Purchasing a home can be a confusing and stressful process. Especially for first time home buyers. Knowing the steps to take, and who to receive advice from is essential.
The advice given can make or break the time you have spent searching.
Prior to being a licenced Realtor I went through the process on my own and failed. Years later I tried again still without representation and felt like I was at the mercy of everyone. I was! I searched new home builders and thought the sales team was working for me, in my interests. THEY ARE NOT! They work for the builder! Sometimes the sales people or became disrespectful and sometimes construction/building managers were.
It’s hard to separate the truth and deal with all the high pressure sales tactics.
The main reason I tried to do it alone is I thought I had to pay the Real Estate Agent a upfront fee or a large commision. I did not know the Home Builders INCLUDE it in the price. By not using one I still paid the listed sale price but had no Real Estate Agent representing me. I also was not aware that on resale (used) homes the seller most of the time pays the buyers Realtor fee. This price is set when the seller lists the home. Its upfront.
Finally I did it again years later but with a Realtor. I did filter out more than one agent prior. I am not a fan of being showed 3 homes in 50 minutes and being asked which one am I buying. I also do not enjoy the sales line pressure scripts so many employ. The realtor I settled on did not pressure me to buy, seemed to have no scripts, was patient, and did in depth house looking with me at many, many homes. How I was treated was very different. Remember a realtor is also a witness and most builders don’t want to bite the hand that feeds them….. in bulk.
When going through the process alone I took the advice of friends, co-workers, and family. During that time the information received was all incorrect. The worse was being told “as long as your credit is good and you have the money you will be approved for any size loan you want” This is not not true!
Spotting damage in a home early saves alot of time. Having a good eye for home defects and more importantly being able to determine what it means, while walking through homes is helpful. Realtors are supposed to point out material defects to buyers if observed, but Realtors are not trained, so it’s like any normal person’s opinion. Knowing what I know now and thinking back to then. There is alot of incorrect information out there. I heard things about acceptable size cracks in stucco, homes being “grandfathered in” because of age, the ground sloping towards the house is ok. Lots of misinformation and some of it in the future can cause issues both financially and physically. An old dated “grandfathered in” electrical system is a hazard!
Things to do and questions to ask yourself prior to home searching. This will show sellers and agents you are ready. Please contact me if you would like a general market report about specific towns.
- Get pre approval(unless paying cash) from a lender (not pre qualification). Without this nothing else matters. Make sure the lender is responsive. Having to chase after the lender for a response early on is a bad sign.
- If you are a out of state buyer confirm that your lender has loan programs for Florida and in the type you need such as second home.
- Find a Realtor that you like. Licensed Realtors have access to apps and programs and other tools you cannot obtain. Realtors are a extra set of eyes, a negotiator, advisor, ambassador of sorts, a witness, area guide, and more
- Hire a accountant if you have tax questions.
- Acquire the services of a Real Estate attorney for any questions or to review contracts and if need be get a opinion of title.
- Narrow down your search. Do you like certain towns? How far from work are you? Is the school important for kids? Is tourist attractions, dining and nightlife distance important?
- How much are you willing to spend on repairs short term? Long term repair costs? Consider things like the price of a new roof, electrical system, paint, rugs, a pipe leaks behind a wall, Central Air Conditioner breaks and so on.
- Considering repair costs would it be more affordable to buy a used home for $280,000 vs the $310,000 one and not max out the budget
- Is warranty important? They are available for used homes to purchase.
- Is new construction important? The homes typically have 2 years of warranty. It may cost more per square foot but everything is new.
- Is lawn maintenance important? Will you absent from the home for weeks and months at a time?
Please Contact Rich Noto Winter Garden Florida Realtor with any buyer and seller questions.
Please note. You do not have to be ready to buy to contact me. I understand the process takes time. But if you are ready to buy then you must be PRE APPROVED by a lender.