Of all the Seasons, Spring time is known to be the busiest time of year in the real estate industry. As the temperature rises throughout the Fraser Valley, not only do we see blossoming flowers and the signs of life returning to nature, we also see a dramatic increase in the number of homes hitting the market, as well as a larger number of potential home buyers looking to find their perfect match. Many of my fellow Real Estate experts cover tips for selling your home, but if you’re a buyer, there are a few things you may want to do for success this Spring.
1. Hire a Real Estate Professional to Be Your Tour Guide, and Choose Carefully!
It has never been more important to hire a good Realtor than in today’s market. It is crucial that you hire someone who is experienced in the area where you are looking for a home. You deserve to have a professional Realtor representing your best interests throughout the entire buying process. A good buyer’s real estate agent will help you with your home search, required contractual paperwork, negotiations, inspections, and any other concerns that may come up. Choosing a Realtor who specializes in the area or neighborhood you are looking for means that you will get the “inside information” about living there. Are there areas that are better than others? Bad areas to avoid? Which restaurants are hidden gems? How are the schools? A good Realtor will act as your tour guide who understands market trends and how those trends will affect your personal real estate needs. Does the Realtor have references and testimonials from happy past clients? Do they work by Referral, allowing them to focus on their current clients’ needs, or do they spend all of their time looking for new “prospects” to buy a home? Remember, it will cost you nothing to hire a buyer’s agent; the seller of your new home will pay their commission, so you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain.
2. Understand Your Financial Picture Get Pre-Approved For a Home Mortgage
If you’re looking to buy a house you’ve probably prepared a budget in order to determine how much you are comfortable spending on a new place. And while that is a good place to start, the reality is that the world of home financing has changed dramatically in recent years. Obtaining a mortgage is harder today than it has been a very long time, which means you may not be qualified to borrow as much money as you think. Before you go and view any homes, you should meet with a Mortgage Broker to determine an accurate budget and then follow the steps necessary to become pre-approved for a mortgage. This will allow you to reserve a low interest rate and ensure that all mortgage terms are worked out before you make an offer. Both in-house Mortgage brokers at your local bank or credit union or an independent company generally offer comparable interest rates. Often, it is the terms in the “fine print” of that make a difference. How much are you allowed to pre-pay? What is the penalty if you move before your mortgage term is up? These are important questions to ask. Lastly, if you are pre-approved for a mortgage before you make an offer, you will not be considered a “wannabe” buyer. The result is that the home seller is much more likely to entertain your offer if your financing is pre-approved.
3. Prioritize Your Needs and Wants
Home buyers’ needs vary for many reasons. Families with children want to live near good schools and they tend to want bigger yards and outdoor play areas. People who are devoted to their careers will pay more attention to the length of their commute. Single people tend to seek out places that offer a certain level of entertainment and proximity to other unmarried residents. Likewise, retirees are concerned about the vicinity of local hospitals and perhaps, recreational activities like golf. As a home buyer you should have a solid understanding of your own needs. Make a checklist and prioritize the items on that list; what do you need vs. what do you want? Understand that your list will shift and change based on your budget constraints and market trends. And remember that when you buy a house, you are also buying the neighborhood.
If you would like more information about buying a home in Abbotsford, Langley, or Chilliwack, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or directly at 604-897-1454. With over 20 years of experience as a Realtor, I’d be happy to help you with your search for a home.