Home purchasing has never been easier, but there’s no reason you have to make it harder than it needs to be. Like with many other processes, there’s a set of rules when it comes to buying real estate that you’ll need to follow to save money and time, and people that follow these best practices almost inevitably thank themselves for doing so. Here are a few of these tried and true concepts, for your consideration:
Get pre-approval before making an offer
If a lender has vetted your financials and credit and is willing to continue the mortgage dance, you’ve been pre-approved. By getting a letter of pre-approval, you’ll be able to provide sellers and agents with a degree of confidence that isn’t replicable anywhere else. Many realtors refuse to accept offers without a pre-approval letter, so do yourself a favor and get one.
Use an agent
For most people, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll make in their entire lives. Hopefully, it’s not something you’ll have to do often. Given this fact, it can help to have an expert on your side that’ll help you through the process, and that’s what a real estate agent is for. Agents close deals, negotiate contracts, and show homes on a monthly basis, making it significantly easier for them to complete the task at hand in a timely and effective manner than a novice. While the internet has demystified much of the homebuying process, it’s silly to engage in it without some help- the risks are just too high.
Put down earnest money
Earnest money is a deposit, typically 1-2% of the purchase price, put down by a buyer when making an offer on a home. By putting down earnest money, you’ll further validate yourself as a credible, reputable buyer, which greatly enhances your chances of getting the home in the timeline (and at the price) that you want. Do yourself a favor and put down earnest money to ensure for a smooth process, just be sure that your agent includes contingencies in the contract that allow you to recoup the deposit in case the deal falls apart.
Don’t forget to sell yourself
If you’re shopping in a competitive market, you’ll need to take every opportunity you can get to tell your story and sell yourself. Including a handwritten letter with your offer is a great way to convey your admiration for the property and convince the seller that their home will be in good hands. Going the extra mile, in these types of scenarios, makes a world of difference.
Tour homes in person
While mobile technologies like Google Glass can be a great way to help consumers moving into new states or servicemembers purchasing homes during a deployment, it’s important not to rely too heavily on these tools. When it comes to home-buying, nothing quite compares to the in-person experience, so be sure to use them as a supplement, not a substitute for the real thing.