If you’ve made the initial decision to purchase a home, then you’re probably ready to start working with a real estate agent to find the perfect home for you. But before you meet with a real estate agent for the first time, there are some key items that you need to get started with and know first. If you do the legwork before your first meeting with a real estate agent, then the meeting will go smoother, because you will be able to provide a more complete picture of your financial situation and real estate needs. So, here are four key things to know or find out about prior to your first meeting with a real estate agent.
Know Your Budget
The number one thing you should know before meeting with a real estate agent is your budget. Know the absolute maximum you are willing to spend and know what your ideal house price is. This makes it very clear for a real estate agent what they should be searching for and showing you during your property search. Figuring out your ideal budget for your home search can often be difficult. One of the best ways to approach figuring out your ideal budget is to consider how much per month can you afford for the mortgage, PMI (if you have one), homeowner’s insurance, and property taxes. Once you have that number, you can figure out what home price can put you in the appropriate range. Additionally, mortgage brokers and lenders can help you figure out these numbers as well.
Know If You’re Pre-Approved
Before meeting with a real estate agent, set up a meeting with a mortgage broker or lender to learn more about the home loan process, what you qualify for, and if possible, start the pre-approval process. When the housing market is hot, it is beneficial to get pre-approval on a home loan in order to strengthen your buying offer. This provides the seller with information that a mortgage lender is willing to back you up to a certain amount based on the financial information they’ve seen. This can also help a real estate agent know where you are in the process and provide them with important information about your budget.
Know Your Timeframe
If you currently live in a rental or have to sell your home in order to buy a new home, then the timeframe in which your sale and purchase happen are critical. Understanding that you need to be in a new home by a certain time or if you can wait to find the truly perfect home is very important for a real estate agent to know. This helps a real estate agent know if a house up for sale is a good fit for all parties involved as well when they are searching listings.
Know Your “Must Have” List
Lastly, while you don’t have to have a perfect idea of what your new home needs to look like, you should come prepared with the basics. Create a “Must Have” list that includes items that would be deal-breakers. For example, if you’re a family of four and you absolutely have to have a house with at least three bedrooms, make sure that is on the list. If you won’t settle for a one car garage, know that and let your real estate agent know that at the first meeting.
Taking the time to identify and know the information in these four key points can be exceptionally beneficial during your house search. In addition, knowing this information before your first meeting with a real estate agent can help get the home buying process started off on the right foot. To schedule a meeting with an exceptional real estate agent, contact Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Santa Fe!