Why Working With a Real Estate Professional is the Best Decision You’ll Ever Make
Mostpeople don’t buy a home every day — it’s a once-or-twice-a-decade activity formany of us as opposed to a day-in-day-out activity.
Sowhen you start getting serious about buying, whether it’s your first home oryour fourth, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed pretty quickly. Some parts of theprocess (like searching for a home) have recently become more accessiblethrough technology, but when every buyer has access to the same technology andresources, it’s tough to stand out in a crowd of showing, bids and contracts.
Andthere’s a lot more to the journey than just finding the home: You need tofigure out financing, negotiate on price and possibly request repairs or makeconcessions, get the home appraised and inspected, and make sure all the i’sare dotted and t’s are crossed by the time you sit down at the closing table tosign your name on a stack of paperwork.
That’swhy a real estate professional can be an indispensable resource for buyers –unlike most of us, real estate professionals do manage home sale transactionsevery day, and they can serve as a guide on the buyer’s journey, ushering youfrom Base Camp “I Think I Want To Buy A House” to Summit the mountain of “I’m AHomeowner,” step by step.
Hereare just a few of the ways a real estate professional can help smooth your homebuying path.
Gettingpre-approved by a lender
Insteadof paying rent to the owner of your residence every month, as a homeowner,you’ll be paying back a bank for the money you borrowed to buy your own place.
Butbefore you get there, you need to find that bank and secure that loan. Where doyou start that process?
Areal estate professional is one good place — agents work with an array oflocal loan officers representing different lenders, and depending on whetheryou’re a veteran, your down payment size, your credit score, and a number ofother factors, a good local agent will know which lender (and loan officer)might be the best fit for you.
Theright loan officer will explain your financing options and help you drill downto the real nitty-gritty, like the size of the monthly mortgage payment that’saffordable on your current income, what you should expect in terms of closingcosts, and whether the down payment amount you’ve saved is going to cut it.
Agentscan also explain what to expect during the mortgage loan application process,what you should know about transferring money during the sale, why it’simportant to review certain documents — and they can usually even attest towhether certain lenders have parameters that might be better for one type ofhome instead of another.
Manybuyers (mistakenly) think that they don’t need an agent’s help finding a home.They know what they want, and they know how to search the internet — what’sthe point of hiring an agent?
Here’sthe thing: You might not need any assistance when you’re picking out a car, butthere is no consumer report that exists for the specific home you’re about tospend 30 years paying off.
Whatif you’re someone who thrives on direct sunlight and your “dream home” happensto be located by a hill that’s going to cast it in shadow half the year?
Whatif you can’t sleep when airplanes are flying overhead and your soon-to-be homeis in a major airport’s flight path?
Whatabout the schools? What about the amenities? How do homes in that area holdtheir value — can you expect this investment to appreciate in the next fewyears, and by how much?
Carscome off an assembly line; homes do not. Whether it’s the condition of the homeor the neighborhood around it, you don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised onceyou move in.
Areal estate professional has seen other buyers make mistakes (and find gems)and can help you find a home that you still love two or three (or ten!) yearsdown the road.
Thiscan be one of the most nerve-wracking parts of the process for buyers. Becauseeven if you love the home and are making an offer at the very top of yourbudget … there is no guarantee that the seller will think it’s worth accepting.You could wind up starting all over again on the home search process.
Realestate professionals can help you do more than make an unsophisticated stab inthe dark when it comes to offers — they can show you data that will help youunderstand whether you’re likely to be underbidding or overbidding, forexample, such as the recent sales prices of similar homes nearby, theprice-per-square-foot range in the neighborhood, and much more.
Thisis really where the home sales rubber meets the road. If your offer is high forthe market, the seller may leap at it … but you’ll always wonder if you couldhave gotten a better deal. And if your offer is low, you should understand thatso you won’t feel offended or put-out if the seller comes back with acounter-offer.
Youdid it! You found a home you love at a price you can afford, the selleraccepted the offer, and now all you have to do is sit back, relax and enjoy theclosing process. Right?
OK,that’s not exactly true. Even the simplest real estate sale involves quite afew mandated hoops that must be jumped through — like the inspection, theappraisal, title review, and more.
Insome states, a title company manages the closing process; in others, a lawyeris involved. But the negotiation isn’t over yet, not by a long shot.
Whathappens if the inspector finds an issue with the home that must be addressedbefore the sale is legal? Who will pay for those repairs — you or the seller?
Andwhat can you expect in terms of finalizing the loan and moving your downpayment or earnest money from your account to the sellers? What should you lookfor during the final walk-through?
Anagent can lay out a roadmap from offer acceptance to keys-in-hand and make sureyou’re staying on track … which can feel like a lifesaver to a buyer drowningin details.
Whenyou’re all moved in and settling down, you’ll probably discover some upgradesyou’d like to make and work on shaping your home to fit you instead of theprevious owner.
Yourreal estate professional already knows your house (and the neighborhood), sowhy not reach out when you’re considering adding a deck or redoing a bathroom?They can help you figure out which improvements are timeless and will increaseyour home’s value versus quickly dated trends that you might have to redo againbefore you sell.
Andthat’s not all — your agent probably knows people in the neighborhood, fromhome service providers like plumbers and electricians to lifestyle serviceproviders like day-care operators and pet sitters. If you need arecommendation, ask your agent!Buying a home goeswell beyond finding one for sale on the internet. Buyers who use the servicesof a real estate professional find the process more enjoyable and lessstressful — and they also have an advocate to negotiate tirelessly on theirbehalf.