First Steps to Ensure a Smooth Home Purchase
Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. There are a few things that you can do to help make the process go as smoothly as possible:
1. Check your credit!
Before you apply for a home loan, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea to obtain a copy of your credit report from the three major credit bureaus and review the information. If there are errors or things that need to be addressed, it's easier to clean those up before you home-shop.
If you know that there are a few blemishes on your credit, let your lender know what they are, why they are there, and why you are a still good credit risk. Lenders look at your credit to determine how likely you will pay back the loan. If you had extenuating circumstances (like a loss of a job or medical bills) let them know so that they understand that it is not likely to happen again in the future. They may be able to help. A good lender should be able to advise you on the path to approval and the best terms available to you.
2. Get pre-approved before you shop!
A pre-approval means that a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your assets and employment, and has approved your loan and your budget before you shop for your home.
Getting approved also gives you an advantage over other buyers. Your pre-approval makes it easier for your agent to negotiate an offer on your behalf. The pre-approval "legitimizes" your offer!
3. Find a great agent - we're FREE to buyers!
Not everyone realizes that the real estate agent on the yard signs represent the seller (and their best interests) in a transaction. You need your own agent representing you (and your best interests). Your agent can help you find the best homes, negotiate the best price and terms for you, handle the communication and appointments to ensure a smooth closing (with seller's agent, title company, inspector, appraiser, etc.) and the good news is that any fee to your agent is paid by the SELLER - it's built into their listing - so $0 cost to you!