Advice on How to Buy a Home
Why Choose Buyer Representation?
Until recently, real estate agents always represented the seller, not the buyer, in real estate transactions. Even that real estate agent who drove you from house to house looking at properties was not working on your behalf. By law, the agent was always required to get the highest price and best terms possible — FOR THE SELLER!
Recent market developments have caused all this to change, as more and more real estate agents and companies are offering to represent the buyer in the real estate transaction. You can now have an agent specifically committed to representing you, from the initial selection of properties, to the contract negotiations, to the settlement table.
More than one million people in the United States are licensed to sell real estate. Of those licensees, very few are Buyer Representatives. Consumer advocacy groups have endorsed such representation, and licensing laws in virtually every state are now being reformed to enable and encourage representation for the buyer.
Whether you’re a first time buyer or an experienced buyer, it is good to know that your real estate agent has your best interests in mind as you select a home.
First Time Buyers
Prequalify for a loan - Being prequalified for a loan determines how much house you can afford. It also allows you to move more swiftly when you find the right house, especially when you aren't the only interested buyer.
Did you know that 1 in 5 people have errors on their credit report? Altough you may think that you have excellent credit, there may be errors on your report that may prevent you from getting a loan. Its good to find out that you are qualified for a mortgage before you find that perfect home.
Shop for mortgage rates and terms - Being prequalified for a loan determines how much house you can afford. It also allows you to move more swiftly when you find the right house, especially when you aren't the only interested buyer. Dan O'Brien has establshed relationships with professional and reliable lenders in the Berks County area, and he will help you find the best one that meets your specific needs while offering the best terms.
Using a Buyer Agent - A buyer agent is legally responsible for representing the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction. Generally, the buyer agent is compensated by the seller at the time you purchase a new home. Dan O'Brien will explain the advantages of using a buyer agent.
Features that can help or hurt resale - In some areas, a swimming pool actually detracts from a home's value and makes the home harder to sell. In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages, a single-car or detached garage may impact the home sale and future value. Your REALTOR® can point out features that hurt, as well as those which help, resale value.
Rate the house you tour - After touring each home, write down what you liked and didn't like. Develop a rating system which will help you narrow the field down to the house that's the best for you. It is a good idea to have a "top three" list of homes that you like. If you view a home that you don't like, discard it from your list completly.
One of the key issues that will arise during the whole process involves knowing exactly how much to pay for a property. To prepare, house-hunters should take careful notes on each property's marketing data such as selling price, price changes, length of time the home has been on the market and a difference in list and sale price. This will enable the potential buyer to get a better feel for what is a good deal and what is not.
Although looking at a number of houses is a good idea, buyers should be ready to seize the perfect home when they see it – even if it is just the first or second one that they encounter. For buyers who have their doubts, however, revisiting the property several times can ease the jitters, as can a thorough and professional inspection of the entire property.
Finally, buyers should have high expectations at the start, but be ready to make compromises eventually. There is no such thing as the "perfect home." However, with a little give and take, buyers should be able to find a house that comes close to meeting all of their needs and desires.
Put an Experienced Buyer Representative to Work for You!
What Dan O'Brien Will Do For You!
Market Data - Market value is determined by many factors, including the availability of similar properties at competitive prices, location, condition, and most of all the price that a knowledgeable buyer is willing to pay. Your buyer representative will provide market data to help you establish an offering price.
Purchase Offer - There may be other considerations besides price that are equally important in structuring a purchase offer. The terms and conditions of the offer, amount of deposit and possession date are likely to be factors when an offer is made. Your buyer representative will help in your preparation of a purchase offer.
Negotiating - When a purchase offer is made, the sellers may be concerned with certain aspects, including the ability of the purchasers to fulfill their agreement, the terms and conditions of the offer, the breakdown of closing costs between buyer and seller and even the motivations and lifestyle of the prospective new owners! Your buyer representative will help structure a negotiating strategy that will create the desired result, a new home.
Handling Details - A lot has to happen between signing the purchase offer and moving into a new house. Your buyer representative will attend to the details and keep you in touch with the transaction each step of the way.
Sellers list their homes with real estate agents to ensure professional representation throughout the home selling process. As a buyer, you deserve the same kind of service!