- Meet with a mortgage broker to determine just how much you can spend, BEFORE you start visiting homes, and have them issue a pre-approval letter.
- Use a local mortgage broker – not one you found on the internet across country.
- Use an attorney who specializes in real estate.
- Make a list of your ‘must haves’ and ‘would-like-to haves’ so you can qualify each home you visit.
- Keep track of the homes you visit, what you like about them and what you don’t like.
- Hire a Buyer Agent to represent you. It is to your advantage.
- expect to find the perfect home. There are none. Follow the 80-10-10 rule: If it has 80% of the things you want, 10% are things you can change and 10% are things you can live with, it’s a keeper.
- spend an excessive amount of time looking. It is very possible to find the right home on your first day out. Shopping too long often leads to frustration, confusion and bad decisions.
- expect the seller to accept your first offer unless it is at or above the asking price, especially if it is new to the market. Low-ball offers are usually not a good strategy.
- rely on information you find on the internet and use it to make decisions. It is often incorrect or incomplete.
See my post on “The Home Buying Process” for more information.