During this upcoming homebuying season, don't let certain decisions and actions cause you to lose money. This applies to both experienced and new buyers.
It's easy to find yourself overwhelmed in the process, more so if this is your first time purchasing a home. You've done everything right up until this point, such as getting your finances in order and saving enough money for a 20 percent down payment.
But once you find house or two that you really like, everything will start to speed up, especially if there is competition, and these spring and summer seasons are expected to be relatively busy. In the haste to sign on the dotted lines, you may find yourself spending more money than you actually need to.
The following are tips every homebuyer should remember, even if you've previously purchased a house or two in the past.
Research on your own
Having a real estate agent is a must. He or she will help you locate the best homes within your price range, and ones that meet your desired traits. But you shouldn't rely on the agent to complete all this work.
Despite you clearly laying out the type of home you're looking for, there may be situations where the relator's recommendations aren't that great. To remedy this, always conduct outside research, AOL Finance recommended.
With today's plethora of online tools, such as Trulia, Zillow, and HomeFinder, plus listings in the local newspaper, finding a house has never been easier. Create a list of your most desired homes and start to schedule open houses.
By no means should you ignore the recommendations from the real estate agent. But you will want to always look on your own time because you know your tastes and habits the best.
Go for pre-approval
Every buyer will need to take out a mortgage in order to actually buy the home, even if you have that 20 percent down payment.
But in the off-chance that for whatever reason you may fall short of the 20 percent recommendation, try to get pre-approved for a mortgage so you can still make yourself appealing to the sellers, Bankrate recommended.
By getting a pre-approval, lenders are stating they have gone through your financial background and deemed that you're in good enough financial health to get a mortgage. A pre-approval will also show sellers you're serious about making an offer on the home, which can help boost your chances in a competitive market.
Work with the seller
When it comes to buying a home, you are ultimately working closely with the seller. He or she will set the price and determine if your offer is good enough, and there may be instances where you have to make multiple offers before coming to an agreement.
Keep in mind that every seller has his or her own time table. Some may prefer to get the sale done quickly, while others may prefer to carefully go over all the offers. Do not rush the seller to make a decision because doing so can ultimately make your offer get passed over.
If you get the slightest inclination that a seller may take longer than you'd like, don't hesitate to look around for other homes. In fact, you should have several properties you'd like to potentially buy.
You may get lucky and get your first choice, but having a list of at least 10 homes won't hurt.
Don't skip the inspection
In most instances, you will pay for the home inspection once an offer has been accepted. Even though the sellers will have likely shown you all of the appropriate paperwork, an extra inspection is still needed.
Hire a professional service to come out because you never know if a problem may be discovered that wasn't originally disclosed. Not having another inspection can come back to bite you if something needs a major repair that will end up costing you thousands of dollars.
Every buyer will go through a different sales process. Some may be easier than others, but it's important to always look at your options and keep track of everything. If not, there's a good chance you may end up losing money.