1.Find a REALTOR whom you can relate to. Buying a home is an emotional commitment. It's critical that the agent you choose is both skilled and a good fit with your personality. Have your own agent show you homes, not the listing agent. Call your agent if you see a home you want to tour. If you walk in an open house be sure to tell them you have a Realtor.
Your Realtor will make all the appointments and represent YOU in the offer. The listing agent represents the seller and cannot disclose all that you will need to know about the property & the seller. See a house you like while out driving around? Call your agent...not the listing agent. They work for you.
Find an agent that makes his or her career full time in real estate. To be sure they know what they are doing...GOOGLE search their name. They will have more than just a website, they should have page upon page of marketing and acomplishments online. Like a history of work.
Agents usually know one another so if you are unhappy working with an agent and want to change to another please let them know that you will be doing so. This alleviates mis-communications and it's just the right thing to do. An agent will work hard for you if you are loyal.
2. The right house is waiting for you. Sometimes deals just don't work out. You will know as soon as you walk into the perfect home. Everything will fall into place perfectly if it is meant to be. All the stars will line up. If not...keep looking and stay open to new ideas. If it feels right then make an offer...don't procrastinate.
3. Commission is paid by the sellers. This is how your agent gets paid. Basically, the seller has agreed with his listing agent an amount to pay the buyer's agent at closing. Your agent may show you homes for a long time or it might only be a few homes. All negotiated commission is divided among the agents at closing. The buyer will not have to pay for this.
4. Don't ask for too many opinions from friends and family. It's natural to want reassurance for a big decision, but too many ideas will make it harder to make a decision. If Grandpa is not going to live in the house he isn't going to like all those steep stairs, pool, etc. Negative opinions can spoil all your excitement.
5. Accept that no house is perfect.Focus in on the things that are most important to you and let the minor ones go. Who cares if there are ugly green counter tops in the kitchen. Get over it and replace them later.
6. Don't try to be a killer negotiator. Trying to "win" by getting an extra-low price may lose you the home you love. Angry sellers do not try to be helpful if you need special considerations later before closing like extra time to get the financing right. Don't be stubborn over the small stuff or ask your Realtor to argue over silly demands. Grown-ups don't need to act that way!
7. Get approved for a mortgage before you find a home. Actually, this needs to be #1.
A good lender will see your credit report and offer help in disputing items that need to be removed. This will raise your score and possibly get you a lower interest rate. Not all lenders are skilled in this. Same as with your agent, the lender needs to fit with your personality and return your calls promptly. The best ones stay in close contact with your agent also. You can bet that your agent has a good idea of the best lenders to work with to get a successful closing. It can all fall apart by closing time if you don't have the right lender.
8.Factor in maintenance and repair costs in your post-home buying budget. Even in a new home there will be some costs. Homes are not perfect and even though you have had many repairs made after a home inspection sellers are not going to patch every hole in the walls and leave it spotless. You may have to shampoo carpet and upgrade fixtures to your liking. It's all a part of buying a home.
Now that you have all this good advice in your head...get out there and get started! Fantastic deals are waiting for you with great interest rates.
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Lizette Fitzpatrick- Principal Broker at Lizette Realty.
Publisher/Author for the only Central Kentucky email newsletter on local real estate listings and sold properties, Kentucky relocation, local events, homeowner information and fun!
For more information on Lizette, Kentucky Horse Farms, Lizette Realty, Madison County, Fayette County, Richmond or Lexington KY real estate click on Lizette.us.
See for yourself what Lizette's extraordinary clients have to say about their Kentucky Real Estate experience. Copyright © 2009 By Lizette Fitzpatrick, All Rights Reserved..*The Easy Eight Step Program To Be A Happy New Home Owner*