Terrific Tips for First Time Home Buyers
It might surprise a first time home buyer that they
aren't the only ones who feel confused about the whole home buying
process. Almost all home buyers feel the same way, even those who have
purchased a home before. It's easy to forget some or the entire home
buying steps you've followed in the past. Here are some tips on how to
You may have relatives or friends who live in another
state or area. They might have some good advice for you, but chances are
that the home buying process varies greatly in different areas, so do
not make the mistake of relying solely on their advice. Educate yourself
about the home buying customs where you want to live. You can talk to
realtors, mortgage brokers, loan officers, or even friends who've
recently moved into your area. Also the public library might be a good
How to Get Educated
Approach a real estate agent by explaining that you do
not want to enter into an agreement for representation at the current
time. However, find out if they will talk to you about a typical home
buying scenario. Any agent that won't take a few moments of time to help
you understand home buying, probably, isn't an agent that you want to
work with. If you have to make several calls to find someone willing to
help you, it will be worth the effort. If you aren't comfortable talking
to a real estate agent, you can always try a mortgage broker or a loan
officer. Everyone will have a different perspective of the process but
all should be able to give you a basic overview or understanding of the
home buying process.
Once you find
answers to these questions, you'll have a much better idea of the basic
home buying customs in your area.
decide to work with an agent, once I've decided to purchase a home,
will the agent help me compose my offer? If not, who would be
willing to help? (Lawyer, Broker, etc.) Some agents use
fill-in-the-blank forms and if so, ask for a sample to take home and
study and possibly use for ideas to create your own.
Will an agent give
me a sample copy of typical disclosures? What kind of disclosures
are sellers required to give to their buyers? Does it differ by city
Is a home
inspection standard in the area? Are there other types of
inspections recommended? How much does an inspection usually cost,
and who pays the cost, buyer or seller? When is the inspection
usually done, before or after an offer or closing?
Is a survey of the
property required, and if so, who pays for it, the buyer or the
If I want to be
sure the deed to the title is problem free, do I need to contact a
title company? Does someone else do this for me? What is the average
cost for this service?
Who acts as
settlement agent, the person who puts together final paperwork for
you to sign? (Attorney, title company personnel, real estate broker,
other)? Who will put together final paperwork for signing (otherwise
known as settlement agent)? Several options could include Title
Company, real estate broker, attorney, etc.
Other than loan
costs, what's the average total cost for other closing fees? What is
the average total cost of closing fees, other than the cost of the
loan? What is included in these fees, such as taxes, agency fees,
Once my offer has
been accepted, how long does it normally take to close on a home?
What might hold closing up or make it difficult?
What can I, as the
buyer, do to ensure things go smoothly?
It is very likely that you will hit a few snags on the
way to closing - most people do. However, if you keep your head clear,
you will be able to work with the right people to resolve any issues
that pop up and the transaction will end up smoothly. There are many
details to keep track of, so remember not to over react if something
goes wrong, and every problem has a solution.
Now that you've
reviewed this section, your next steps are the same as they would be for
every home buyer. Relax, take a few deep breaths and then begin! Dig
into the details and simply start the home buying process. If you allow
yourself to enjoy it, the whole experience can be fun!
Compliments of Bill Smith, REALTOR® with
Prudential Americana Group,