If you are looking to buy your first house, there are approximately a million things you will have to deal with that may be new to you. Fortunately, a good real estate agent knows most of them.
In fact, if you have found an agent you believe and trust, that agent should know all of them. But you can make the agent’s life a lot easier if you know just a few things about the process.
The real estate pros at Realtor.com have come up with a list of just five things you should know or do to make the home-buying experience go more smoothly both for yourself and for the agent.
Here’s the list along with a few comments from the pros.
Know how much you can afford before you start looking. The best way to do this is to get preapproved by your mortgage lender. You can get a rough idea by using one of the many available online mortgage calculators, but getting a preapproval from a lender limits your search and makes it possible to make an offer quickly into today’s tight housing market.
Don’t call the listing agent. Typically the sellers will have their own agent and you will have your own agent. Let the two agents do the negotiating, otherwise the sellers’ agent may think that you don’t trust your agent and you are giving away your negotiating power.
Stop talking around other agents. Loose lips can sink deals. During a showing or an open house, avoid comments about how many houses you’ve looked at, how much you want the house or how much you can spend. Again, you’re giving away your (and your agent’s) negotiating power.
Don’t try to look at every house in a 100-mile radius. If you give your agent a clear description of what you’re looking for and stick to it, you won’t waste a lot of anyone’s time by trying to look at dozens of properties.
Don’t get cold feet once you commit to a house. Everyone’s heard of buyer’s remorse. The symptoms include thinking you’ll find another house even more perfect or worrying about whether you’ll lose your job.
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Investing in real estate can diversify your portfolio. But expanding your horizons may add additional costs. If you’re an investor looking to minimize expenses, consider checking out online brokerages. They often offer low investment fees, helping you maximize your profit.
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