Home buyers who assume they can go it alone are often surprised at the level of effort it takes to locate a decent home and go through the buying process without an agent. Our first post covered several great reasons why a buyer should always hire a representing agent, and here are several more:

 

Put You in Touch with Their Network

Not only are buyer’s agents great at networking when it comes to home viewings and finding “secret” listings, but their talents at working with people extend to many services you could need. A great agent with knowledge of the local scene can often point you towards:

  • A good local mortgage lender
  • A quality homeowners insurance provider
  • A building inspector to ensure that the home you buy will be a good investment
  • A title company for property surveying or title insurance
  • A highly-recommended local school
  • Utility company contacts
  • Closing and escrow agents

Tracking down all of these parties on your own can be exhausting, and you have no guarantees that the ones you found have a solid reputation. Buyer’s agents’ abilities to introduce you to fellow friends in the home industry can make your whole buying process that much easier.

 

Assist You with Offers and Closing

Making a home offer is one of the most crucial steps in home buying. Giving the wrong sort of offer could derail the whole process.

A buyer’s agent will be able to help you look at the comparable Fleetwood real estate properties in the area in order to come up with a fair but competitive offer. Since offers are usually made on homes you have your heart set on, a helping hand that ensures you do not slip up and miss out can be invaluable.

Closing is another complicated element of home buying. Arranging all the parties and getting all of the documents in order is a logistical nightmare. Buyer’s agents can get all of your documentation in order and make sure every t is crossed and i dotted so that when you sign for your home, it will be yours for sure.

 

They Work for Free!

Technically, buyer’s agents do not work for free, but since the buyer does not owe them a dime, it can feel like that. Buyer’s agents are paid with a portion of the home sale. Their role is seen as helping the home get sold, just like the listing agent does. When the home sale is completed, the seller must pay the buyer’s agent around one to three percent (often 2.5 percent) of the sale as commission.

Anyone who wants a little help in the buying process can get it at virtually no cost since the home price is usually lower or equal to the seller’s listing price in the first place. To learn more about how valuable buyer’s agents are, visit our buying page.

 

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To make the home buying process seem less daunting, we are breaking down each component into a digestible portion. Part I covered the process of aligning priorities and preparing for the financial responsibility. This part will detail how to begin searching for a home and reach the goal of closing on a home you love.

 

Step 4: Do Your Research

Sifting through home listings at this point becomes far more practical. You know you can eliminate homes outside your budget or lacking your required criteria. Start researching neighbourhoods that have a desirable location near schools, businesses or commuting options that work for your lifestyle.

Pay attention to recent sales as well as homes that do not quite fall into your range. The goal at this point is to get a perspective on the market as a starting reference point.

 

Step 5: Hire an Expert Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent’s expertise can inform you about little known listings or facts about certain areas. They can also help you when it comes time to negotiate. Best of all, their services come free upfront, since they are paid from the sale of the home.

 

Step 6: Start Making Viewing Appointments

With a healthy perspective and an agent at your side, you can start looking at desirable prospects within your price range and feature list. Be sure to view as many homes as possible to avoid an impulse decision. Even if the first home you set foot in is perfect, you may not know how perfect it is until you see your area’s other offerings.

 

Step 7: Narrow Down Your Choices and Decide on an Offer

Once you find several homes that fit the bill, you must settle on the one that fulfills your needs the most. Try to opt for the most practical and functional choice and avoid getting blindsided by amenities. A Jacuzzi tub in the master bath is certainly a great thing to have, but you may appreciate it less and less if the mortgage payments are squeezing your budget.

 

Step 8: Make a Contingency Offer

Choosing your intended home is no easy task, but once it is over you can work with your agent to come up with a competitive offer. The offer should include contingencies that protect you from making a poor or even an impossible investment. Common contingencies include a home inspection to spot deal breaking flaws and an appraisal to determine if the asking price is fair for the actual market value.

 

Step 9: Close and Move In

If the house checks out and the buyer accepts your offer, all you have to do is close the deal and start packing! We hope this guide helped give you a better overview of the Fleetwood real estate buying process.

Consult our buying page for even more help on finding a home you will cherish for years to come.

 

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The home buying process can seem far less complex if it is broken down into a handful of key steps. At its core, home buying is actually several processes, only one of which fulfills the traditional image of going from house to house trying to pick out your favorite. To help make the task more manageable, here are the necessary steps before you can call a new house “yours”:

 

Step 1: Start Saving

Window shopping online has become a growing pastime, but browsing for homes in this mode is unproductive. Future homeowners should ground their expectations in reality or they risk getting swept away in the glamour of shopping for impractical or unaffordable homes. Even current homeowners with plenty of equity under their belt should start on firm footing before they begin the house hunt anew.

In other words: start saving. You will need a 20 percent down payment on average and 2 to 5 percent set aside for closing costs alone. On top of that, you will need a security cushion in the form of saving for mortgage payments and a homeowners insurance policy.

These factors are why the journey for buying a new home starts with pinching pennies.

 

Step 2: Assess Your Needs

Once you engage into spendthrift mode, you can start thinking about what you actually want to get out of a house. Focus on the absolute necessities and work your way outward to preferences and eventually amenities that are nice but ultimately unnecessary.

At bare minimum, most homeowners want:

  • A building in good condition with reasonable maintenance
  • Enough bedrooms to comfortably fit the family
  • A usable kitchen
  • Adequate storage space
  • A safe neighborhood
  • A sitting area for relaxation or entertainment

Beyond these essentials, aspiring homeowners must narrow down other important criteria, including the exact number of bedrooms, the type of floor plan, the possible location, rooms like laundry rooms that increase functionality, kitchen size and general square footage. Write down all of these decisions in a list and try to arrange them in order of priority.

 

Step 3: Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With the general idea of what type of home you want and a solid financial foundation, you can begin hunting for a way to pay for it all. Getting pre-approved lets you know how much house you can afford and gets one of the least pleasant steps partially over with. Having a pre-approval notice in your hand can also help you out down the road when you need to convince the seller that your offer is legitimate.

Those lucky enough to be paying in cash should examine their income and start charting out expenses to similarly narrow down a reasonable price range.

With these steps out of the way, buyers can start their search for the perfect Fleetwood real estate property. Take a look at our buying page to learn more, and read part II to find out the last steps to home buying.

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