In this post, I explain my tips for first time home buyers…
Being a first time home buyer is an exciting experience in your life. There are so many first time buyers that HGTV even has a show just for you… Property Virgins! For most, this is a decision based on finances and common sense, and I often hear my younger buyers saying they have decided to graduate into adulthood. Regardless of your reasoning for buying a home, your first experience can be overwhelming, confusing and negative unless you have a real estate agent who is willing to guide you through every step of the process. As a former private teacher who enjoys educating others, I personally love teaching my buyers about all of the stages of buying a house.
My tips for first time home buyers are explained in the video below, and then listed below the embedded video. If you have any questions, be sure to call or text me at 740.816.5511 or email me.
Video: 7 Tips for First Time Home Buyers
7 Tips for First Time Home Buyers
Find a great real estate agent.
You don’t want to navigate these waters alone. As a buyer, you do not directly pay for the real estate agent (except for very unique circumstances), so this does not usually add anything to your cost. Plus, you need someone to go to for your questions other than mom and dad, who may not have bought a home in 20+ years and are not familiar with the present situation. Make sure the real estate agent will actually make time for you and your questions, and be the guiding hand you need. I like to say that I’m the captain of the ship, and my responsibility is to navigate the elements while coordinating all of the goings-on within the ship.
Start with a home buying questionnaire to tell your real estate agent all of your preferences.
This means that you will have to make some decisions regarding where you want to live, your price range (see the mortgage calculator in the sidebar), what type of home you’re looking for, and what features are really important to you. If you would like to work with me, here is my buyer questionnaire, and you’re welcome to download it, fill it out and email it back to me at SaraMarie.Brenner@SothebysRealty.com.
Ask your real estate agent to explain the market to you.
Right now we are in a seller’s market in Central Ohio. Watch the video for further explanation about what this means for a first time home buyer.
Before you start making offers, get pre-approved.
Figure out your financing! In the video, I explain how and why to do this, and how it relates to tip #3. Real estate agents often have a list of a few lenders they trust, as I do; however, it is ultimately up to the buyer to select the lender. Start gathering all of your tax returns, pay stubs and bank statements, and check your own credit on free site just to see where you land. Mortgage credit scores are slightly different than your FICO though, so your mortgage broker/banker will check your credit independently. If you think your credit is low, ask your real estate agent to work with a lender who might be able to help you improve your credit score over time.
Know what you want, but be prepared to be a little flexible.
Maybe you want something turn-key, but if you can get into the house of your dreams for less money and improve it over time, it might be worth the gains you may see.
Make sure you’re receiving the MLS feed.
This is so important, and one of the huge advantages of working with a real estate agent who is an actual REALTOR®. Through the MLS, my clients receive houses that are for sale through an email notification the moment the properties hit the market. Sites like Zillow, Trulia and other can be delayed several days. In a seller’s market, the house you want might be sold before you even see it if you aren’t receiving the direct MLS feed from your real estate agent.
Understand the home buying process so that you are not caught by surprise.
This goes back to tip #1, and finding an agent who will patiently walk you through this process. I always go through this document with new clients during the first face-to-face meeting, even if it has already been emailed to them for review. It is important to understand the steps so that we keep things moving and minimize surprises.
Want the 8th bonus tip?
Be sure to watch the video above all the way through!