As a first time home buyer, the home buying process can seem complicated and confusing. From mortgage questions to dealing with real estate agents and closing costs, there are many things that you need to learn about to be sure that your first home purchase is a pleasant one and results in a good investment. A good realtor can be a huge help in guiding you through the buying process.
The first step in buying a home is to meet with an experienced real estate agent who can answer all of your questions and help you become knowledgeable abut the local housing market. Ask to meet with the realtor and have a list of questions ready to ask. If the realtor does not seem to want to take the time to answer your questions or does not seem knowledgeable, meet with other realtors until you find one willing to spend time with you and that you feel confident has knowledge and experience. Do not rush into working with a realtor or looking at homes until you find one you are comfortable with even if you have to meet with several. While realtors are not mortgage experts, a good realtor should be able to answer basic questions about closing costs, down payments figures and the time frame in closing a sale as well as being able to recommend several mortgage companies that you can contact to make sure that you are financially qualified to buy a home.
Once you have selected your realtor and gotten some names of mortgage companies to talk with, gather all your financial information including your pay stubs, last year’s tax return and all statements about debts that you owe and make an appointment to talk to the mortgage company representative. You will also need to check your credit report and see if there are any inaccuracies that need to be corrected before applying for your mortgage. The mortgage company will look at your income and expenses and tell you how much you will be able to qualify for in getting a loan. With this information, you can then go back to your realtor who can compile a list of properties that are within your budget and that meet the criteria that you most want in a home. Also, having been pre-qualified by the mortgage company will make prospective seller take you more seriously.
Once you have found a home that you wish to purchase, your realtor can lead you through making an offer. Once the offer is accepted and a sales contract signed, an attorney will handle the final closing and the paperwork for the mortgage and the deed. If you do not have an attorney that you have worked with, your realtor or mortgage company can usually recommend someone to handle the closing.
A good realtor can make the sometimes confusing and stressful process of buying a home a much more pleasant experience. Be sure that you choose your realtor carefully.