I have 4 expert tips to share with you when shopping for a home.
If you or someone you know is thinking about buying a home over the next year or two, I have tips to help make the experience smoother.
1. Go ahead and visit a lender & know how much you can truly afford.
The lender will take a look at your credit and make sure there’s nothing that will prevent you from buying a house. The higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate is that you can secure. It can save you thousands of dollars if you get advice from the lender about how you can improve your credit score if you aren’t buying for the next year or two.
2. Don’t shop at the top of your budget; Search just below it.
You don’t want to fall in love with a home above your budget and not be able to buy it. It also puts you in a better position against other buyers hoping to buy that home. You can craft a stronger offer than the other buyers because you can offer the seller a little bit more because of the buffer you have.
It can also help you at appraisal time, if the appraisal comes in short, because you may have a little more downpayment money to put towards covering a gap.
3. Search just outside the boundaries of where you think you want to live.
While an agent should create a fairly exhaustive search for prospective buyers, one thing they sometimes overlook is opening up searches to MLS systems that might be right on the edge of where you want to buy.
If your area is on the cusp of a second MLS system as we have Augusta Mls and Aiken Mls in our area, make sure your agent prepares searches using both regions.
4. Know the appraisal value sooner than later
If you end up having an appraisal gap, it can be helpful to know sooner than later. The seller does not have to lower their price, and you don’t necessarily have to bring in more cash than you offered. Remember, closing isn’t over until the funds are received, so this is the time to negotiate.
And last, you will want an experienced top agent in your corner who can spot value potholes that may be forming on the road ahead to prepare you for a smoother road to sold.