The Three Big Decisions a Home Buyer Makes
The three most important decisions a home buyer can make are:
- Choosing the right Realtor.
- Choosing the right mortgage loan.
- Choosing the right property.
Many homebuyers, especially if this is their first home or the first home purchase for many years assume they should find a home they like, start working with the Realtor who has listed that home for sale, and then apply for a mortgage. The reasons for not doing things in that order are it can lead to time-wasting, disappointment, and having to start all over again. Before we discuss choosing the right Realtor, let us dwell for a moment on choosing the right mortgage loan before choosing the right home.
Get in the Driving Seat
In the 47 states where we operate, we know there are special programs some buyers may qualify for that help with down payment or closing costs. And some national mortgage programs suit different buyers. There are many mortgage programs available through Equity Prime Mortgage. Some programs suit a home buyer better than others because, for example:
- This is their first home.
- They have a lower or higher credit score.
- They qualify for a VA loan.
- They are buying their primary residence not an investment or vacation property.
Knowing which loan program is right for you and getting pre-qualified for that loan means you and your Realtor can focus on finding the perfect home. You know how much you can borrow, how much down payment you have to make, and what your closing costs may be. Your Realtor also knows what to introduce into conversations with a seller’s Realtor or what sort of price and terms negotiation may be needed. On top of that, you don’t waste time looking at properties you cannot afford or settle for one that “is good enough” when you could actually afford a more perfect home. In addition – and this is a big one – when you do write your offer, the seller knows you are a serious buyer who can close in 30 days or less.
Choosing the Right Realtor
A lot of buyers assume one Realtor is rather like the next Realtor – after all, their role is to show you possible homes to buy. There is so much more to it than that. Yes, Realtors show homes but the right Realtor offers home buyers so much more. They:
- Understand the local market. Buyers don’t just buy a home, they sort of buy the neighborhood as well. If commute time, public transport, easy access to parks, shopping or restaurants matter, your Realtor probably knows more so can help narrow things down. This is particularly important if you are moving states or cities.
- Keep their ear to the ground. They know what properties may be coming on the market that are not up on the internet yet.
- Talk with other Realtors, local government officers, attend meetings and training sessions, etc. so they know what changes may be happening in a neighborhood which may make one potential home more or less attractive, long term, than another.
- Know how to write, prepare, and deliver an offer on the home you want. Different states have laws and standards for the “what and how” of presenting an offer. The right Realtor will know these things. In addition, there is the “personal” side of things for the seller. Most sellers want to sell their home for the best price, on the best terms, and in the best time frame. The right Realtor knows how to make your offer look like the one the seller should accept. After the property is under contract, your Realtor will
- Liaise on your behalf with your lender, the title agent or attorney who will handle the closing, with home inspectors, the seller’s Realtor, etc. It takes a lot of time, effort, and experience to successfully get from a signed contract to having the keys to your new home. Your Realtor becomes a kind of project manager at this point.
Buying a home is one of the most important decisions anyone can make. Getting the whole thing done successfully and with the least hassle takes the other two decisions – choosing the right mortgage loan and choosing the right Realtor. To help you start with choosing the right mortgage loan, please click here to go to our pre-qualify page. And, if you want to, you can chat with one of our loan experts.