Buying a home with a good REALTOR® at your side sets buyers up for an easier, streamlined, and safeguarded purchasing experience.
Besides the many advantages that are introduced by partnering with a good REALTOR® — such as gaining access to their expertise, experience, and market knowledge — partnering with the best agent prevents you from making common home buying mistakes.
Here are a few examples of mistakes that a good REALTOR® would never let you make when you’re buying a home.
#1. Not Shopping For a Mortgage
Different mortgage lenders provide the same applicant with different offers. It’s important to gauge the offers of multiple lending institutions before you decide to accept a mortgage.
However, many buyers end up getting a mortgage from the first lender they speak with and do not look further into what their home loan offerings could be. Even a small change in interest rates or fees can impact the long-term affordability of your loan.
For example, a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage with a loan amount of $280,000 and an interest rate of 3.0% accrues $144,980 in interest over the life of the loan. The same loan amount and terms, with the interest rate reduced to 2.5%, only accrues $118,284 in interest. The difference of 0.5% in interest offering converts into a difference of over $26,000 in interest payments.
A good REALTOR® understands this and encourages their clients to find the best possible mortgage offering from a variety of lenders. Your REALTOR® can also guide you in negotiating your mortgage terms based on the offers from other lenders, ultimately helping you land the best possible deal.
#2. Looking at Listings Before Your Financing is Secure
One of the most common mistakes made when buying a home is to start shopping for listings before you’ve finalized your mortgage offering.
If you’re looking at listings too early, you’re not navigating the market based on your budget. This risks wasted time on listings that you can’t actually afford, or making an offer on a home only to not be able to close due to the financing timeline.
Your REALTOR® will help you align your home buying strategy so that you’re going about each phase at the optimum time. This leads to an organized and streamlined purchase that progresses smoothly.
#3. Not Saving for the Hidden Costs of Buying a Home
The expenses involved in buying a home go above the initial purchasing price point. Buyers need to have the funds to pay for a variety of expenses upfront. Moving fees and costs, staging expenses, agent fees, closing costs, and other expenses all need to be accounted for before you begin the buying process.
A good REALTOR® will ensure that you’re aware of these hidden costs and are budgeting for them accordingly. REALTORS® can help keep their buyer clients on track so they stay within their budgets and do not run into financial difficulties down the road due to overspending.
#4. Making Changes that Impact Credit During Your Mortgage Underwriting
Buyers cannot make sudden changes to their credit when they are in the process of underwriting their mortgage. If your credit changes during underwriting, your borrowing potential changes, as well.
Your lender will need to stop underwriting your loan and go back to re-evaluate your position as a borrower. This can significantly delay the underwriting process and therefore your closing timeline, or impact your eligibility to buy the house in general.
Your REALTOR® will help advise against doing anything, such as maxing out your credit cards to fully furnish your soon-to-be home, that can negatively impact your home buying potential.
#5. Forgetting to Consider the Neighborhood and Surrounding Areas
It’s not uncommon for buyers to zoom into a single listing and forget to consider the surrounding area. A REALTOR® will always remind you that real estate is about location, and the neighborhood that a listing is located in is equally important as the property itself.
Your REALTOR® will help prevent you from making the mistake of purchasing the right home in the wrong location. They will take your home buying needs into account — such as distance concerns, nearby amenities, and your future plans — to help you find the perfect listing in the best possible location for you and your family.
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