Home Buyers Tips
Here are some tips & services to help you with the process of buying a home.
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Shop for mortgage rates and terms
A difference of even half a percentage point can make a huge difference in how much you pay a month and over the life of a loan. For example, the difference in the monthly payment on a $200,000 mortgage at 7 percent vs. 6.5 percent is about $66 per month. Over 30 years, that's almoust $24,000.
Right Agent For You
Your Realtor protects your best interests as you make what is probably your biggest and most important financial investment. Going with an experienced pro costs the same amount (a standard 6% paid by the seller) as does picking an unknown Realtor from an ad or the phone book.
Even so, most home buyers don't interview before hiring their Realtor. Hiring an inexperienced Realtor can cost you time, money and the home of your dreams. It pays to shop around and ask the right questions before selecting the best Realtor to represent you.
Experience doesn't just mean number of years in the business. You should also ask how many homes per year a Realtor sells. Each time a Realtor sells a home, he builds experience negotiating on behalf of a buyer. Successful Realtors fine tune their negotiation skills at least 30 times each year, while an average Realtor negotiates only two or three times.
Your Realtor should have strong relationships with lenders, title and escrow companies, insurance brokers and home inspectors that you can leverage to save you time and money. The more successful the Realtor, the stronger these relationships often are. For example, successful Realtors refer so much business to one lender that this lender will bend over backwards to give his buyers the best rates and terms possible on a loan.
When a Realtor with a strong reputation writes an offer on his buyer's behalf, the listing agent for that property can feel confident that the transaction will go through. For this reason, an offer from a buyer with good representation may be more carefully considered than other offers, which can give you the edge over competing buyers.
It's important to meet with a prospective Realtor and ask questions about how he operates. For example, technology makes it possible for your Realtor to respond to you and listing agents in a timely fashion, which can mean the difference between you getting or losing the home of your dreams. Does your agent have the latest technological tools at his disposal? Having a personal staff to take care of administrative work frees your Realtor to spend his time looking for your perfect home. Does your Realtor have the support staff he needs to be highly productive on your behalf?
Your Realtor should not hesitate to provide you with testimonials from satisfied clients. Successful Realtors grow their businesses by building long-term relationships with clients who will refer that Realtor to their friends and family. If a Realtor is desperate to close a sale, developing a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship with a client is not his top concern. Sticking you in the first house he can find is.
To obtain testimonials from clients of the Integra Realty or to request more detailed information about any of these topics, please contact us.
Prequalify for a Loan
Being prequalified for a loan determines how much house you can afford. It also allows you to move more swiftly when you find the right house, especially when you aren't the only interested buyer for that property.
Using a Buyer Agent
A buyer agent is legally responsible for representing the buyer's interest in a real estate transaction and owes to Buyer the fiduciary duties. Generally, the buyer agent is compensated by the seller at the time you purchase a new home. There are some limitations to using a buyer agent. However, before you decide, let Integra Realty Agents explain the advantages and disadvantages of using a buyer agent.
Features that Help or Hurt Resale Value
In some areas, a swimming pool can actually detract from your home's value and make it harder to sell. In neighborhoods with two-car, attached garages, a single-car or detached garage may impact the home value and future resale. Integra Realty Agents can point out features that hurt, as well as those which help the resale value of a property.