If you have not gone through the process, you have no idea of how many “little things” are involved in purchasing a home. It really is not as easy as finding a suitable property, submitting an acceptable Offer, closing on your mortgage loan and moving in. At every step along the way, there are decisions and choices which need to be made. More importantly, these decisions need to be made at a time when there is more “pressure” on you than you can imagine, so you are not always at the top of your game, and you can make important mistakes which you wouldn’t make if you were treating a home purchase like any other project, which you analyze and dissect before the process begins.
In a word, you are best served by putting together your team of professionals as soon as you decide that you are in the market to purchase a home. This means interviewing, and selecting the right professionals, before, not after you settle on a property. These are the categories which need your selection:
Buyer’s Agent: Buyer’s agency is a relatively new concept, but it is designed for you, the Buyer. The Buyer’s Agent is working for you. The Buyer’s Agent will tell you what he or she thinks the property is worth. The Buyer Agent will negotiate your Offer to purchase. The Buyer Agent will help negotiate inspection issues which may arise after you get the report from the Inspector. Ask people you know who have bought homes recently for suggestions. Interview the prospective Buyer’s Agent. Ask how many homes he or she has closed on in the past eighteen (18) months. Speak to more than one person.
Real Estate Attorney: Interview more than one candidate. Make sure the person does real estate. Ask the person how many deals he or she is now working on. Does the attorney have enough time to give you effective representation? Will the attorney give you fixed fee pricing rather than bill by the hour? Will the attorney give you a discounted price if the attorney also does the title work and conducts the closing? Find out in advance what the attorney’s “all-in” pricing will be.
Home Inspector: Home Inspectors are licensed. Speak to more than one. Ask if there have been any Complaints filed against the inspector in the past year. Ask the inspector to give you the names of people for whom he or she has done recent inspections. Have the person lined up in advance of the need. If you do this, you will not need to accept “second-best” because you are under time pressure.
Professional: Believe it or not, rate is not all that important when you are purchasing a home. You can always “correct” your rate somewhere down the road. Reliability is the key ingredient here. Will this person’s company show up with the money on the date set forth in your purchase and sale agreement? Ask to speak with satisfied customers. They will let you know whether promises are kept.
A team in place will make the home buying process go much more smoothly. Take the time to prepare. Your team will help you through the rough spots.