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Home Buying Tips

8 Things You Should Know

1) Choose a great buyer's agent — Having a buyer's agent who will provide feedback, advice, and guidance is the best advantage that you can give yourself. Your agent will look out for your interests and will guide you through the various phases of the purchase process.

2) How an agent can help — Your real estate professional will have the expertise and knowledge to help guide you through this process. He or she will also have access to a team of experts, should questions arise during your transaction. Your agent can also recommend certain partners or preferred vendors with whom he or she has formed a fast, efficient working relationship based on a history of reliability and trust.

3) Benefits of buying — There are many benefits of purchasing a home, including tax benefits for home maintenance and mortgage interest. You are also building wealth as each payment builds equity. And as the home prices rise in an area, so does your net worth.

4) Types of agencies — There are three types of agencies: those in which a brokerage represents the buyer, those in which the brokerage represents the seller, and those in which the brokerage represents both the buyer and the seller. Ask your agent for a disclosure on the different roles and responsibilities he or she will be performing in each case.

5) Making an offer / negotiating — Your agent can help you make an offer that can get the home you want at a price you can afford. Buyers who are trying to purchase a home that has generated a high level of buyer interest should be prepared to make a competitive, appealing offer or risk losing the bid.

6) Buying new vs. pre-owned — There are pros and cons to each type of house, and your agent can help you make an informed decision. Some people may like the idea of a fresh new home, but may not be aware that it can leave many of the finishing touches up to them and their pocketbooks. A pre-owned home may typically have these amenities in place, but it can also mean that many of the decisions such as wall placement and room layout are set. Try to look past the decor or color choice of any home, as these can easily be changed after purchase.

7) Credit inquiries are a "no-no" — Avoid applying for additional credit during this process. This can affect your credit score and may result in the denial of your home loan application. Talk with your agent about any planned request for financing and when in doubt, wait until after you close on your home.

8) Be loyal and honest — Your agent will prioritize you and your family throughout your transaction. Agents also work on commission and will only receive compensation once your home closes. If you feel there is an issue, discuss it with your agent openly to give him/her a chance to address it.