As a homebuyer, there are three steps you need to take before you start shopping for homes if you want to set yourself up for success:
1. Pick your representation. By this I mean you should interview several brokers and pick one to represent you during the transaction. A good broker will always conduct a buyer consultation with you before entering into any agency relationship. During this consultation, they’ll set up property alerts to aid you during your search. They’ll also discuss the home purchasing process and outline the benefits of working with a buyer representative. McAuley Homes has two buyer representatives on staff, and if you subscribe to our video blog, you’ve probably gotten calls from them about scheduling a buyer consultation.
2. Get a pre-approval letter from a good lender. Pick a lender who communicates well and meets or exceeds deadlines. If you need help finding a good lender, we would be happy to refer you to our preferred lender. The pre-approval process identifies the variables your agent should know about before making an offer, such as your maximum purchase price, the loan program you qualify for, and down payment (if any) you bring to the table. You’ll need this pre-approval letter in order to write an offer. Since the pandemic began, sellers have preferred pre-approved buyers, so this step is vitally important.
3. Sign a buyer’s agency agreement. Some people are scared of doing this, but there are a couple of benefits involved. First, this agreement cements the relationship between you and your buyer specialist. Cementing this relationship makes you a top priority to them. You’ll be the first client on their schedule and the first to tour homes. Also, this agreement clarifies who pays the commissions. Here in Washington, the seller typically pays the commissions, so in most cases, you’ll receive representation at no cost.
By completing these three steps, you’ll be able to make an offer at a moment’s notice. You’ll also know that when you find the property you want to purchase, you’re absolutely capable of doing so.
As always, if you have questions about this or any real estate topic or are thinking of buying or selling a home soon, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’m happy to help.