Deciding on a Budget
The vast majority of house hunters have money limitations, meaning they need to hammer out a budget before perusing listings. Never let a real estate agent show you homes outside of your price point, and be sure to take the necessary closing and moving costs into consideration. Taking a conservative approach to your finances may seem irritating and constricting, but it will save you stress in the long run.
Scheduling a Tour
Did you fall in love with a home exterior? Unfortunately, actually getting inside the house may prove challenging, because you need to work around your schedule, the agent's, and the sellers'. Be patient. Your dream house is worth the wait!
Negotiating with the Seller
After finding their dream home, buyers need to discuss price, closing logistics, and various other factors with the seller. This conversation usually involves plenty of back-and-forth, talking through third parties, and awaiting replies. But as annoying as negotiation may be, it’s a vital step in the home buying process.
Inspecting the Property
Once the seller accepts an offer, the buyer may think he's in the homestretch. Not so fast! The next step, the home inspection, could uncover a leaky roof, asbestos, faulty electrical wiring, or some other costly surprise. These problems require further negotiation with the seller, who will typically either rectify the issue or lower the home price as compensation.
Dealing with the Mortgage Company
Think you gave your mortgage lender everything they need? Obtaining a mortgage can be a nightmare, and chances are the lender will reach out again for additional information. It’s best to deal with the frustration calmly and quietly; unless they’re paying with cash, all buyers are stuck with the mortgage process.
Closing the Deal
Banks love getting the best deal the market has to offer on interest rates. For that reason, a bank may wait until the last minute to finalize paperwork—a tactic that the buyer may find aggravating. That stressed-out buyer should also be prepared to sign countless documents at closing. Consider hiring a real estate lawyer to help navigate the process.
Finding Discarded Items from the Seller
Although sellers should haul all their belongings to their new property, you may discover boxes in the attic or a broken piano in the basement. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do about the discarded items after closing on the house—which makes this a great argument for a thorough walk-through before you close. After closing, however, your best recourse is to ask your new neighbors if they’d like anything, or take a trip to a donation center yourself.
You can’t eliminate the hassles that come with buying a home, but you can prepare for them. With these pieces of advice, you’ll know what to expect from the real estate process.
Your home is most likely your largest investment. Home insurance is a valuable way to protect the investment, but could you save money on your home insurance policy? Read our top tips for how to safeguard your property while saving money.