It's almost Springtime and you have decided to buy your first home, or step up to a larger home, or wanting to buy that second home in the mountains. No matter your reason for buying you are wondering how I should go about this endeavor. Let me help you. There is a logical progression of steps that would be most beneficial to buyers.
1) The first thing any buyer should do is to take stock in their own financial profile. What I mean there is to take out pen and paper and list your debts (loans not utility bills) with payments and balances, list your assets the same way, and then break down your income to monthly levels. This will help you to figure out what you can afford. You might want to pay cash or get a loan this will tell you what you have to work with. If you are going to get a loan then you will need to get a few more things ready like your last two years tax statements, a couple of recent bank statements, and pay stubs showing you are still employed. Now you are ready for step number two!
2) You now have a good handle of your finances and are ready to start shopping for that house. You have looked at the advertisements maybe looked online and you want to see the inside of a couple of houses so you call a Real Estate Agent. A good agent will question you before they take you out to look at houses or will question you as he shows you that first house. A couple of first questions should be: Are you working with another agent and have you gone over agency? Do you know how you want to buy cash or loan? Have you been pre-approved by a lender? If you have a good report with the agent and you think that he can help you then take an hour and let him go through agency and loan options with you. He will have a few lenders that he trusts and deal with on an everyday basis and should be able to match you up with a lender who will have a mortgage product to meet your needs. At that time he will suggest that you get pre-approved for your mortgage and because of step # 1 you are ready for that. You will then know what priced home you should look at and won't be wasting time on houses that won't fit your financial profile! Your agent will have the tools necessary to help you through the next steps of finding the home you want. You will be offering from the knowledge that you can do it almost like having cash in hand.
There is still agency and other issues that you need to know about. Ask your agent questions. If you need help buying or selling a house and you don't know how to start give me a call and let me help put you in touch with a knowledgeable agent anywhere in the U.S.