What if you knew the answer to the most often asked questions when it comes to buying or selling real estate? Would that give you an advantage and help you make better decisions? Of course it would! Well that’s exactly what I want to do for you…share all the best questions and answers. Along the way I will also provide insight on the top pitfalls and how to avoid them.
Look, real estate is a tricky proposition and no two transactions are alike. Even seasoned agents come up against things they have never experienced from time to time. I’ll get it started and I’ll ask you to contribute by asking me anything about real estate you’d like. I’ll share those in future posts.
Question #1: What is the first step I should take when buying a home?
Surprisingly, I get this from both buyers and sellers who have to sell before they buy. And depending on where you are, the answer can be different. The simple answer is to contact a Realtor who can help you get started, however it goes deeper than that. If you are a buyer I would suggest you contact a mortgage lender who can start the pre-approval process and help you understand how much you can afford, what down payment options exist, and what your monthly mortgage will be.
Now here’s the catch, avoid the one-size fits all or loan of the month pitch. Every borrower is unique and a good lender will ask about your goals, personal financials, discuss options, and tailor a program that meets your specific needs. This is probably the largest financial transaction you will ever make and you need to work with reputable professionals who really have your best interest at heart.
Now, about that “contact a Realtor first” option. It’s not a bad idea to reach out and ask a Realtor for a referral. Contrary to popular belief, Realtors do not get anything for referring a lender, in fact it’s illegal to do so with the anticipation of something of value in return. We do it because we know everything hinges on the financing and when we can tap into professional relationships with people who have a proven track record of getting the tough deals done, well it just improves the odds of a smooth transaction.
If you need to sell before you buy I would suggest contacting that Realtor, or, if you have been happy with your current lender, contact them directly. Keep in mind the market and rates may have changed since you got your current mortgage, but be sure to ask about any current client loyalty programs, rate breaks or discounts on loan fees, etc. At the end of the day your current lender wants to keep your business and may offer you incentives.
Now it’s your turn! What questions do you have? Send me an e-mail to smartREsolutions@gmail.com and I will post and answer in a future post. Thanks!