First-time home buyers have a very special set of needs and we have team members that specialize in focusing on providing the resources and education that will provide the first-time buyers the confidence, knowledge, and support they deserve to make the experience be as positive as possible.
The very first step a first time buyer should take is to get pre-approved or pre-qualified for a loan. This is important for many reasons. First and foremost it will help the buyer or buyers to focus on a price range that is attainable for them and that they are comfortable with. A good lender will not only provide the information the buyer needs to know their budget, but will also go over payment information so the buyer can decide what price range will make them comfortable. For example just because a buyer can be qualified to purchase a home for $150,000 doesn’t mean they should or that they would be comfortable with the payments and anticipated expenses. A lender will also educate the buyer to take into account the property taxes that go along with each property. Different municipalities have different tax rates and homes at the same list prices could have very different tax amounts which can affect their monthly payments significantly enough that a home can become unaffordable. Our team has recommendations for lenders that we have worked with and know will provide competitive rates and fees and will provide the best resources and information to make that part of the process go as smoothly as possible. Choosing the right lender is extremely important and can make or break a home purchase. We are happy to share names and contact information for lenders that standout in our area. Not all lenders are the same!
The next step is to now set up a home search that matches the price range the buyer has determined. It is time to really discuss location, amenities and condition expectations. Is the buyer looking for a home that may need some work or are they wanting something completely move in ready? We ask many questions to help determine a direction. We can set up automatic searches that will notify the buyer immediately when a home that fits into the criteria shows up on the market. In a fast moving seller’s market moving fast to look at homes may be important. The searches we set up can always be changed as buyers often discover through the process that they may change their thoughts on what is important to them. Sometimes areas are expanded or narrowed for example.
The next step is to view the homes in person. This is where it really becomes enjoyable. When a buyer has an agent looking out for them they can learn so many great things to consider while viewing the homes. Condition, age, location, amenities, yard, style and so many other factors can be important come time to resell a home. A Buyer’s Agent can really be important to be sure all things are considered to make the right choice for each buyer. Having someone to protect a buyer’s interests is definitely the way to go.
When the buyer finds the right home it is time for an offer. That process in itself should be informative. Our team prides itself in educating the buyer to know their options and the implications as they write their offer. During the offer process our agents will assist in the negotiation process which is an area where our experience really comes to light. Once an offer is accepted the agent will manage the transaction by tracking dates and deadlines. This can include items such as home inspections and special tests that may be advisable for the home. Many times a new negotiation can occur if repairs are found to be needed in the process of these tests or inspections. When an offer is accepted a new set of steps need to be followed and it is again important to have someone helping the buyer through this process and looking out for their best interests. After all of the steps are taken and the buyer is clear to close a final walk through often occurs. The buyer is almost a home owner.
Finally it is time to close on the home and collect the keys! This may seem like the end of the process but with our team we like to build relationships, so we will be here as questions come up and resources are needed. For example if a buyer is looking to make some improvements that will affect resale one day, we are happy to provide our expert opinions on where to best invest their dollars. We also have experience with many contractors and are happy to provide names and information on contractors that the homeowner may like get bids from. We like to be thought of long after the move is complete.