Buying real estate can be the start of an exciting new chapter in your life. Being prepared is the key between a successful home buying experience and a long, frustrating and possibly disappointing exercise. With a little preparation, there are several ways to keep from missing out on your dream home in a competitive market.
Know Your Credit Score
It may seem very basic to some, but you would be surprised at how many people have never reviewed their credit reports. Take the time to review your report with the major credit bureaus or on Annualcreditreport.com and clean up any erroneous items before you start shopping for real estate. The higher your score, the better your chances for the most favorable mortgage rates.
You may have decided that you can afford a $400,000 home based on an online mortgage calculator. But have you gotten pre-qualified for a mortgage? The mortgage rate you can qualify for can significantly impact your payment, as well as how much your lender will require as a down payment. In competitive markets, some homeowners will not even consider offers from buyers who aren’t already pre-qualified for funding.
Find a Realtor
A home is the single most significant purchase most people make in their lives, and you need a trusted advocate to help guide you through the process. A licensed real estate agent works to help you find potential properties that fit within your budget, and when you find the one you want, they can help negotiate your offer. When your offer is accepted, your realtor can walk you through the contracts, inspections and be there with you at the closing.