When beginning the process of looking for homes to buy, many prospective homeowners may falsely assume they can manage the home buying process on their own. What they may not realize early on in the home buying process is the amount of time, effort, and energy that goes into negotiating a great offer, managing the repair request process, monitoring the home commitment, and so much more. There is a lot that agents do ‘behind the scenes’ that homebuyers may not be aware of when it comes to facilitating a successful transaction.
Begin the loan pre-approval process
As a buyer, being connected to a strong mortgage lender is imperative. When a buyer first begins the search for a home, a Realtor will connect them with a mortgage lender. The lender will then begin the loan pre-approval process. Pre-approval is not to be confused with pre-qualification, as pre-approval runs the buyer’s credit history and is more serious than pre-qualification. Pre-approval is a buyer’s way of indicating to sellers that they are serious about buying a home, as it provides a formal document stating the buyer’s approved mortgage value.
Thoroughly research homes for sale
Although homebuyers can – and should! – research homes for sale online, a Realtor takes it a step further than that. Most Realtors have access to a wide network of other agents, giving them first-hand knowledge of homes for sale in the area that buyers may not be aware of. A Realtor may learn about a new listing that has just hit the market and can bring their buyer to see it before other buyers. Realtors are market pros and can spot an overpriced listing from a hundred miles away. For that reason, they save their clients considerable time when house hunting, bringing them to tour homes for sale that aren’t asking outrageous numbers. A Realtor also typically understands the area where they work inside and out. They will have in-depth knowledge about the school district, neighborhood, and various other details regarding the area where buyers seek to live – making it that much easier for prospective homeowners.
Manage all price and repair negotiations
Determining the best offer price is a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, if the buyer offers a price that is too low, the seller may be unwilling to even consider negotiating with the buyer – which may make the buyer miss out on the deal altogether. On the other hand, offering a price that is too high means the buyer loses a considerable amount of money unnecessarily. Finding a happy medium involves carefully reviewing ‘comps,’ which means reviewing the sale prices of similar homes that have sold in the area. This involves several hours of research on the Realtor’s behalf to ensure the buyer presents a fair offer.
In addition to negotiating the sale price, the Realtor is also responsible for negotiating any applicable repair costs. For example, if the home needs new windows that the seller doesn’t want to pay for, the Realtor may be able to convince the sellers to pay for a portion of the window costs, alleviating some of that financial burden on the buyer.
Connect buyer with a home inspector and attend the home inspection
Home inspection is a critical component of the home buying process. Realtors typically know the top home inspectors in the area and can connect their buyers to someone reputable and thorough. The home inspection report can often be confusing, so a Realtor can help guide the buyer through the various details in the report, making them fully aware of any defects in the home.
It is important that buyers work with reputable home inspectors so that they are aware of mold, radon, and any major structural problems in the home. However, even the best home inspectors tend to miss problems from time to time, so it is always best to have a second set of knowledgeable eyes present during the walk-through, which is where the agent comes in. Most Realtors have attended countless walk-throughs and are acutely aware of how the process goes. They will be able to advise the buyer on which elements of the home inspection report are worth discussing with the seller and those that are not worth mentioning.
Source: raleighrealtyhomes.com ~ Image: Canva Pro