Have you been casually browsing homes listings in anticipation of purchasing your very first home? If so, then it is important that you have a few things prepared for when you are ready to actually make an offer because things can move quickly. Many people are not prepared for what is actually involved in the process, and working with a real estate agent to purchase a single-family home can help.
Have A Mortgage Pre-Approval Ready
It is very important that you have a mortgage pre-approval before you start browsing for homes. A mortgage pre-approval lets you know how big of a mortgage you will be approved for, which will help limit you to homes that you can actually afford. The pre-approval amount is going to be for the amount of the loan, but you should also factor in your downpayment with the amount of the loan in order to determine the price of a home you can afford. Knowing the amount that you are working with can really help narrow down your search and help you find a home you can afford.
Have The Down Payment Ready
Unless you are using a VA loan or other specialized mortgage product, mortgages require that you provide a down payment as part of buying the home. This involves paying a percentage of the home price that meets the qualifications for the mortgage product you are using.
Having the down payment ready means knowing how you are going to get that funding. You do not always need it in cash, since there are other ways to do so. For example, you can borrow money from retirement accounts or borrow money from a relative if it falls under the borrowing limits where it is counted as a cash gift or even set up a personal loan with a family member that you will pay back over time.
Have A Realtor Ready
While you may think that you can browse homes on your own without the help of a real estate agent, it will become necessary as soon as you want to make that offer. If you do not have experience with making an offer on a home, then a real estate agent helps guide you through the entire process. In addition, the agent can help you tour homes that do not have open houses, opening up the possibility to see more homes than you normally would be able to do.