Many home buyers are adequately prepared for the home buying process but too many are not. Knowing what to do, in what order to do things, and when to do things can help reduce the stresses associated with buying a home. When things are done out of order or not done at all, buyers run the risk of major disappointment. Consider a few real world examples.
Get a Mortgage Pre-Approval
Buyer A flew out to a new area and asked to view homes after filling out a buyer questionnaire stating that they were pre-approved for a mortgage to a specified amount. After meeting with the realtor who had lined up a number of homes for the couple to view, it became obvious that the couple was not actually pre-approved. Because they were from out of the local area, the realtor agreed to show them the homes that had been booked for them to view but asked them to talk to a local mortgage broker as soon as possible to get pre-approved. After viewing quite a number of homes over the subsequent few days the couple fell in love with one and wanted to place an offer on it. About the same time they received news from the mortgage broker who told them that they could not be qualified for a mortgage because of the credit history of the husband. They were devastated. Before viewing any homes buyers should talk to a mortgage broker and to get pre-approved for a mortgage. Know the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval. Know your personal financial circumstances and what you can afford even before you even start looking at homes online.
Sell Before You Buy
Buyer B drove up to a new area for a weekend after filling out a buyer questionnaire stating that they were pre-approved for a mortgage. They viewed homes for several days and found one that met all of their stated needs. When discussing what kind of things that should go into an offer they only then disclosed that they had a home to sell before they could buy the new one. They placed an offer on the home that was flatly refused by the seller. The market was a seller’s market and homes were selling fairly quickly. This couple was extremely disappointed to find their dream home was not available to them because they had a home to sell. Offers can and do get written and accepted subject to the sale of a buyer’s home but not all sellers will agree to accepting offers with such a condition. While these type of offers only technically tie up the seller’s home for the period of the time clause, the practical effect can be more significant. Many agents will not show homes that have accepted offers on them and some buyers may not be willing to wait or have the time to wait on a time clause. Buyers are often advised to sell their existing home before they place an offer on a new home in order to place them in a better position to have their offer accepted.
Do not Shop Online
After looking online for months Buyer C contacted a realtor and flew out to a new area to view a specific home with the intention of buying it. When the young couple arrived they were anxious and excited to view the home that they had chosen online. After viewing it they discovered that it was not at all what they expected and their hopes were dashed. Fortunately the agent had asked them to fill out a buyer questionnaire and spoke to them in advance about their needs and wants so he arranged a few other viewings based on their inputs. They ended up placing an offer on one of the others later that day and were extremely pleased that it not only met all of their needs it also met most of their wants and was within their price range. Local knowledge of the area and homes and accurate impressions of homes and the local area can only be formed through first-hand experience. It is impossible to get an accurate sense of an area, neighbourhood or home, or to develop a feeling on a home by merely looking at an online listing. Internet listings only present limited information that can be useful to get a general sense of a local market. Nothing beats first-hand experience and knowledge for decision making. Browse but do not shop online.
Buyer D called up a real estate agent and told the agent that they were planning a house hunting trip to the area the following week. The agent sent them a buyer questionnaire which they filled out and the agent moved a number of things around to accommodate their short notice request. While many of the homes they viewed came close to meeting their needs, the wife seemed to always come up with a very small thing on each home that did not quite work for them. After spending a week with the realtor, they returned home. The agent followed up with them but the agent did not receive any response from them. Later the agent discovered that they had decided to buy a home in a different area. It is important to choose a location before choosing a home but there is a right way and a wrong way to do this. If you are moving or thinking of moving to a new area there is nothing better than a visit to that area and to see what is has to offer. Realtors are not tour guides but when you are up front with the best ones they will often find time to show you the area. If you feel a need to view homes in the area while location browsing, there are often show homes and open houses to look at to help you with your location decision. The location decision should always be made before you ask to venture into anyone’s private residence. If you were a home seller would you want someone walking through your private residence that was “just looking”?
Working with a Realtor
Buyer E decided to buy a home without the services of a realtor. After purchasing the rural property he discovered that the zoning did not allow him to build the home of his dreams on the property. Zoning is just one of many things that can and does impact the use and development of a specific property. Realtors can and do provide many different real estate services to buyers along with advice and information to help with decision making. Just like homes, however, realtors are not all the same. Their capabilities, knowledge, training, education, experience, and character of the real estate agents can and do vary widely. If you are looking for an agent who will go Above and Beyond to meet your real estate needs contact < href="http:www.brettcairns.ca">Brett Cairns of RE/MAX Ocean Pacific Realty in the Comox Valley.
Brett Cairns is a Realtor with REMAX Ocean Pacific Realty and he goes Above & Beyond for clients to meet their real estate needs. Brett is also active informing and updating people on the Comox Valley luxury homes market. His office is located in the town of Comox in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island.
Published by Brett Cairns