If you are thinking that this is the year to purchase your dream home, it’s time to get ready for the “season”. Just like hunting or fishing season, there are checklists and things that normally need to be completed before the big Opening Day arrives.
Start by talking to a real estate professional – a Realtor® at the Coup Agency. Many of our professionals have been guiding home buyers through the “process” for years. Any Realtor® worth his salt will ask you to first talk to a mortgage lender to be pre-qualified for a loan. Why?
It’s all about the financing. Most of all of us need to finance the purchase, as we do not have the means to pay cash for our new home.
Why is the financing the first step? First, it’s important to know how much money you have in your wallet to start your “shopping”. Secondly, the type of financing will sometimes dictate type of home or the repairs that may need to be made to qualify for a particular financing program. Your Realtor® will need to be aware of the financing, to be able to point out repairs that may be required to obtain the financing. Third, if you are lacking in down payment money or needing assistance with the “closing costs” involved with financing, your real estate professional needs to know that so that when the Agreement of Sale (your offer to purchase) is written, all terms and conditions need to be contained in the offer and this would be one of them.
Fourth, a seller is going to want to know that the offer that you have presented to them (or actually your Realtor® has presented) is legitimate – that you can actually purchase the property. For this reason, they will require that you submit a Pre-Qualification letter from a lender stating the type of financing and the amount that you have been qualified to purchase with contract. Sellers are not interested in taking their home off the market for 4 or 5 weeks to find out if you have the financial means to purchase their home. Thus to write the offer, this letter will need to be submitted with the contract.
There are many prospective buyers who call or come into our office and are ready to look at homes and are frustrated with our real estate professional’s response to refer back to the last paragraph, first, before we can proceed with looking for homes. If you like a home and don’t have your Pre-Qualification letter, the whole process of making an offer will be slowed down until you have done the necessary steps – see the fourth point above.
It’s fine to start searching for homes online and letting your agent know of your interest in some homes, as long as you have done the first step – talked to the lender about financing.
Should you not have a bank/lender in which you have a current relationship, our Realtors® will have suggestions. Rate is not the only thing to consider in choosing a lender. Many lenders have great rates to entice you but their service and performance in getting the mortgage approved can be horrible. Your real estate professional will be able to assist you in knowing which lenders are superior lenders that will make your “process” as easy and effortless as possible for you and explain everything to you.
Whether you are cleaning or sighting in your gun, getting the hunting clothes out, making sure you have the right lures, getting your waders ready or making sure you have enough beer along for the trip, there are always specific steps that need to be taken for any “season”. The House Hunting Season is upon us – our Realtors® are ready to be your “guide” through the wild world of real estate and to help you “wade through” the process and paperwork. Use them, ask them questions and rely on their knowledge.
Here’s hoping that you “catch” a great one!