If you are planning to buy a home, searching the Internet is a good place to start gathering basic information. In fact, 92% of home buyers use the World Wide Web to preview homes and locate real estate offices. If you want to begin your search from the comfort of home while relaxing in your pajamas, start by looking at what licensed real estate agencies are offering. You can find “virtual tours” and links to neighborhood information that are backed up by the agency offering the listings.
Regardless of how you use the Internet to gather and organize your information, be sure to avoid the “virtual agent.” A terrific website can promote a qualified and experienced professional, but nothing beats talking to and working with a real person when it comes to your real estate needs. With this in mind, you should look for an agent as soon as you start looking for your dream home, and most importantly, you should choose a qualified agent with a licensed company. Taking time to select an agent first will save untold hours of searching and frustration.
Once you have chosen an agent you should schedule time to discuss your home buying needs so the agent can begin to search for specific homes that fit your criteria, then preview them to eliminate those which are unsuitable. Finally, the agent will set appointments to see a wide selection that fit your criteria. Soon, the right home will appear, and the decision will be easier than expected.
Once you have found the home of your dreams your agent will help you write your purchase offer. This is an important part of the home buying process and your agent will expertly handle the paperwork. As you work with your agent, you will need to define four primary points:
- Purchase price
- Terms under which you will make payment
- Date of possession
- A “closing” date when the transaction will be completed
You may also spell out other terms of your purchase, such as a request for a survey, or requirement that certain repairs are made prior to closing.
Sometimes, the offer is not acceptable to the sellers, and negotiation is the next step. The sellers may make changes in the offer, and submit a “counter-offer,” which would then require acceptance by the purchasers. Your agent will make suggestions and help you get the best purchase price on your desired home, and through re-negotiation and mediation your agent can help resolve contract issues. Once all parties have signed, indicating their accord, the document becomes a binding “agreement of sale.”
The next step in the process is arranging a home inspection to determine any repairs needed or problems with them home. These days, most real estate contracts allow inclusion of satisfactory professional inspections as a requirement for completing the purchase. Your Norris & Company Real Estate agent will be able to recommend reliable local inspectors, but you’re still faced with making the choice.
What are some questions to ask? Ask about the inspector’s experience in construction or building maintenance as it relates to his or her qualifications. Don’t be afraid to request a sample report, so you can judge if the job will be done in a thorough and detailed fashion. Also ask for references – and call them! This is an excellent method of verifying the quality you can expect.
Finally, notify your lender of the home you have chosen, and have your agent send a copy of the contract, so the appraisal can be ordered, and your loan processed. From then on, a closing attorney will help insure the purchase agreement is carried out by all parties to reach a successful conclusion. Congratulations are in order!