Many first time home buyers start by logging on to public websites and looking at the kind of home they think they would like. Then they go online, start searching for helpful hints in buying that first home and realize there is no shortage of information on how to do it, when to do it, why (or why not) to do it, etc. etc.
Or maybe they ask friends, family or co workers how the process goes and inevitably, everyone has an experience (good or bad) to relate or advice. Oh, the advice. It will never stop, no matter how far along you are in the process. Much of it can be helpful, of course, although much of it will be based on an experience that isn’t applicable to your situation, so take it all with a grain of salt.
Of course, as a real estate agent, what’s my advice? Start by finding an agent. Yes, that sounds a bit self-serving but a qualified agent can absolutely make this process so simple you won’t even recognize it. And, oh by the way,
An agent can:
- Help you understand the entire home buying process, from start to finish, and along the way, give valuable advice based on years of experience, education and knowledge;
- Help you find a trustworthy local lender who has programs that best meet your needs; all lenders are not created equally and neither are their programs. There is a lot more to know than what the interest rate is and having a lender you can trust walk you through the process is invaluable;
- Help you focus on locations that meet your needs and are convenient for your lifestyle;
- Set up searches that yield the properties that meet your needs and wants;
- Help you through the home inspection process, from helping you find an honest home inspector to going through the home inspection report with you and, if necessary, gather quotes for any repair work you may want done;
- Help you find a qualified, trusted title company to conduct the settlement ;
- Help you find a moving company or even an insurance company, if necessary.
I’m sure this list isn’t exhaustive, but the point is, real estate agents can provide a wealth of information and hook you up with a lot of valuable resources to make the home buying process as smooth as it can be.
So, while you’re pulling up listings online, oohing and aahing over homes for sale, just remember there is a lot to the process that gets you from looking online to moving in. Real estate agents are out there not only to get you into houses you may be interested in, but also to provide guidance and advice throughout the entire process. And don’t worry about contacting them in advance of your actually being ready to buy – we’re happy to meet with you, introduce you to a few lenders who can help you get financially prepared and go over the entire process, no matter if you are ready today, tomorrow or six months from now. We just want to be sure you get it right.