The Process Of Buying A Home Demands More Than A Walmart Greeter
When most people begin the process of buying a home, they see no more utility in a real estate agent than they do in a Walmart Greeter.
They merely want to see inside of a particular home that has caught their fancy, putting no thought into the process of buying a home or choosing the best real estate agent to help them through each important step.
But considering the average homebuyer is spending $150,000, an amount of money that makes buying a home one of the largest purchases of any type that the buyer will ever make, you would think more people would ensure that they are better equipped to make the best deal possible.
The Pitfalls Of Buying A Home
Figuring out what it is worth isn't so hard either.
But buying a home at the best deal (without leaking money at each hidden step during the process of buying a home) is the difference between working with the best trained real estate professional and working with somebody with no more training than a Walmart Greeter.
And if you care about how much you owe and how good of a deal that you will get, then take the time to discover the process of buying a home in 11 simple steps.
The Process Of Buying A Home In 11 Easy Steps
I have found that the process of buying a home works much better with a plan, and it ends up saving a lot of heartache, money, and time for you in the long run. At first, it might seem a bit methodical (because you'll want to dash at and look at homes first), but I promise you that a little discipline up front with a little guidance from a well trained real estate agent, and you will end up far happier with a much better deal when buy a home. Simply follow the process of buying a home in 11 easy steps for success:
- Determine Your Timeframe - "I'll know it when I see it." These words mean you have no clue about what you are doing, and you are a great candidate for over-spending on your home purchase. Instead, take the time to meet with a real estate professional and tell her/him your ideal date for a move. We can then take this date and build the process of buying a home around it to ensure that you end up with the right house and the right deal.
- Get A Bag Of Money - The easiest way to save money is to be a "cash buyer," showing any homeowner your ability to close fast for the right price. But unless you have a lot of cash laying around, you might have to simulate this condition. Meeting with a lender early in the process of buying a home will allow you to write an offer without financing contingencies, thus making your offer appear as strong as one that is all cash.
- Choose The "Right" Home - Most buyers start the process of buying a home online, and then they proceed to look at all styles of homes in many areas. While it is smart to "know the market," it is also confusing and difficult to establish a value pattern when dissimilar properties are used for comparison. By creating a template for the "right" home first, you can focus on properties that will yield the best value for your budget.
- Determine The "Right" Price - Many buyers focus on the listing price and figuring how much the seller will really take. This is a mistake. A better way is to determine what the home will sell for (if you do not buy it), and then to purchase it at a discount to that price. This target price protects you from an improperly priced home and feeling like you've won simply due to obtaining a discount to the asking price.
- Negotiate To Win - Negotiation is a skill. Skills require training, practice, and repetition. If you think you navigate through the process of buying a home with a part-time real estate agent and do as well as you could with a full time, fully trained real estate professional, then you are mistaken. There are so many "moving parts" to a real estate transaction, and to get the best deal in each category you had better be working with somebody who has a well-oiled operation.
- Inspection Preparation - The inspection stage costs you money, so do not start this stage until you know that you are ready. Knowing who to hire, what to inspect, how much to pay, and when to start are where amateurs start to pile up their losses. This is one of those "hidden costs" stages that most buyers are ill-equipped to handle, so make sure somebody is taking good care of you.
- Inspection Negotiations - Most buyers think the negotiations end with the signing of the contract, but this is not true. Post-inspection negotiations are often critical and require experience. Understanding the three elements of the home inspection, prior to inspection, puts a homebuyer in a position of strength.
- Transaction Coordination - Would you be surprised to discover that 63% of contracts written by real estate agents never make it to the closing table. Why does this matter? Think about all the time and money that is spent by "homebuyers" that will never result in the purchase of a home! The process of buying a home requires much more than a lockbox key and some free time on a weekend.
- Cost Controls - Most homebuyers are in the market once every seven to ten years. That means the lender, the home inspectors, the surveyor, the repair people, the title company, and all the other third-party vendors see little "repeat business" value from a buyer. But the same cannot be said about the repeat business value of a Transaction Coordinator. A busy Transaction Coordinator might be ordering these services thirty times per month (or more), and this repeat business element allows a busy coordinator to get better service and better pricing for the homebuyers that she/he services. Ensuring that you work with a highly active real estate professional (preferably one with a full-time transaction coordinator) will save you big time when you buy your next home.
- Closing Table Expectations - Some real estate companies have their own title companies (think profit centers), but I just think it makes more sense to close with a reputable real estate attorney. Most times there is no additional cost to the buyer, so why not have an attorney present to handle situations as they arise. Not all real estate transactions end up needing an attorney, but if one is handling the closing, the process is usually smoother and less expensive when problems do arise.
- Post Closing Plan - The final step occurs after the closing. Considering the scope of your investment, shouldn't you have a plan for insurance, warranties, service plans, etc.? Most new homeowners discover these as they arise, but a simple plan, prepared ahead of time, can save a homebuyer thousands of dollars in the long run.
Help With The Process Of Buying A Home
I hope this outline of the process of buying a home has enlightened you. It is easy to see why so many buyers get burned simply due to a lack of prior planning. If you would like to start the process of buying a home with a real estate professional that will take great care of you, just drop me a note and we can schedule a time to discuss your specific needs and wants.