Important Things To Know:

  1. Pick one agent and not three.
  2. Allow your agent to analyze which is the correct lender for you, as they all specialize in something a little different. Your agent’s job is to know the differences, and then to connect you to a lender that is highly-skilled, accountable and can best deliver what you need.
  3. There is no way to know what the interest rate and terms for the lender will be until you are actually in a legal and binding contract with a seller. At that point, you are given guidance as to when to lock in the actual loan rate. That is why you need your agent’s help in getting to the correct lender. Lenders are receiving “rate sheets” throughout every day, from sometimes a hundred sources, showing them changes in the interest rates and points from source to source. The value of a mortgage broker over a direct lender is that, should something go wrong while you are in a legally-binding contract to purchase, the mortgage broker can swiftly move you to a new lender, without you having to start all the paperwork over again at a new direct lender. Usually, the cost to you is negligible.
  4. When buying property, most people are also buying a lifestyle. We can help you figure out your best locations to choose from, including our best feel for your future resale value on which properties make your best choices, once we’ve helped you narrow down the field.
  5. Our “Real Estate 101” meeting, which takes no more than 1-1/2 hours, will save you easily 6 months of your personal time in trying to learn what you need to know on the internet or doing things piecemeal when attending intermittent open houses.
  6. If you are working with an agent already and have now written 3 offers, but still are not in a contract to purchase, something is wrong. It’s either your offer itself, those you are teamed up with to purchase, or who you hired. A high majority of our buyers are in contract on their first or second try.
  7. Agents for buyers are called selling agents. They are usually paid by the seller & not by you. (Agents for the Seller are called listing agents.)
  8. From the time you start looking with the agent you choose to have work for you, it should, generally, take no more than a month to 1-1/2 months before you know enough to write an offer. And it usually takes no more than a month beyond getting into a contract to be handed the keys to your property, as the new owner.
  9. Please, stop running your credit report!!! And, no, (to name just one of these many services) is not your best choice. What you need is an experienced real estate agent combined with an experienced lender, working together on your behalf, to help figure out what actions you need to take in order to meet your goals. They know what a “credit strategy” really requires, and it will be tailored to you. They are, also, available to coach you for as long as it takes until you are ready to buy, and at no cost to you.
  10. Please, do not lease or buy a motor vehicle, sailboat, airplane, vacation resort week, or any other large acquisition prior to buying a property. You can lower your purchasing power by as much as $200,000! The rule of thumb is: “Home first. Transportation second.” And, while in contract to buy a property, it is ill advised to start moving monies around within your portfolio without the advice of your agent and your lender. The risk is that you could lose the property you just got into contract on, if you inadvertently make the wrong decision or don’t have a thorough paper trail.
  11. Presently, loans are available with as little as 5% down. It will most likely require flexibility on your part, however, regarding a minimal number of property choices and where they are located. A majority of buyers have 20% or more down. And, many now are finally able to find loans allowing 10% down. The lending market is easing up again in favor of buyers.
  12. Think long-term. It is very costly to buy a home and then resell it quickly, unless you are actually in the business of doing what is called “fix and turn” properties. That is a specialty that requires a lot of skill, as are buying and rehabbing major fixer uppers (called contractor specials). Most buyers prefer what is called “turn-key properties”, meaning you turn the key, enter the already-fixed-up home and enjoy it. No major work required. Some buyers are able to handle light-cosmetic fixers, meaning redoing the floors, fresh paint, changing out light fixtures and maybe updating the kitchen or bathroom. Making a garden beautiful is another skill that some buyers have and which can add value to your property. It is important for you to know your income stream, your availability, your skill level and your goals for the next 3-5 years when buying a property. And then share that information with your agent.