1. Use a real estate agent.
Buying and selecting a home is a major financial decision so you will want to have
the best help and advice you can get to make sure that you have realistic expectations
and that your interests are protected. You should strongly consider hiring an
experienced agent as your buyer's agent. By hiring a buyer's agent, you will have a
highly experienced professional looking out for your best interests throughout the
transaction, which is a great benefit to you, even if you are a more experienced buyer.
Regardless of how you decide to proceed, your KNZ Broker can give you
professional guidance every step of the way as your real estate transaction progresses.
2. Browse the Mortgage Market.
Home buyers can save considerably over the long term by shopping around for the
most favorable mortgage rates and terms. Even a small difference in rates, can add up
to a considerable amount over the twenty to thirty year lifetime of a typical mortgage.
As an example, if you take out a $200,000 mortgage at 6.5% versus the higher 7.0%
home loan offered at another bank, you save $66.46 per month, but over thirty years,
you will have saved $23,926!
3. Have a loan prequalification letter prepared.
You will be a more attractive as well as a more realistic buyer if you have a mortgage
lender determine how much of a loan you qualify for and write you a prequalification
letter. This letter shows a seller that you mean business and gives them a clear
indication of whether or not you can afford their house. You can also move faster
when you find the right property, which is especially important when you are
competing against other buyers.
4. Know what you are looking for.
It's important to have a good sense of the property you are interested in buying in
your mind. Make a list of what aspects of a home are important to you, and divide
them into two categories: (1) what you need, and (2) what you would like to have.
Update the list as you view more properties and revise your expectations. You can
also do an online property search to get a good idea of what is currently on the
market. Your KNZ Brokers agent can then show you the properties that best fit your
criteria for a home.
5. Begin to search the housing market.
Now that you have a better sense of what you are looking for, ask your KNZ Brokers
agent to show you suitable properties. Keep a journal of those you visit, compare
them to your list, and eliminate any that are unsuitable for your purposes.
6. Be sensitive to house resale issues.
In many areas, certain house features such as pools or detached garages can add to the
likelihood of resale, or perhaps even reduce the house's market appeal. Ask your
KNZ Brokers agent to advise you on what features might affect each house's resale
7. Pick a favorite house for comparison.
Write in your journal about each house you visit. Take notes about what you liked
and what you didn't. Come up with a rating system to help you reduce the available
choices down to the ones that suit you best. Select a favorite house as your standard,
and then compare each new one you visit to your favorite house until you find one
that is better for your purposes. Then use the better house as your new standard. Try
not to compare more than four houses at one time.
8. Prepare an offer.
When you've seen a house that you really like, be sure to act quickly. Allow your
KNZ Broker agent to use their expertise to help you prepare an offer, and then
negotiate a calm and successful transaction where both parties end up satisfied with
9. Inspect the house.
Once your offer is accepted by the seller, you will want to have a professional
inspector look over the property and report any problems or issues back to you. If
necessary, your KNZ Brokers agent can help you find such an inspector. Faults such
as missing roof shingles, wall imperfections, foundation cracks and problematic
insect colonies can be caught this way, and your KNZ Brokers agent can help you
negotiate for any repairs that need to be made. If you do obtain repair concessions,
make sure you do a thorough walk through before completing the final paperwork to
ascertain whether or not the agreed upon repairs have been done. Consider
purchasing a home protection plan to insure you against a wide range of potential
10. Complete the transaction.
Do all that is necessary to complete the transaction in a timely way. Your KNZ
Brokers agent will be happy to go through a checklist with you to make sure that
necessary deposits have been made, papers signed, loans and insurance obtained'
etc... Basically, your agent is there to keep on top of the transaction and to assure that
everything that needs to be done is in fact done to close the deal as efficiently and as
enjoyably as possible for all concerned.
11. Get ready to enjoy your new home!
Before you move in, you'll want to consider first doing any necessary major repairs
or cleaning jobs that are easier to do on an empty house. You'll also want to make
sure that the utilities and alarm systems will be turned on, and that you change your
address at the post office.