You’ve heard about the market insanity. Most of the talk is real - there are multiple offers on almost everything, and the due diligence fees are entering the five figures. The best advice we can give is simply to be prepared so that you are in the strongest position possible when a house comes along that is a match. Buying a home is an expensive and sometimes confusing process, so giving yourself as much time to plan is key.
Here are tips on how to put yourself in the strongest position when buying a home.
💵 Step 1 - Get your cash ready
Beyond the mortgage and down payment, there are several costs related to buying a home. Due Diligence fee, Inspections, surveys, taxes, improvements you want to make after closing, etc. Depending on the home you select you may also have additional deposit requirements and/or renovation costs. This can vary wildly because an historic house in Oakwood would have a totally different due diligence process than a condo or new townhome in Downtown Raleigh.
🧮 Step 2 - Interview lenders early
Your mortgage provider is there to prepare you for the loan process. Can you make a few changes to increase your credit score and get a better rate? Might you need to save more for a down payment? Once you find your home, how quickly can the lender close? Also, buying a condo is different than a home or townhome. Be sure to tell your lender if you are looking at condos.
📌 Step 3 - Identify your desired location
If your search area is too large, it will take longer to find a suitable home- and put a lot of frustrating miles on your car! Research different areas that may be a good fit before you start your home search to zero in on your target location. A good idea is to have a priority list by neighborhood. Maybe your top choice is Mordecai or Five Points, but if those are too competitive, maybe you're willing to go a bit farther out.
🙂 Step 4 - Select your Realtor and Build a Team
A good realtor will be a valuable partner in your home purchase. They should specialize in the area where you want to buy so they are aware of current and upcoming changes to the area. They will also understand how to package an offer to be most appealing to the sellers in that area. Also start conversations early with them. You need to be able to trust their advice, and that might be hard if you engage too late in the process.
⏳ Step 5 - Be diligent
Finding a home these days can be like working at the fire department. Be prepared to be flexible and invest time to find the best property for you. In a seller’s market, you may have to make offers on multiple homes before your offer is accepted.
⚙️ Step 6 - Use the right search tools
Note that some search engines require time to sync with the multiple listing system so you may not see a home until it is already sold. In a sellers market, losing hours could mean losing the home. The rules also recently changed regarding Coming Soon listings and scheduling, so be sure to work with an agent who is responsive and on top of changes.