As realtors we want your home buying/selling process to be as comfortable as possible and therefore we have put together a list of what you should do before contacting a realtor and then what you need to tell a realtor before you begin the process of looking for a house.
- Work with a mortgage broker to see what you’re financially capable of buying and the type of loan you are qualified for. A mortgage broker will access your credit rating, assets, debt to income ratio, and will be able to tell you how much you can expect a bank to lend. This information is needed when it comes to saving yourself time and heartache. As a realtor, we don’t want to take you to a house you will love but can’t afford. This is a letdown for all parties involved and something we want to avoid. If you don’t have a mortgage broker you are working with, ask your realtor to recommend one. Don’t be surprised if a realtor refuses to show you any houses until they know what that you are pre-qualified for a mortgage.
- Tell your realtor what type of home loan/s you qualify for. Are you qualified for an FHA, Conventional, or VA Loan? Let the Realtor know because some home loans are specific with regards to what homes you can buy. This information is also included in the pre-approval letter from the mortgage broker.
- If you need down payment assistance, let your realtor know. Down payment assistance (DPA) is for more than first-time homebuyers and there are a variety of DPA programs and services available. At Hidden Paradise Realty Team, we recommend numerous DPA programs that assist buyers with their down payment, but you need to let us know as early as possible in the buying process. DPA is not always the best option for you as a buyer, as there are strings attached.
- Be clear on what you are looking for, what your needs are, and where you want the house to be located and why. Also, decide what is a necessity and what is a want. Right now, we are in a seller’s market, and you might have to compromise a little on what you want so a realtor can find you a house you need and that you can afford. When you’re working with a Realtor, they will actively search for a house for you and they will set up a listing notification for houses that match your criteria, but if you are too specific and not flexible with your “needs and wants” then it can dramatically increase the time it takes to find your new home.