Three Things First Time Home Buyers Need to Know
Guest post by: Sue Manning, Keller Williams Realty Devon-Wayne
With mortgage interest rates remaining near historic lows, a first time home buyer can often purchase a home for the same or a lower monthly payment than they would pay for a rental, which can make home buying an attractive option. Having an exceptional buyer’s agent to help you find the right home is your first step to owning your dream.
You won’t be charged for using a licensed real estate agent to help you BUY a home
You won’t save money by trying to purchase a home without being represented by a buyer’s agent because all of the commissions have already been negotiated between the seller’s agent and the seller at the time the house was put on the market. Most first-time home buyers don’t realize that in most cases, real estate commissions are paid by the seller to the seller’s agent. These commissions are then often split with the agent that represents the buyer who purchases the home. These commissions are paid to the seller’s agent regardless of whether or not the buyer has their own agent.
Buyer’s agents do more for first time buyers than just show homes
Nothing could be further from the truth than this misconception that all buyer’s agents do is show homes. A good buyer’s agent is an advisor who can save you both time and money. Buyer’s agents are familiar with the market and available homes within the area that you are interested in and can recommend homes that meet your needs (and wants). By helping you to focus on only the homes that would meet your criteria, you save tons of time and avoid shopping burnout that might occur when you spend a lot of time going from showing to showing, looking at homes that looked good on the internet but not so much in person.
A knowledgeable buyer’s agent can ensure that you are not over paying for a home and can then advise you on how to structure your offer to purchase the home in the manner that gives you the best chance to get your offer accepted. Skilled agents are experts in their local markets, knowing what comparable properties have sold for, they can provide you pricing recommendations as well as other options to negotiate, getting you the best possible deal.
And your buyer’s agents is a wealth of resources. This may be the first time you are buying a home, but agents deal with these things everyday. They can be a great value to explain the process and keep you on schedule for closing. For example, your buyer’s agent can save you money and reduce stress by recommending mortgage loan officers that will assist you in finding the best loan programs for you, whether your goals are to minimize the funds needed for a down payment and closing costs, or minimize their monthly payment. They can also recommend experts such as home inspectors, carpenters, electricians, movers, home security companies, and an endless list of others that you may need throughout the buying process and beyond.
But wait, there’s more. Once your offer to purchase a home is accepted a dedicated buyer’s agent will assist with scheduling inspections, helping you to stay on track with the mortgage company and getting the final loan approval, assisting in understanding the appraisal process, getting utilities transferred, and going to settlement where you will finally get the keys to your new castle.
Buyer’s agents help you understand the true cost of buying a home
There are a lot of financial options for first time home buyers that can help offset the funds needed for a down payment and closing costs. Home purchases can be negotiated in a way that requires the seller to provide some funds to pay closing costs. Buyers may be eligible for programs offered by government agencies that provide funds for both the down payment and closing costs. Some mortgage companies provide funds for closing costs in exchange for paying a slightly higher interest rate on the loan. A good real estate agent is aware of these programs and can introduce buyers to specialists who can assist with finding funds as well as helping you to negotiate assistance from the seller as part of the purchase offer.
Importantly, an agent can assist you with understanding the additional costs of ownership such as taxes and insurance in addition to the financing of the purchase and help you make an informed decision.
If you are even considering buying a home in the future, find a licensed real estate agent to talk with. Buyer’s agents can help you assess your options, prepare for the home buying process and put you in contact with other experts that can not only save money but make the process as smooth and as stress free as possible. Then, when you’re ready to buy a home, a real estate agent can work with you to get to your goal of home ownership quickly.
We are happy to welcome Sue Manning from Keller Williams Realty Devon-Wayne to help us out with her expertise on this article. Having experts share their knowledge is another way PlumTree Financial Planning brings you 3600 of financial education and guidance.
Sue Manning is a Realtor® with Keller Williams Realty Devon-Wayne working in South Eastern PA. Contact Sue at SueManning@KW.com or Cell: 484-437-7217, Office: 610-647-8300