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Buying a Home, Where Should I Start?

Buying a home?

It is no secret that the process of buying or selling a home can be intimidating, but especially when it is your FIRST TIME!

The intention of this post is to address some of the questions we often get.


Why do I need an agent? 

This may sound like an easy question for me to answer, given that I am an agent myself! But this is an honest representation of how I personally regard the role of an agent to someone purchasing a home.

Real estate agents and offices have an interesting relationship when it comes to competition and cooperation. We are all independent contractors and thus work independently of one another, but we also cooperate and work together regularly to facilitate transactions. By choosing to work directly with a buyer’s agent you are given unique advantages over others that may be searching for homes independently. As a Realtor we have access to a huge amount of data that is much more current than what can typically be found online. We can help you find the homes fitting the criteria you are seeking, immediately when listed and often show the homes to you immediately as well. This is very important in the current market with the speed at which properties are being sold. Marketing times are low and that creates a narrow window of opportunity, especially when a home is priced well! Which leads me to the most important part of hiring an agent, your agency relationship!

All agents are expected to represent their clients as a fiduciary seeking only that which is in the best interest of  YOU the client. In the buying process this means a lot of things. Your agent will use their knowledge of the local market to make sure your purchase is made for the right price. Based on your needs we can advise you as to which areas of the community will offer the amenities and conveniences that you seek. Your agent will use their negotiation skills to make sure we get the absolute BEST result for you in the buying process. These are just a few of examples for you to see, but most of all you can rest assured that an agent in your corner gives you a massive advantage in a competitive buying market, and you can also rest easy knowing someone with experience is guiding you through the sales process.


Should I meet with a Lender first?

YES, your agent and mortgage broker are your biggest allies during the buying process. An experience with a lender and agent working closely together will provide you with a seamless transaction, and eliminate a lot of possible hiccups along the way. Lenders can also guide you toward your best options to finance the home. Everyone has a slightly different situation and an experienced mortgage lender can look at your information and guide you appropriately.


Why do I need to get pre approved before looking at homes?

With a fast moving market, a pre approval letter can be the difference between winning and losing the home of your dreams! Most sellers will not consider accepting an offer on their property unless they are given a pre approval letter from a lender stating you are qualified for the mortgage that will be required to purchase the home. It should also be mentioned that with advances in technology it has never been easier to get pre approved. You can fill out online applications for most of the local lenders in the area to get a clear picture of your budget/buying power. A good lender can also give you an idea of what kind of costs will be associated with financing, also known as Buyer’s closing costs.


Buyer’s WHAT!?

Buyer’s closing costs is a term referring typically to the costs associated with obtaining financing. This can cover many things such as appraisals, origination fees, pre paid interest, etc.. But your lender will be able to go over the details with you before you make an offer and let you know what to expect. It is also possible to consolidate your closing costs into the purchase, something your agent and mortgage lender can help with!


What about the Inspections?

Professional Home inspections are typically done by a licensed home inspector. Very often buyer’s can also contact various professionals to inspect mechanicals, electrical, or other more specialized portions of the inspection areas. Sometimes the professional home inspection is confused with the inspection necessary with certain loan types such as FHA. A professional home inspection is used to protect you from purchasing a home that has any major defects you are unaware of. You can protect yourself in a purchase agreement by reserving the right to have and respond to a home inspection, if defects are found you will have an opportunity to negotiate the necessary repairs with the seller rather than bearing the cost alone after moving in. Most home inspections are paid for at the time of the inspection and vary in price based on type of inspection and size/scope of the inspection.


How long will it take?

The process of finding your home could take weeks, moths, or years even! A good agent will stand by you through the process and search diligently for the property you seek. After you have found your hame and received an accepted offer (Yay!) the pending/escrow period can vary in length based on several factors. The timeline for closing after an accepted offer is laid out in the terms of your purchase agreement. Your agent and lender can work together to determine what kind of timeline you will need after the home is pending. Times range typically between 2-5 weeks for a conventional mortgage with special loan types creeping into the 2 month time period. This aspect of the purchase process can vary widely based on different conditions with the property type, title conditions, and other factors. Your agent can help guide you along the way when viewing/considering homes.


Wait I have more questions!

At Wagner Realtors we take pride in the fact that we strive to offer top value to our clients through easy and transparent communication. Questions can be answered easily and often with a short call or text! We are available around the clock and would be happy to help. Thanks for reading!



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Our agents write often to give you the latest insights on owning a home or property in the local area.