Choosing Your Home & Closing the Deal
Here are some more quick tips to prepare for buying a home. Whether you're a first-time home buyer or a seasoned homeowner, it's always good to check all of these boxes before taking the leap. Buying a home is a huge decision, and we're happy to be right along your side for the whole journey. Check out some basic tricks that will make you more prepared when it's time for the big moment.
What to Look For in a Home
The first step is deciding which location best suits your needs. You should look at the neighborhood, shopping in the surrounding area, distance from work, etc. If you have kids, it's also important to look at the school districts and the quality ratings that go along with them.
As far as the house itself, think about your needs. Do you want a guest bedroom? Do you work from home and require a designated office space? Would you like to have a finished basement for entertaining or a kids playroom? All of these questions will help you determine how many bedrooms and bathrooms you require. Taking a look at the condition of the home's electrical and plumbing is also a good idea.
House Hunting Tips
It is good to start touring homes once you've come up with your list of requirements and created a wants and needs category. In order to do this, think about each requirement and ask yourself if the house was amazing in every other way, would I compromise on this? If the answer is yes, it's a want. If the answer is no, it's a need.
Ready for a Real Estate Agent
The next step is finding a real estate agent. HomeTraq makes it easy for you to tour properties you love and find the right real estate agent for you, without pressure to commit right away. If you find a place you want to tour, click here and type in the address. Soon, a real estate agent in the area will accept your tour request and meet you at the home. Once the tour is over, you are able to continue with that agent or find a new one by following the same process.
A real estate agent will be able to provide all of the up-to-date information about the area, school systems, tax rates, water and sewer charges, or anything else that will go into your decision on a home.
Making an Offer
Once you have found the perfect home, it's time to make an offer. The first step will be meeting with your real estate agent, as well as an attorney, to fill out the Offer to Purchase form. This varies state by state and can be complicated, so it's best to fill it out with parties that thoroughly understand the form. You will then determine how much you're willing to pay for the house, keeping in mind factors like how much you can afford, how many other buyers there are, and how badly you want the home.
It is advised that you include a contingency of offer depending on the results of the home inspection. This inspection is done by a professional, third-party company and is usually the responsibility of the buyer. This inspection should cover all central heating/cooling systems, insulation, structural components (interior walls, roof), and the foundation of the home. You most definitely can (and should) be present when the home inspection is being done so you can ask any questions and review what is being inspected.
Finally, you'll make a deposit called "earnest money" to your real estate agent to go along with your offer. This shows that you are serious about the offer. If the sale goes through, that money will be deducted from the money owed at closing. If the seller rejects your offer, that money will be returned. Once your offer is made, the seller may make a counteroffer. From there, you have the option of accepting, rejecting, or making another counteroffer. That process goes on until an offer is accepted!
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