I’ve learned that there are a few mistakes many people make when they decide it’s time to go start looking at homes.
A big one?
Not Getting Pre-Approved First
It’s important to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan first.
Real Estate agents see many customers who tend to put the cart before the horse.
They will browse for homes, visit an open house or two, and happen to stumble upon the home of their dreams.
Finally, they decide to meet with a mortgage company to get pre-approved, only to find out that they cannot afford the home they just fell in love with.
You should get pre-approved for a loan before you start looking at homes.
Remember, a Seller is not going to take your offer seriously if you haven’t been pre-approved yet.
And, if you’re in a market where houses are selling quickly and there is a lot of competition, what chance do you have?
If you were the homeowner, would you take a chance on someone who hasn’t even been pre approved yet?
Chances are your offer will look weak in comparison to another buyer’s offer who already did their homework and has a pre-approval letter already attached to their offer!
Contact your Bank or a Mortgage Broker, or Ask Your Real Estate Agent for a some recommendations on who they’ve had great experiences with.
Get Prepared. Things you might need:
- Recent pay stubs, proof of income
- W2’s and 2 Years Tax Returns
- Any Assets, Savings/Checking Account Statements
- Driver’s License
Of course, if you are paying cash, none of the above may apply. But, your real estate agent will recommend that you provide written proof of funds to include with your offer. This shows the seller that you have the funds available to make that purchase in cash.
Start Looking at Homes
So, you’ve got your preapproval letter in hand? Congratulations! Now, you’re ready start looking at homes.
The next step is choosing the right real estate agent. Once you find the right agent, consider creating a buyer checklist.
This will help you consider your needs vs wants, and also help your agent find you the right home.