Buying a home can be extremely stressful especially if you’re a first-time homebuyer. From getting pre-approved to finding a REALTOR®, home inspector, and everything else in between, some of our buyers have said it was the most overwhelming yet wonderful thing they’ve ever done. Luckily for you, however, you’ve found this article. In it, we will tell you 11 things to know when buying a home whether it is your first home or 15th, we’re here to help.
11 Things To Know When Buying A Home
1) A Good Lender Is Everything
The first step in buying a home is getting pre-approved. If you aren’t pre-approved, most REALTORS® won’t show you any property, and if you find one who will, they won’t show you a lot. Thus, it’s important to have an incredible lender on your side to make sure that you can actually get the loan you need to purchase a home. How do you find a great lender? Well, there are a few options. If you know anyone else who has bought property in the area you will be purchasing your home, ask them who they used. If they had a good experience, they’ll be more than happy to recommend them. If they didn’t, they’ll tell you something to avoid. Another way to find a great lender is to, oddly enough, contact a great REALTOR®. Which, leads me into my next point.
2) Find A Great REALTOR® To Be On Your Side
A REALTOR® is an incredible asset for a buyer no matter how many homes you’ve bought and sold. A good REALTOR® knows the market, the process of purchasing, and things to look out for when buying a home because they do it every day. Some REALTORS® sell 100+ houses/year. I can’t think of anyone who would be more knowledgeable about buying a home than someone who helps people buy 100+ homes/year. Now, I’m not saying you need a REALTOR® that is doing that much business, but it is important to have a REALTOR® that sells houses full-time and knows the process up and down.
3) You Will Be Overwhelmed w/ Paperwork
When buying a house in Tennessee, you will sign around 30 pages of documents when you put in an offer. Not to mention what you’ll sign for your mortgage and then what you sign at closing to actually take procession of the home. Many old-school REALTORS® talk about the days of the one-page contracts, but in today’s world, that is far from the case. Now, all of this paperwork may be a little overwhelming; however, if you took the advice earlier and got a good REALTOR®, they will be more than happy to sit down and look everything over with you in order to make sure you truly understand what you are signing. If your REALTOR® won’t do this, they aren’t a good REALTOR®.
4) You May Have To ‘Lose’ A Few
In the current market in most of the United States, houses are selling just as fast as they come on the market. Because of this, many home buyers when they first start looking will lose a few houses they wish they had bought because they wanted to see more first. We see this time and time again with first-time homebuyers. As REALTORS®, we always try to prepare our buyers for this and educate them on how the market is working. If you find a house you love and can’t stop thinking about, buy it. There is a reason you can’t get it out of your mind. I understand taking a day or two, and in my market, that can usually be okay. However, if you are in a large metropolitan market, even that could be too long. Because of this, you’ll probably lose a few houses you love, but that’s okay. It’s all part of buying a home in the current real estate climate.
5) REALTORS® Are FREE For Buyers
Did you know that enlisting the services of a REALTOR® is completely free for buyers? I’ve heard multiple people say, “I don’t want to buy a house with an agent because it costs me money!” Well, I’m here to inform you that it doesn’t. As a buyer, using a real estate agent doesn’t cost you a dime. Your agent will be given a piece of the selling agents commission for bringing the buyer to the house. The reason they are willing to do this is because it’s one of the only ways to actually get the house sold. In our market, less than 20% of homes sold are actually sold by the listing agent. In over 80% of sales, the person who brings the buyer is another agent – not the listing agent. Thus, using a real estate agent to buy a home is completely free to the buyer and doesn’t cost them a dime. It really is a no-brainer to use a REALTOR® to buy a home!
6) Lenders Consider You Guilty Until Proven Innocent
This may seem a bit funny/extreme, but it’s true. Lenders assume you don’t have a job, have no money to your name, and that you wouldn’t make a single house payment after you get the mortgage until you prove them otherwise. Because of this, they are going to want what seems like a ridiculous amount of documents and information from you. The truth is, however, this is necessary in order for them to feel confident in giving you a loan at the best rate possible. Thus, just remember when they are asking you why you bought that $5 cup of ice cream last week, they are trying to get you the best rate and loan terms possible while still getting you the house of your dreams.
7) Don’t Be Afraid To Look At ‘A Lot’ of Houses
We’ve shown 30 houses to people before they’ve finally pulled the trigger and bought one. Now, that’s not to say they didn’t lose a few homes, but when they did eventually put in an offer, they were confident in the market and the value that they were getting in the home they were buying. Some real estate agents may not like showing you 30 or more homes before you buy, but a good REALTOR® won’t mind as long as you stay loyal to them, and when you do find the home you want to buy, you work with them to do so. If you need to look at 70 homes over the course of a year before you purchase one, that’s fine. Just be sure to do it with the same agent that you can trust. That way, you’ll build an honest relationship with the agent, and he or she will eventually be rewarded for all of their work.
8) If You Like It, Look At It
Home buying has changed from 20 years ago. Now, you will preview all of the homes you see online before you actually go look at them in person. Because of this, if you like the home online, go see it in person. We’ve seen so many home buyers skip over houses online for one reason or another and regret it later. If you like the look of the house online, and if it’s in your budget, go look at it. If you’re pre-approved, your agent won’t mind at all, and who knows? It could end up being the dream home you’ve been looking for. There is a reason you love the home online. More often than not, you’ll love it in person too. Our clients send us more homes than we send them these days!
9) Use The Knowledge Your REALTOR® Has
You found a REALTOR® for a reason. Use them! They do this every single day. They’ve done tons of transactions, and they know what they’re doing. Don’t be scared to ask them what they think this home is actually worth or if this home is typically for the price range. They go in homes everyday and should have answers to these questions. Now, they aren’t an expert in everything. For example, I have no clue if that foundation crack means the house is falling over or if it just normal settling. That’s the inspector’s job. Not mine. With that being said, I can talk price, taxes, updates, feel of the home, and even quality of materials all day long. Take advantage of your REALTORS® wealth of knowledge, and ask them as many questions as you can. Even if you think they may not know, ask! A good REALTOR® will tell you who to talk to in order to get a correct answer.
10) You Won’t Get Everything You Want
This may be a tough thing to swallow especially for first-time home buyers, but there is absolutely no way for you to get everything you want in a home. Even custom built homes usually have some sort of compromise. Because of this, it is best to pick your ‘top 3’. This ‘top 3’ would be the things you MUST have in order to buy a home. An example maybe you have to be in a certain school zone, you have to have an updated kitchen, and you must have a 2 car garage. Now, some of those may seem ridiculous to you, and that’s okay. Everyone is different, and who knows what your top three would be. The key, however, is to figure them out, and only look at houses that have those things. Be willing to compromise on everything else.
11) Things Will Be Wrong w/ The House You Buy
General home maintenance can be difficult and sometimes forgotten whenever you’re trying to live your everyday life too. Because of this, we try to prepare buyer’s to expect that SOMETHING will be wrong with the house they end up purchasing. The good news is you will have a home inspector that will be able to tell you all of the things wrong with it, so when you move in, you’ll know what needs to be fixed. Another benefit of this is that you can ask the seller to fix things before you move in or lower the price because of the issues. Be careful with this though, the inspection contingency is the main reason homes sales fall through, so if you really want the home, make sure you HAVE to have the issue fixed before you move in. Otherwise, you may regret it later.
Check out these 5 crazy things your home inspector could find!
Bonus) Be Grateful For & Use The Resources You Have
If you’ve followed this article and the recommendations in it, you’ll have a lot of incredible resources to use when purchasing your home. Now, you need to use them, and you need to say thank you. The job of mortgage lenders, real estate agents, home inspectors, and even closing attorneys is usually thankless. If you are grateful for the services you get from these people, they will be much more likely to go above and beyond for you. If you’re not, they’ll be professional, do what needs to be done to get the deal closed, and that’s about it.
Buying a home can be stressful, but now that you have learned these 11 things to know when buying a home, it will be a lot smoother. Take a deep breath. Millions of people buy homes each year. Your REALTOR®, mortgage lender, home inspector, etc. deal with this stuff every single day. When you feel overwhelmed, use them. They know what they are doing, and they’ve probably already solved problems like the one you’re having before. Now, go out, and find your dream home!
If you are looking for your dream home in East Tennessee, give us a call at (423) 748-0999 or contact us online at https://FasslerKing.com/Contact/ We look forward to helping you buy or sell your next home!