Today’s home buyers have access to endless information designed to help them through the process of purchasing a home. All of these “tips, tricks and helpful ideas” are intended to give buyers a better understanding of the real estate industry.
But here’s the thing: a lot of those “tips and tricks” aren’t relevant to you.
Magazines and TV shows are created for a general audience, and they can be unrealistic. Laws, contracts, and the whole process can be fundamentally different from market to market. Purchasing a home doesn’t happen in 30 minutes. Buyers are left to wade through so much information, that they can get overwhelmed.
Our experience working day-in and day-out in the Penticton market means we know just what our buyers need. The Fox family wants to make sure you’re market savvy! Here are some local, well-founded, top tips we want to share with you.
Top 3 Tips for Home Buyers
1: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You’ve heard this one before, and it’s number 1 on our list for a reason.
Buyers should be ready with a full, formal approval from a mortgage specialist.
An online mortgage calculator can be a helpful guide-line, but it can’t accurately determine what you can afford. Make an appointment with your bank or a private mortgage broker. Lenders have access to all of your information, including outstanding debts, old student loans, or other factors you might have overlooked, to determine how much you’re actually qualified to borrow.
A pre-approved mortgage will give you a realistic budget, including payments, and will help you stay within your comfort zone.
2: Find a Realtor you Trust
Right. You’ve been pre-approved. You know your budget. You know how to reach your financial goals. Now it’s time to find your REALTOR®.
It’s important to develop a relationship with a REALTOR® who takes the time to understand your specific situation. Without a committed agent in your corner, you won’t get consistent advice, which could hurt you during the negotiation process (remember that a listing agent is working to get the best deal for the seller!).
Find a REALTOR® or a team that fits your personality. You’ll know when you’re comfortable. A professional agent will be your consultant. He or she will listen to your concerns, your wants and needs, and will give you clear advice. Based on your criteria, the right agent will be able to find you several options, and will ultimately broker the best possible deal for your new home or investment.
As REALTORS®, we do this every day. Our professional experience is unmatched. A great relationship with a REALTOR® can last a lifetime.
3: Make a List of Your Priorities
Yes, you should make this list. Three sections: Needs, Wants, and Bonus Items
What are the most important things for you? (Be realistic –they can’t ALL be “most important”…)
Do you want a kid-friendly neighbourhood in a good school catchment?
A rural retreat with only a few neighbours?
A home with high-end finishings?
A fixer-upper you can put your own stamp on?
Writing these down can help you sort through what is really essential.
A few things to remember:
You can always change the aesthetics of a home, but you cannot change the location.
Priorities and criteria usually evolve along the way –keep your list flexible!
Discuss your goals with your partner or family! Make sure everyone is on the same page.
Putting thought into this list beforehand can save you stress and disappointment down the line. It can also help your REALTOR® tailor your search.
These three important tips will help you confidently navigate the real estate process.
Your agent will be there to guide you, so make sure you have an open and honest relationship with him or her. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Be clear about your home buying motivations and your financial situation.
Being prepared and starting out right will help you and your REALTOR® achieve the best end result.
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