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What are a few things that make home hunting easier and more profitable for buyers

Savvy Buyers take the advice of real estate professionals

Buyers need to take care to follow a plan of attack when looking for a new home. This is going to be the most expensive thing you are probably spending on this year, so planning for it make sense. Here are the general guidelines that ALL buyers should be aware of:

1. Save for a Downpayment
Some types of loans have low down payment options but save as much as you can. The larger the amount of money you put down, the less interest you’ll pay. If you put down at least 20%, you can even avoid PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance. There are many ways to save for a down payment, so jump in and start saving now!

2. Get Pre-approved
It may seem like a hassle, but it is one worth taking the time to do. Getting a pre-approval letter is your ticket to working with the best real estate agents and having the upper hand in negotiations. There are more than one way to get a approved, a pre approval vs an approval. One is like a promise to get a loan by the bank, and the other is like handing “cash” with your offer as it is a guarantee of a loan by a bank. Which one would you give more credence for if YOU were the seller? That is the one you want to provide with your offer.

3. Pick the Right Real Estate Agent
Don’t work with an agent before you do your research. Are they highly reviewed? Are they familiar with the market you’re looking in? What services do they provide? Are there any perks to working with them? Choose the real estate agent that is the right fit for you, and you’ll have a much smoother transaction.

4. Buy with strong agent, and save thousands!
Work with a top agent, find your dream home, get a buyer discount on the sell price, agents know how to negotiate to get the best deals in this buyer market. Do Not go it alone. Buyers MUST have strong representation during a market shift and agents can adovocate for you better than you can for yourself.

Know What You’re Looking For
Are you looking for an investment property? A place to raise your family? A home with a view? Know your top priorities before looking, and everything else will fall into place. It may help to make a list of property must-haves and things you are willing to negotiate on. What are your wants and needs list? Is this your forever home, or your beginner home, is this one that you can leverage and use equity in to buy in on another investment property. A great agent can help you build a wealth building strategy through real estate. Don’t be afraid to start making long term real estate plans.

6. How to Start Investing in Real Estate
Best Real Estate Investments, How to Find the Right Property
Consider the Numbers
Before making an offer on the house, consider the price compared to other homes in the area. You may even want to do a Comparative Price Analysis. You want a home that is priced at the fair market value, ideally one that you’ll have instant equity in once you sign the papers.

If you are looking for a property to invest, this is one of the most important aspects to pay attention to. Take a look at more than the current price of the home, take a look for what it’s sold for in the past.

Take a look at the area: what’s the average income for the area? What is the Rental yield? Is the economy going up or down, and what has it done in the past?

Make a list of 60-100 properties, compare numbers, and narrow your decision that way before going to look at the house. Having a well versed real estate agent can make this part much easier as agents have access to public and private records and MLS boards that consumers do not have access to. This knowledge pool comes with a price tag, to have access to this data. Agents will provide you with this information and help and as a buyer, you rarely have to kick in any of your own money at the front to get this information. Agents will look for your loyalty, and in turn you will find their loyalty to you will save you thousands of hours and dollars in the long run.

7. Do Your Research
Before you get too invested in a property, do your research! What has it sold for in the past? If it’s a rental property, how much of an income is made from each of the units? Have there been any problems in the past such as fires, drug use on the property, or illegal additions to the home? Knowing these things before you get attached will make sure you are aware of any skeletons in this property’s closet.

8. Tour the Property
If at all possible, tour the property before you buy it. And don’t just stroll from room to room, either. Peek under cabinets and in closets. Flush toilets and turn on lights. Investigate weird smells and take a flashlight into dark areas. You want to know this house from top to bottom. Make sure you check out the attic and crawl space as well to make sure they’re properly maintained. Having an inspection is always a good idea, EVEN in the property is an AS IS purchase and you going to renovate it, it is good to have a known base line on the property and it’s condition. It may provide leverage as a negotiation tool as well. Your agent knows how to make those arguments for you and still get you the sale.

9. Get to Know the Neighborhood house hunting checklist
Check out the area. Get to know the crime rate and demographics, but also get to know your potential neighbors. They’ll be able to tell you more about the house and area than the description on the listing will tell you. Are there yappy dogs that live three doors down? Do loud vehicles race up and down the street in the middle of the night? Get to know these details upfront so you can make an informed decision. Check our and look up the area online. Knowing what you are getting into will help you be prepared for any unknowns. Remember, not all black marks are necessarily a no deal on purchase. It can be leverage, or show you an area where you can make a small investment turn into a bankable asset in the long run.

10. Know Your Limits
Are you handy with a hammer? Know how much fixing you can do and when to walk away. If you’re going into a renovation project, it may be a good idea to bring a general contractor along if you are unfamiliar with the amount of work and money the home will take. Make sure you have the budget for the repairs as well as the time it will take. If the repairs are extensive enough, know where you are going to live meanwhile.

11. Get a Pre-Sale Inspection
One of the biggest mistakes a buyer can make is not getting a pre-sale inspection. Sure, it costs you a bit of money upfront, but it could save you ten times the amount you’ll pay an inspector. Be sure to choose a reputable inspector, as you’ll want them to be as thorough as possible.

12. Negotiate the Price
This is one of the places your pre-approval letter comes in handy. Having that as you come to the table with your offer adds incentive for the seller to accept your offer. Don’t think that means you should lowball, howeverb. Know your bottom line and don’t cross it, but take into consideration the value of the house. You want to find that sweet spot both you and the buyer are happy with.

13. Final Walk-Through
Have your real estate agent put a contingency upon the final walkthrough. This will give you access to the property right before you close on the house. Make sure everything is still in the same state as it was when you decided to purchase the house. If anything seems fishy, talk to your real estate agent and the seller about it before finalizing on the house. It’s better to walk away at the last minute rather than going through with something that just doesn’t sit right.

14. Thank Your Agent
Many people expect to receive gifts from their real estate agent, and that’s great! Just remember to thank the team that got you to where you’re at. The best way to thank your lender, inspector and the real estate agent is by leaving a glowing review and referring them to others you know.

House hunting? You need a knowledgeable real estate agent by your side. No, we’re not talking about regular real estate agents, look for industry experts, like those you will find here at Castle Team Real Estate, powered by the top company in real estate, Keller Williams Realty. Let us help you make Coming Home Happen, and build your wealth through real estate.