Timely Home Buying Tips Part 2
6. Determine what you want vs. what you need
Your agent will be your guide in finding the perfect home that fits your family and your budget. One way you can help your agent is to determine what features you need (in Arid-zona that means having covered parking and central air conditioning) and what features you would like, but may not be essential. As you look at homes in person, you will begin to get a bigger picture of what will work for your family.
Provide your agent with as much specific information as possible to help locate your dream home. Share the list of the features that you would like to have in your next home with your agent. This will help to focus your search.
Think about whether the properties you’re interested in will fit your lifestyle in 3-5 years. Plan for your future needs as well as your current ones and choose a home that can accommodate your changing needs.
7. View multiple homes
Sometimes you walk in a house, and you get a feeling that this is THE house. Everything feels good about the house from the minute you step into the door and you’re ready to make an offer, instantly. While this scenario can happen, more often than not, you’ll need to see several houses in your home buying process.
Today, you have the option of virtually touring many homes online. While this can give you basic information about a home, it’s best to physically walk through the property, and visit the neighborhood. There are many things you will see in person that isn’t shown in listing photos.
8. When buying look past the paint
Paint is a great way to freshen up a property and paint colors on walls can easily be changed to suit your style. When buying a home, you need to look past the paint for problems that are more than cosmetic. Open closets and drawers then take a look in cabinets and crawl spaces. Look under the sink and test out the plumbing. Turn on the AC and heat and see how they work.
You should test drive the properties you visit, to make sure that the appliances are in working order and that there are no red flags to be aware of. No house is ever perfect. You’ll need to determine what fixes you can make and what repairs would be too costly to cover. Making careful notes of the condition of the property can help you in the negotiation
9. Make an offer
Your Agent will help you to understand how to make an attractive offer in a competitive market. Making an offer includes negotiating for things you want as well as making a few concessions to the seller. Your offer will include the price, your pre-approval letter, and proof of down payment funds, along with any terms or contingencies that will protect your interest.
Terms and contingencies are an important part of the offer and may include financing, sale of current home, passing the Home Inspection and Appraisal. With the right contingencies in place, your interests are protected. If the home doesn’t pass the inspection or if the appraisal comes back to low you may be able to cancel the contract.
Some buyers take the time to write a personal letter to the seller, detailing what they like about a property and how well it will fit their family. This can give you an advantage in a highly competitive real estate market.
Sellers usually have 24 hours to either accept the offer or to make a counteroffer. They will state what terms they can accept and what they need to change. You have the option of accepting the counteroffer or rejecting it. Check out this US News article for more information on making and accepting an offer on a home.