your home and walk you through the buying process.
Sellers: Get Your Home Ready
Having a real estate agent represent you and your home during its sale can help you reach more potential buyers and better market your home. We’ll have a professional photography capture pictures and video of your home to display on the large online listing network we have access to – hundreds more than the main listing sites that homeowners can post to. In addition, we’ll share your listing with everyone in our personal network to bolster the word of mouth marketing effect.
We’ll schedule and handle all of the viewings, so it is one less thing for you to worry about while trying to sell your home.
Make/Get An Offer And Close The Deal
Once a buyer has found the home they want, they make an offer on the home through the real estate agent and the seller can choose to accept, modify, or decline the offer. If both parties agree on the offer, then the deal moves into the closing period. Earnest money is collected, repairs (if requested) are made, and the final loan process is completed.
As either your buying or listing real estate agent, we will help you through the process, answering any questions you may have or offer advice during the sale. Before you know it will be time to sign the paperwork, transfer the funds for the sale of the home, and pass off the keys to the home.
Traditional sales can be fairly straight forward and an easy, if not intimidating, process for homeowners and homebuyers alike. Contact us if you are in need of a buying or listing real estate agent.