By Tina Graham, Realtor®, ERA Wilder Realty
Understanding the real estate market at any time will allow buyers and sellers to reach their goals, whether they are looking to list their current property and/or looking to buy a new property, the beginning always starts with a trusted local realtor.
So, how do you find a realtor who connects with your values? Look for someone whose motto when dealing with buyers and sellers is honesty, integrity, respect, and loyalty. Referrals from friends or relatives is a good place to start. Check the reviews on agents’ websites or pick up the phone and call. A good local agent is going to listen to your wants and needs and work to help you find what is important to you in your situation. A local agent knows the markets and can help you when it comes to filling out a contract or giving you the information to price your home correctly.
Over the pandemic, we have heard stories of outrageous prices and over asking price bids to win homes. We have also heard of people who waived their rights to an inspection. Waiving the right to an inspection, unless you are a builder or an inspector, is probably one of the biggest NO’s in buying real estate. Even if you aren’t considering asking for anything to be fixed, you will find little things out about your new home that you would like to fix. In some cases, you will find BIG things out about your new home which will make you stop and reconsider purchasing. A home inspection is worth every penny and a sound investment when considering your purchase.
Your loan officer is also a very integral part of the process. With interest rates fluctuating and monthly payments being more than they were a year ago, finding a trusted loan officer is as important as a trusted realtor. New home buyers sometimes put the cart before the horse and want to look at homes before they get a pre-approval for a loan. Many times, new buyers are met with discouragement and heartache because they can’t afford the dream home they looked at last week. An honest agent will put you in touch with a local lender who you can not only talk to about the loan, but will generally have a physical office near you. Online lenders can be difficult to deal with after your initial pre-approval.
There is a semi-myth floating around that buying is cheaper than renting. However, while in the end, buying is cheaper than renting, the initial money needed to purchase a home is generally a bit more expensive than a rental deposit. Talk to your realtor and ask them to go over the costs associated with a home purchase. Upfront costs can include inspection, appraisals, and down payments, which differ depending on the type of loan you are applying for and the cost behind borrowing the money.
Be a savvy consumer. Talk to your realtor and talk to your lender or loan officer. Above all, have fun finding the house that speaks to you as a home.