With Coldwell Banker Realty, finding the perfect home can actually be a fairly easy and enjoyable experience for both the seasoned home owner and the first-time buyer. Use these tips to prepare for your search and keep track of your house hunt as it progresses.
- Get pre-approved for a mortgage before you view homes. Rather than guessing or estimating how much you can afford to spend, contact your bank or loan company and fill out an application. This does not commit you to taking out the loan; it is simply the groundwork to provide you the maximum loan amount for which you will qualify. Getting pre-approved gives you a clear idea of how much home you can afford. You might be able to afford a larger home than you think, or maybe you dream big and need to refine your "must have" list. Either way, knowing your price range saves you time by allowing you to look only at properties that fit your needs and budget. Pre-approval also allows you to quickly place an offer on a home you've fallen in love with and have confidence that you will get the loan needed to purchase it. Sellers will take your offer seriously because they know it is backed up by pre-approval.
- Do your homework online. Recent home sales prices, market trends, homes on the market, neighborhood statistics, and more are all available online. Searching online is often the first step for many buyers and can help you create and narrow down your own list of "must-haves" when it comes to that big purchase. Our site allows buyers to search and create customized, saved searches that are your own lists of properties based upon your needs and desires regarding location, price, and features in a home. You can also sign up for email updates, learn about our real estate MLS listings and our agents, and schedule tours.
- Go to open houses. As you begin shopping for a home, it is sometimes hard to know exactly what you must have in a home purchase. Attending several open house events can help you get a mental picture of what you like and dislike in a home. The best part? All you need to do is show up at the open house during the scheduled event and walk through the door, and many times it only takes 30 minutes or less to see all the home has to offer.
Remember, if you are already under a buyer broker's agreement, be sure to disclose your agent's name in any conversation you have with the listing agent so they know you already have someone representing you should you decide to place an offer.
A real estate agent is a wealth of information. They may have already seen some of the homes that interest you, so they can offer you more details about the property as well as share their knowledge about the neighborhood, the community, and the school system. This is invaluable information as you narrow down the list of which homes you would like to see.
- Location, location, location. You've probably heard the old real estate saying, "location, location, location," but the point still bears repeating. Even a picture-perfect dream home can be a mistake if it's in an undesirable location. Consider the local school system, access to public amenities, your commute time, and surrounding properties when visiting houses.
- Make lists so as not to overlook details. Start compiling your wish list by thinking about what you like and dislike about your current home. Zero in on the features you must have, would like to have, would prefer not to have, and definitely don't want. Turn your priorities into a personalized home-shopping checklist and use it to track the features of each home. Ask your Coldwell Banker Realty agent for printouts of all the homes you will be viewing. Touring multiple homes is a confusing experience for most people. Rather than relying on memory, make notes about the homes you visit.
Once you view a couple of homes, you will begin to see more clearly what really appeals to you and what does not. Finding that perfect home may be just one showing away. When you find your next home, your agent will be working with you to place your offer and navigate through the buying process until the keys to the front door are in your hands.