5 Tips for Buying Your First Home
Real estate agent Sandy Binner wants newlyweds to know exactly what they’re getting into as they buy their first home. Here are her top tips:
- Contact a lender first and get pre-approved so you know how much you can spend on your home purchase.
- Find an experienced real estate agent who will work to find what fits your needs and budget. “A Realtor can search for them and can also protect them,” Binner says. “If you go it alone, you’re using an agent the seller hired, and you have no one to represent you. The seller’s listing agent is always going to do what is best for their client. Without having your own representation, you are practically handing everything over to the seller.”
- Be prepared for negotiations. It will likely take multiple offers to complete the deal. Agents can guide you through the process of how much you should offer on the house, how much the house may (or may not) appraise for, what it will take for your offer to look better than the other offers agents have.
- Agents guide couples through earnest and option money processes—they guide buyers through the entire option and inspection period. (The option period in Texas requires that potential buyers get inspections done in no more than seven days.)
- After the option period is over, make sure the loan goes through. “There are several dates that are crucial,” Binner says. “Third-party finance dates need to go through within that time period.”
Binner warns young couples to be careful not to lose sight of their finances when shopping for a home. She has seen couples fall in love with a house, lose the concept of what that house is worth and wind up financially upside-down. It’s Binner’s mission to keep that from happening to her clients.
“I want them to understand how important the Realtors are,” Binner says. “Most of us aren’t the type that will help you find a home and never contact you again.” More info: sbinner.cbapex.com