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5 Things Every First-Time Buyer Should Know

Susan Mangigian

I am a Realtor® by profession, a mom by choice, a friend by desire, an Italian by heritage, an American by sheer luck and providence, a sister, a dau...

I am a Realtor® by profession, a mom by choice, a friend by desire, an Italian by heritage, an American by sheer luck and providence, a sister, a dau...

Jan 22 5 minutes read

Buyer?  Let's get started!

So now it's time to think about buying your first home.  I absolutely love first time buyers.  It's a learning curve and I find it very rewarding to guide you through the steps to homeownership.

First-Time Buyer “Setback” #1

You’ll probably need a mortgage.  You will ask your friends or family for a contact.  

How to Prepare:

Hire a real estate agent you can trust.  Ask your trusted real estate agent for a trusted mortgage lender.  You have every right to use a lender of your choice, but follow the experience of your agent who is familiar with how well a lender can do the job.  

Buying your first home is a scary proposition for some.  You will need an agent who is willing to go step by step with you to help you navigate.  Your agent will help you set up an appointment for a pre-approval and a counseling session with a trusted lender.  As your agent, I will provide you a copy of the agreement of sale and any paperwork you will have to be familiar with when you find just the right home.  It's helpful if you review this prior to finding your dream home.

First-Time Buyer “Setback” #2

Right now there are very few homes to choose from.  The market is very much a seller's market. 

How to Prepare

Make sure that you have been pre=approved by your agent's trusted loan officer.  Your offer on any home will be contingent upon it. 

Even if you feel very confident in your ability to get a loan, it's just good practice to have a pre-approval on hand.  Homes are selling quickly and for over asking and you need to put your best foot forward.  

First-Time Buyer “Setback” #3

You made an offer and you lost the house in a multi-bid situation.  This may happen more than once.

How to Prepare

Go into it knowing that even though you made a great offer, you might lose out to someone else. 

Buyers are offering over asking, waiving appraisal and inspection contingencies.  We need to be creative but unless you have a lot of experience with construction, I never recommend waiving an inspection.  We can talk about how to creatively approach this when the time comes.

First-Time Buyer “Setback” #4

Low-Ball Offers

How to Prepare

Realize that in today's market, you will not get a "deal".   For every listing, there are multiple buyers.

There’s a difference between an offer that is slightly below the asking price and one that’s thousands below that. The latter will trigger a strong emotion in the seller and will ultimately be rejected outright without thought. However, if you are fixated on low offers, a change in perspective might be in order.  In today's market, rarely will any home go even a tiny bit below the asking price unless there is truly something wrong with it.  If a "deal" is what you are looking for, this isn't the market for it and perhaps you need to wait for a change.  We've been in a seller's market for a long time now and eventually, we will see a more even market.  I just can't say when. 

First-Time Buyer “Setback” #5

You finally found the home, you are ready to make an offer, but you need a trusted family member's opinion.

How to Prepare

Understand that the house isn't going to be available long.  Perhaps have the trust family member attend all of your showings so that when you find the "one" you can quickly make the offer. 

Whether we’re talking about over asking offers, a back-and-forth about making changes based on an inspection report, or an unreasonable seller,  you can always say no, or you can always counter. 

In the seller's market we find ourselves in, buyers are feeling beat up.  They are doing everything right and they are still not getting the house.  Keep your spirits up.  You will find the house and you will eventually get it.  Patience is needed right now.  Find an agent you can trust and don't take rejection personally.  It will happen.  

In the end, buying your first home is an opportunity to learn about real estate. The more you know the bigger the advantage you’ll have in the end. You’ll be calm, focused on decisions that benefit your purchase, and even more knowledgeable about what concerns you can bring to your Realtor.

I'm Here to Help

If you’re concerned about potential issues unique to buying a home, I'm here to listen and help walk you through the process.

Let's Talk
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