When you’re in the market to buy a house, you’re not going to make an offer for the first property you see, right? Of course not! This is a huge purchase and it’s one that requires a lot of careful thought and consideration.
If you’re going to be buying a house in 2022, here are five things you’ll want to keep in mind before signing on the dotted line.
1. Hire a top-rated realtor
Although you could buy a house without hiring a realtor, we strongly recommend against it. There are millions of real estate agents out there, so we recommend that you take the time to interview agents, get recommendations from people you know, and weigh your options.
Why? Well, because a real estate agent is going to be your right-hand man throughout your experience because they can provide you advice, insight and guidance that you won’t get from anyone else. They’ll work hard to find properties that best meet your needs and your budget and they’ll work hard to negotiate in your favor.
2. Ask a lot of questions about the neighborhood
After hiring a real estate agent, make sure you ask them about the neighborhoods surrounding the properties they show you. A top-rated agent should be able to tell you the ins and outs of the neighborhood, but they should also be able to answer any questions you may have.
Of course, you shouldn’t expect to know all about the neighborhood simply by asking the agent for info. You may want to spend some time in the desired neighborhood. Take a walk around the neighborhood and if you happen to meet people along the way, ask them about their experience living there. Spend some time in the local shops and map out routes to and from points of interest.
3. Have a mortgage pre-approval letter
A pre-approval letter is going to be like a golden ticket from Willy Wonka. Okay, maybe not quite like that (wouldn’t it be awesome though?), but it is a useful document that tells you and your realtor how much money you can spend on a house. It also lets the sellers know that you are a serious buyer and the funds are basically secured, which means the transaction is less likely to fall through.
4. Submit a winning offer
Buying a house in a market where there are far too many qualified buyers than there are available houses means it’s going to be rough to get your offer accepted. You may have to come out with your best offer right off the bat. Sometimes it may even mean foregoing the usual contingencies like needing a home inspection or needing to sell a house before going through with a transaction. You might even have to be willing to offer to pay more than the asking price.
5. Attach a personalized letter to the offer
If you fall in love with a house and you’re afraid that your best offer isn’t quite enough, you could also include a personal letter to the seller. In this letter, you could mention a few things about what the house would mean to your family, what you love about the property, and maybe share a few tidbits about your life.
While there’s no guarantee that this will sway the seller’s mind into choosing your offer, it lets the seller know that their home will be in good hands if they chose your offer.
There are a lot of things to take into consideration when you’re buying a house and there’s a lot more to it than just hiring an agent and viewing properties. However, once you’re working with a realtor that you feel confident in, you can rest a little easier knowing that they’ll do their best to make your experience as smooth as possible.