The More You KNOW
Buying a house can be an overwhelming experience. How much can you afford? How do you find a house? How do you buy one? That’s why it is important to have a knowledgeable and competent Realtor® who can guide you through that process. From start to finish, I will take you through the proper steps of buying a home in the right order while making it much easier for you. Expect More. Get More.
Tips ON FINDING THE RIGHT HOME
- Narrowing Down: Many buyers find it helpful to do “drive-by’s” to view communities and the exterior of possible homes to narrow your list on the homes you’d like to see inside. If you can eliminate potential homes by knowing just from driving by, it will maximize our time together.
- Be Open-Minded: If the pictures online are “so-so,” it might be worth keeping it on your possibility list–pictures don’t always do the house justice! Even if you think, “Hmm..maybe,” it’s probably worth a look.
- Decisions–Decisions: Most often, buyers say, “I wish I could take some of this house, combine it with some of that house and I’d have the perfect house!” Generally, you’ll narrow down to a deciding factor of what’s most important in your decision process for the right home. Keeping in mind what’s most important in your search helps you stay decisive. Making a list of “must-have’s” vs. “would-like-to-have’s” is a great way to stay focused.
Tips ON NEGOTIATIONS
- Local Market Knowledge: most sellers in the Triangle price their house accordingly with fair market value. Typically, sellers get 97%-98% of the list price, but not in all cases. Negotiations are a case-by-case basis and every situation is different.
- See it Through the Seller’s Eyes: If you’re asking for the seller to pay for your closing costs, they will subtract that from your offer price to see the “net offer.”
- The Bottom Line: If seller paid closing costs are important for you, it may become necessary to not be as concerned with lowering the price by a few thousand dollars, versus getting closing costs paid. Often times, a seller will be willing to accommodate paying closing costs for you, but in exchange, they will be less likely to come off their price too much. Lowering the price by a few thousand dollars will barely scrape anything off of your mortgage payment.
- The best deals are “win-win” where both parties are happy!
- Trust your agent’s guidance in structuring your offer and throughout the negotiation process. That’s what we’re here for–as we have negotiated hundreds of deals! Let our experience be used to your advantage!
Tips ON CHOOSING THE RIGHT LENDER
- Truth:Contrary to what many people think, every lender has access to the same mortgage rates. There are rare exceptions, but most institutions can offer the same rate. However, rates fluctuate daily and you won’t be able to lock your interest rate until you have a contract to purchase a house. Don’t micro-focus on “getting a great rate” because there are many other factors you need to consider in choosing the right lender AND loan. Understand if you will be paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI), additional fees at closing, and what fees are due up front (appraisal and credit report), as well as what your overall closing costs will be.
- The Real Deal: What many people don’t know is that what affects the interest rate you get is your overall financial picture and the lender’s requirements, as well as any of the loan requirements (conventional vs. government-backed loan).
- The Right Fit: What’s most important is finding the lender with which you feel most comfortable. You need someone who has experience, knows the loan process, has strong and qualified support staff, and knows loan products and requirements. You need someone who is committed to you, the deadlines necessary to keep the loan progress on time, so that we close on time and you can move in on time.
Tips ON CONTRACT TO CLOSE Setting Expectations Reduces Stress
- Be Prepared: We are committed to taking care of all the “red flags” that arise and guide you to the final steps in your purchase. While we cannot predict what “speed bumps” we will encounter, the most important thing is to anticipate some. You will be involved and informed every step of the way. We understand buying a house is usually the single largest investment you may ever make in your lifetime. That is why we are here to help protect that investment. Money is a very emotional object for the buyer and the seller. Likewise, moving and acquiring a home loan are one of the top most stressful events one can experience in life (according to the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale). My job is to be your objective advocate and advisor while leading you through your purchase. Trust that your agent and lender are guiding you with the best experience and advice. Together, we will get you in the house you want!
- Be Patient: Remember that there are a lot of people involved in this part of the process, from you and the sellers, the agents, the lender, the attorney, inspectors, repairman, movers, surveyor, appraiser, and so on. Know that we are all aiming toward the same goal–purchasing the right house!
- Be Flexible: There are a thousand ways to “skin a cat.” Sometimes it is necessary to try a different way to accomplish the same goal, after approaching a dead end road on the first try. Generally, there are house problems and there are people problems in any given purchase transaction. The first of those is usually more complicated, as we have to find solutions that not only appease buyer and seller, but also industry laws and rules. The latter half tends to be more stressful, as we cannot control anyone’s actions. The most important things is that we work together as a team to solve any problems, helping you make the right decisions on your investment.