You seen the symptoms!
Confusion, lists of requirements, constant cell phone calls to get opinions and a reluctance to commit to anything. You’ve seen them driving up and down the street gazing at your real estate. Fortunatley (or unfortunately) – first time home buyers make up one of the fastest growing groups in real estate and home buying jitters is a common ailment.
There is a ton of information to help with the home buying process- yet many first timers make the same mistakes.
1. They jump from agent to agent (assuming they are using a Realtor) and never sit down to discuss their specific needs and wants. Reality: The Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is a giant pantry loaded with stuff- and every agent has the same access to the information.
2. First time buyers are reticent to apply for a loan -because you’re unsure about your credit scores. Reality: Working with a good lender, prior to beginning house hunting, will answer all your questions about finance. Worst case basis- you need to clean up your credit before you actually purchase a property.
3. You have the lender, but don’t lock the mortgage rate- because you know the rates will go down. Reality: Lock the rate and/or sign up for a rate guarantee protection program (yes it does cost money). Volatility in the markets has caused more than one buyer to pay more-because rates went up ..not down.
4. First time buyers don’t think about how long they’re going to stay in the property. Reality: Think about resale. If it is so cute-how long has it been on the market, at what price? Are there a lot of homes for sale on the street or area? Plot out a smart path- purchase with the end game in mind.
5. First timers often want to take a few days before writing an offer – and end up losing the real estate. Reality: There is a saying in real estate…”the home you look at today and want to think about may be purchased by the person who looked at it yesterday and wrote a contract today…..” Even in the slower market, great properties (right price/right place) are selling quickly.
6. First time home buyers need to listen to their Realtors when writing an offer. Often you listen to the advice of friends and family and write an offer which totally offends the sellers. Reality: Family and friends are important and their input is welcome- but your Realtor knows the market – so weigh advice and play it smart when writing an offer.
Finally, if you have questions- ask. Find the answers before you sign a legally binding purchase contract.