According to real estate experts, spring is usually a seller’s market. That means that competition can be fierce. So joining us now with some advice for home buyers is realtor Ryan Smith. Hey, great to meet you. It is a pleasure. We’ve just been chatting about this and you know it’s spring is an exciting time. A lot of people, if you’re thinking about buying a home, now is the time to do it because you see a lot of homes come up and go on the market. So let’s start off with the basics. Maybe some homework to do before you even start the process of it.
Yeah, I mean the first step in the process is going to be to get preapproved for a mortgage. You want to reach out to a local bank or local mortgage broker. They’re going to want some information from you as far as your income, your credit, based on all that information, they’re going to issue a preapproval letter so you know how much you can afford. And I’m also going to recommend that you talk to two or three different banks. You can compare. Make sure you’re getting the best possible interest rate. Lowest possible closing costs and the best possible loan product.
Okay, so say you kind of know what you want. You’re, you’re looking here and there, you don’t have an agent yet. How important is it and what are the benefits of having a buyer’s agent?
I highly recommend that you get yourself set up with a good buyer’s agent. The buyer’s agents can be able to send you listings, they’re going to be able to set up showings for you. They’re going to be able to guide you throughout the entire process. And then basically you’re not even going to have to pay your buyer’s agent because they’re going to get paid by the seller. So you’re going to get representation at essentially no additional cost to you.
There you go. So you found the property. Okay, you’re working with your agent and the price, eh, it’s a little high. How much can you negotiate and what are some other things that you maybe should take into consideration? Some factors that may help you out in the negotiation process.
Being a good negotiator can literally save you thousands of dollars throughout the home buying process. And one strategy that I personally like to implement is to try to find out things that are important to the seller, other than just the price. So for example, if the house is vacant, maybe they want a quicker closing. If they need to find a home, maybe they want more time for the closing. You could also add a larger earnest money deposit to make the seller feel a little more secure in a transaction. And if you meet some of the other terms and conditions that are important to the seller, then they’re more likely to accept your lower price.
Okay. So maybe someone that’s, you know, wants to sell their home quickly or maybe not so fast, you can sort of work that into the deal. Yeah, we had to position yourself and uh, so all right, we’ve, we’ve kind of worked our way through this process and maybe you submitted an offer, you got it, they accepted it, the home looks good, but there could be things on the inside that you don’t see right. The home inspection. How important is it?
Everyone needs to do a home inspection when they’re buying a home, so you need to find a licensed home inspector. They’ve been trained to find problems that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road and if you find them during the home inspection, you can actually go back to the seller, try to renegotiate the price, try to renegotiate some repairs, and if the seller doesn’t want to play ball, then you can actually terminate the contract, get your deposit back and move on to something else.
It can be a total game-changer. Yeah. How about a timeline? Because you know you find a place that you like, you want to get in there as quickly as possible, but how, what’s a realistic expectation for how soon you’re going to get those keys?
Sure. It can be anywhere from a 30 to 60 day process in general to get the keys and the way it’s going to work is you’re going to get your loan commitment from the bank, which means they’re promising you to give you the loan. Your closing attorney then is going to schedule the closing. You’re going to want to do a final walkthrough of their property. The day of the closing. You want to make sure the seller is taken out all their personal belongings, any agreed-upon repairs have been completed. You’re then going to head over to your attorney’s office with your down payment money. They’re going to guide you through all the bank paperwork and once you fill all that out, they’re going to hand you the keys and then the house becomes yours. And that’s the fun part.
Now we’ve been chatting about how important social media is for somebody that’s, you know, looking into buying a home. Should they be looking at realtor social media pages to kind of see, you know, new listings to get tips and ideas from you guys?
Absolutely. And I think realtors who are really at the top of their game know how to market the properties on social media in ways that are different than what you would find on some traditional websites like Zillow or multiple listing service. So if you’re willing to explore social media for real estate, you’re going to get some different angles and some different looks at things than you would in other places.