So you are thinking about buying your first home and you are not sure where to start? The first thing you should consider is the agent. This is the person that is going to be your advocate and will represent and guide you through the transaction. Get referrals from friends and family that have purchased and sold real estate. Look on the internet; see if anyone appeals to you.
When you make your initial call to the agent ask them if they do a buyer consultation prior to looking at houses. You will want to work with an agent who does this. It will prepare you for the transaction. You will be a more confident buyer and have a smoother transaction.
You should have a list of question that are important to you and make sure you get clear answers from the agent. These are some of the basic items you should expect to cover in a buyer consultation appointment.
I give my potential clients a buyer packet. It has local area information, information about me, and a blank copy of the forms we will go over and that you will be asked to sign. I also include a home buyer’s guide that has a copy of the contract that you will sign, a HUD-1 and a glossary of terms.
- The agent should give you a clear understanding of who represents whom in the transaction, how the agents are paid. Together, you should go over the Buyer Broker Agreement but not pressured to sign it. Remember, you are interviewing the agents. You should be able to walk away and digest the information. If the agent is the one you want to work with, you will call them and let them know “they got the job”.
- Your potential agent should be able to discuss and explain your closing costs. You may ask if in your market is it customary for sellers to pay any of these fees.
- You should get an idea of what your approximate monthly payment will be and how it is broken down. You will confirm this information with a professional lender, but the agent should be able to explain the basics to you.
- The agent should be able to give you a couple of lender names so that you may then call and confirm the closing fees and compare interest rates.
- This is the time to ask about inspections and what they entail, who pays for what and what items would the seller be responsible for as far as repairs go?
- Make sure you feel you have clear communication with the agent. Tell the agent the best way to communicate with you.
I wish you luck in your endeavor in buying your first home. Being prepared by an experienced, capable agent will be the key to smooth transaction. No matter where you are, if you have questions, shoot me an email and I will answer your questions to the best of my ability!