I often receive calls from new prospective buyers wanting to see a listing that just hit the market. Prior to scheduling a showing, I like to ask questions and review the initial home buying steps to serve my client best.
Before you begin scouring the Internet for the home of your dreams and fall in love prematurely, follow these steps and do a little due diligence of your own.
1. Check your credit score and credit history.
Many of us have no grasp of what our credit looks like, and with the help of free sites like Credit Karma you can easily access the information.
There is nothing worse than finding your dream home and realizing you cannot obtain a mortgage because of some old credit card bill or other unknown issue dragging down your credit score.
2. What is your current debt?
Do you have outstanding credit cards, student loans, tax liens? Knowing this in advance will save a lot of time when speaking with you’re a lender.
3. Save for your down payment.
The days of 20% are a thing of the past. NAR reports the national average down payment is 6% or less (as of December 2018).
However, depending on your market, the amount of your down payment can be a deciding factor in getting an accepted offer. Your agent can provide you with in your desired area.
4. Find your Realtor.
Interview several, even if Aunt Sally is an agent or your current neighbor, does it part-time. You will be working intimately with this person for weeks or months, you should feel comfortable with them.
5. Find a lender you trust.
Once you find an agent, they can provide you referrals for a lender. Often, agents having working relationships with several loan officers who specialize in a variety of programs that will suit your needs.
In today’s competitive market, being prepared is the best tool that can get you from feeling stressed to a new address.