Can I Simplify My Home Purchase?

Want to understand more about buying real estate? Want a less stressful experience while buying a home? Tired of feeling like all you see are the "left-over" properties? Want better Service?

Buying a home is usually one of the largest financial and emotional commitments a Buyer makes, right up on the list with weddings and starting a family. While I can’t say that buying real estate is "fun", starting with the Realtor® can make the process less stressful and more enjoyable.

The first step, before going out to look at property, is to choose your Realtor®* and establish your real estate goals. This sometimes sounds strange to Buyers, however, the earlier you contact the Realtor®, and by starting with the Realtor®, not the property, or the lender, the easier it is to locate the best property for you, in the area you want, and negotiate a smooth and successful escrow. Starting with the Realtor® allows you to structure a transaction with the most benefits to you and trouble shoots any potential problem ahead of time.

Many buyers start with the Internet and/or local publications to select a Realtor®. If you have friends, neighbors or co-workers people in the area you wish to live, ask them if they recommend the Realtor® they worked with in their purchase. You will get the best results by selecting a Realtor® that is actively involved full time in real estate sales where you wish to purchase. If a couple of different locations work for you, you can choose a Realtor® from each area, informing them of whom you are working with in the other area, so they don’t overlap.

If the Realtor® has not been personally referred to you, ask for a resume and references of at least 3 past clients. Also, while giving a lot of weight to personal recommendations, take into account the similarity of your style and your style to the person who made the recommendation. Even in the best of situations, real estate transactions can be stressful.

Interview as many Realtors® as needed to find one with whom you communicate well, and in whom you have professional confidence. Most Realtors® appreciate spending some time with prospective clients, to determine a plan and if they can, or want to, proceed.

Since most buyers understand that their offer has a greater chance of acceptance if they are pre-approved for a loan, shouldn’t the Buyer go to a lender before seeing a Realtor®? Generally the answer is no. The reason to meet with your Realtor® first is because they can direct you towards the appropriate lenders for you. Different lenders make different types of loans. Some Lender’s base approval of the loan by giving more weight to the person borrowing, while others weight the property that will secure the loan and may deal with a borrower who has had a few credit glitches in the past. Each lender has it’s own idiosyncrasies regarding qualifications and verifications. Your Realtor® will know which are the most likely to make the loan on the type of property in the area you want, and/or to a person with your financial and employment background.

Your best service and information comes from professionals in the area you want to buy in. Whether it’s a Realtor®, mortgage broker or inspector, the more familiar they are with your area, the more advantageous it is for you. If there is a reason to work with a professional that is not immediately familiar with the area, be prepared for delays or other side effects. Next month I will discuss what, and how, the Realtor® makes your purchase smooth and successful!

*A Realtor® can be a licensed Broker, or Agent working under a Broker. This term indicates they are a member of the California and National Associations of Realtors, which adhere to a code of ethics and educational requirements. They may also have some of the other profession designations such as CRS.GRI.CCIM that designate specialized levels of education and training.