Working with an Agent?
Buying a home is usually an emotional decision, and you need the counsel of a reputable, knowledgeable real estate professional who will help you buy wisely. As a first-time buyer, professional real estate assistance is crucial. You should insist that the agent work with you as a “buyer’s agent” to be your advocate in the transaction. In most cases, this agent is still paid out of the seller’s commission paid at closing, so you will not pay extra to be represented by a good agent. See the suggestions for selecting a qualified agent; you do not have to be moving from one city to another to take advantage of these suggestions.
A good agent will help you evaluate the pros and cons of purchasing a single-family home, condominium, or townhouse, and what the various types of ownership mean to you. Should you buy a resale home or new construction, and what kinds of inspections or warranties should you seek in each situation? When making an offer, how much below listing price should you offer, and how does the price compare to similar homes on the market? Are you negotiating terms and other costs (home warranty, for example) as well as price? What do you do if inspections uncover needed repairs? Are there any factors related to the house or neighborhood, which could create resale problems? What closing costs are considered typical?
Once you have settled on a community and seen several homes, the next step is to make an offer on a home you like. If you and the seller, with the negotiating help of your agent, come to terms and you execute a sales contract, you will then finalize your mortgage. The mortgage company will require a home inspection and a title search. You may have to coordinate your closing date based on when the seller can purchase another home and vacate.
To remain in control of the many details associated with moving, check out our moving checklist.
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