Saturday, February 20, 2016

Buying A Home During the Year's Strongest Real Estate Market - Frederick Maryland

Most home buyers here in Frederick and all over the country start by searching the internet for homes they like in areas in which they want to live. That is a good thing! There are some really good resources out there for home searching.  However, to give yourself the best chance of a smooth transaction, follow these guidelines.
  1. In Maryland, we are fortunate to have buyer representation in real estate transactions. That means that a real estate agent can act as your buyer’s agent representing you (and  you alone, not the seller). Information on the internet - even the big sites like Zillow and Trulia - can be very wrong about home values and can be days or weeks out of date with changes to a listing.  The good news is that in most cases the buyer's agent is paid by the seller's agency at settlement! Be sure to ask your agent about any exceptions.
  2. Sign a buyer agency agreement and work with your agent set up an automated search that will bring listings into your email inbox each day.  The agent will send you the most up to date and accurate listings.
  3. Find a reputable and skilled lender. Your agent can recommend local lenders who have a strong record of successful loans and know the local programs.
  4. Have the lender pre-qualify you and tell you how much  you can afford to spend on a house.
  5. Once your know your maximum house price, talk with the lender about your personal comfort level with different monthly payments. The lender can then help you find a comfortable house price for your budget.
  6. Decide how much you can afford to put down on a home and which type of loan is most advantageous for you.
  7. Be sure to check with your lender first before doing anything that might effect your credit score such as open new credit card accounts, pay off loans or buy a big ticket items such as high end appliances, a car or boat.
  8. Have your agent send an example home listing to the lender and get a full cost estimate of all your closing costs. Avoid surprises and take stock of the cash you will need to close. Ask about seller closing help.
  9. Take your agent with you to open houses and new home construction model homes. Find out why it's possible that if you sign into an open house or a model home without your agent, it could cost you more money.
  10. Have fun!
~ Darcy Richards