There are multiple reasons to hire a Realtor when you are looking to buy a home. You want to choose a Realtor who is educated, understands the current market conditions, pricing, contracts, and is a skilled negotiator. 

Most buyers are looking for a home online.  Are you using all of your available resources, and more importantly are you using them wisely?  The internet is a great place to start your search, but it shouldn’t be your only source of information and support when it comes to making such an important decision. 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), most homebuyers search online websites when they are looking to purchase a home.  There are many reasons why you should work with a Realtor in addition to your digital search.

There’s more to real estate than finding a home online.  The full transaction is complex.  Determining your price, submitting an offer, and negotiating successfully are just a few of the key components of the process.  You’ll want a professional to guide you through the process. 

In today’s market, hiring a talented negotiator could save you thousands of dollars.  From the original offer to the appraisal and inspection, many of the intricate steps can get confusing.  You need someone who is willing to be your advocate and keep the deal together until it closes. 

There’s so much information out there in the news and internet about home prices, sales, mortgage rates and more, you need a Realtor who understands the market and is eager to help you learn along the way so that you can make an informed and educated decision.  The process of buying a home is not to be taken lightly.  You need to know how long you plan on living in an area and how much you can afford to spend, among other factors. 

Before you start the process to purchase a home, you will want to get pre-approved for a mortgage.  A prequalification letter helps you make an offer on a home because it gives the seller confidence that you will be able to get financing to buy the home. Lenders will evaluate several factors connected to your financial record, one of which is your credit history.  Pre-approval will help you better understand how much you can afford so you can confidently make a strong offer and close the deal.  Today’s low inventory, like we’ve seen recently and will continue to see, means homebuyers need every advantage they can get. 

In addition to knowing how much you can afford on a monthly mortgage payment, you will need to have an understanding of how much you’ll need for a down payment and closing costs.  Closing costs are additional fees that are due at closing that typically range from two percent to five percent of the total cost of the home and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees and additional fees. 

Once you have found the right home and applied for a mortgage, there are some key things to keep in mind before you close on your home.  Before you deposit cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.  Lenders  need to source your money and cash is not easily traceable. 

Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or furniture for your home.  New debt comes with new monthly obligations.  New obligations create new qualifications.  New debt will change the debt to income ratios and may prevent you from qualifying for a loan.  Don’t co-sign for anyone.  When you co-sign, you are obligated.  That obligation will change your ratios.  Don’t change bank accounts as lenders need to source and track assets.  Don’t apply for new credit as your FICO score will be impacted.  Don’t close any credit accounts.  A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history.  Closing accounts has a negative impact on your score. 

Any change in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved.  The best plan is to fully disclose and discuss everything with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. 

That was a lot of don’ts!  If you are ready to move forward, take a look at what you can prioritize to reach your goal and do call me to determine the steps you should take to start the process today!

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