If it’s been a while since you’ve worked with a Realtor, ask your friends and family about who they’ve used. Then consider interviewing several realtors – it’s as easy as setting up an appointment asking questions. The same goes for lenders – don’t be afraid to set down with a lender and ask about the process and what’s needed.
What should you ask a Realtor?
A good Realtor will work in your best interest and help you find the right property for you and your family. Among your first questions should be is he or she is a buyer’s agent and whether he or she is educated in working with buyers. A Realtor will also help you negotiate with the seller’s agent, guiding you through the process of closing.
Your Realtor can also help you find the right house for you, considering how much square footage you need, how many bedrooms you need, whether you want a garage or carport, one or two stories, and inside or outside of the city limits.
When you’ve chosen a Realtor, you should also find a lender with whom you’d like to work. It’s as simple asking what paperwork is needed to get a home loan and how much money is needed for a down payment and closing costs. The lender can also help you with your credit report – higher scores result in lower interest rates.
The lender can also help you decide how much how you can afford. Once you’re pre-approved, your Realtor can help you find the home that’s within your price range and meets the needs of your family.
Making an offer and getting a home inspection.
Once you find the right home for your family, make an offer. Once you’re under contract, it can take up to four to six weeks to close on a home. Allow time to deal with any delays that might come up.
Once you’re under contract, your agent can help you choose a home inspector. The home inspection is a critical part of the process, as he or she can help you find things that need to be repaired – you can then decide whether to ask the sellers to make the repairs or to make the repairs yourself.
You’re in the home-stretch!
Do a final walk through with your agent and make sure the home is in the same condition as when you went under contract and that any agreed repairs have been made. The closing company will give you an exact amount of cash you will need at closing.