Why Work With a Real Estate Agent When Looking to Buy
Most everyone dreams of owning their own home. When buying your first home, it can be a very exciting, yet anxiety-filled experience. It can be confusing about where to find more detailed answers to questions about listings you may be interested in, when to find out about loan financing and what you can afford to borrow, what to do and what happens when making an offer to buy, and what’s involved in the legalities and contract negotiation process…not to mention all that is involved to successfully and smoothly close the sale to make this home YOURS.
And as a seasoned buyer, you can avoid chaotic and stress-filled transactions when you work with an experienced agent who understands the current market. You most probably already “get” that finding an agent whom you can trust to research what you’re looking for, do the fact-finding and comparing your opinions on the current market inventory, and knowing they’ll have your back from when you first share your vision, to the closing table, is key to success in your real estate endeavors.
Setting The Budget
Before the house-hunting process begins, it is most important to know how much you can afford. Since a person’s credit score determines loan qualification and interest rate, knowing your score ahead of time may help you decide if now is a good time to buy or not. Give us a call to talk about local financial professionals in your area who can outline all you need to know to get pre-qualified and pre-approved, and to explain the various types of loans that may be available to you.
An individual’s debt-to-income ratio must fall within acceptable limits of the home’s cost. Expenses to consider include cash on hand upfront for Earnest Money deposit (varies and is required with offer to purchase), cash down payment (if any), monthly mortgage loan payment, utility and maintenance expenses, property taxes, and any home insurance costs.
Talking to a local REALTOR® is a wonderful way to help get the basics about the real estate property buying process, and to coach you in setting the groundwork when you are thinking about possibly transitioning from renting to owning your own home. Check out our Mortgage Calculator for helping to create your vision to buy.
Getting pre-approved for the loan process is extremely important so that, when you finally find the right property you want to buy, you are in a position to make an offer, and ultimately move forward through the negotiation process to enter into a sales contract to purchase.
When looking for a loan, be sure to get more than one loan quote to get the best interest rate and loan terms for your mortgage. Different lenders and mortgage financing companies offer different loan origination fees, and by shopping around you can oftentimes save yourself a lot of money.
A good loan officer will offer you many online resources and tools. Before you lock in your rate, be sure to check the daily rate your loan officer gives you to ensure you are getting the lowest rate possible.
Interest rates come in fixed or adjustable terms, and will determine how much your mortgage payment will cost each month. Mortgage term lengths can range up to 30 years, with some lenders now offering 40-year terms. The longer the repayment term, the lower the payment; however, the total interest accrued will be higher.
Finding a Home With The Support of a Realtor
Once you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage and you know what amount your lender has approved you for (request a simple “Pre-Approval Letter” from your lender), it’s time to start the search!
First, find a REALTOR®. Not any REALTOR® will do. Make sure you are using a REALTOR® who has experience and knowledge, and who knows the area you are moving to. Mountain Valley Realty agents of Delta County know the territory from Paonia to Delta, from Crawford to Montrose, from Hotchkiss and Cedaredge and all the Grand Mesa regions throughout the North Fork Valley.
We know Delta County; we keep up-to-date on the current listings market and available inventory, current market trends and loan options, and are qualified and ready to support your buying search.
We specialize in Buyer Agency with buyers from outside the area, handling listing previews and making offers through negotiating the final sales contract, and even closings, using state-approved forms and our online document review and signature technologies that are clear and easy to follow.
Make sure your REALTOR® explains to you through the Brokerage Disclosure how real estate agency works in Colorado. You want to make sure you understand if the REALTOR® is going to be your Buyer’s Agent, or just work with you as a Customer, or as a Transaction Broker.
In addition to knowing your purchase budget and obtaining loan pre-approval, it is also important to make a list of your “wants” and “needs” to share with your REALTOR. This will eliminate looking at properties that are either too expensive for your budget or do not fit your needs.
When you have a checklist to review with your REALTOR®, you will spend quality time viewing showings that concentrate only on those properties you want and can afford (and save wasting time viewing those that don’t fit your needs or budget).
Making an Offer
There is truly an art to making an offer on a home or property. Your REALTOR® is the best source of information for help with making the offer and moving into negotiating the final sales contract.
Your agent also provides all the supplemental information on each home or property listing for Inspections, Inclusions, Exclusions, Property Taxes, Amenities, Homeowner’s Associations (HOA) and Covenants, Irrigation Water, FarmRanch production records, etc.
An experienced REALTOR® is also there to help you in the negotiation process pertaining to all these items, as well as the purchase price. However, keep in mind that the REALTORS® scope of duties will be defined by your relationship with them (Buyer’s Agent, Customer, or Transaction Broker), based on Colorado law of agency.