Buying a house is an involved process – it can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time and is really worth thinking about now with the low interest rates we have. In the sometimes confusing process, a real estate agent can guide you through the home buying process and answer your questions as you go along, but how does one begin looking? It will vary depending on what type of buyer you are. Some people meet with a real estate agent first and determine their needs, desires, price range and then preview homes with the agent or the agent’s help. But now that so much is available on the internet, more buyers search online before contacting an agent. There are even automatic services available that do the searching for you and send you new listings which match your criteria. If that sounds interesting, you can sign up for a My First Weber account here.
In addition, First Weber Group has a mobile app for iPhones and Androids you can download and use as you drive through favorite neighborhoods. Here’s a previous post on the First Weber mobile app for mobile devices. National speaker Terry Watson recently attended First Weber’s statewide retreat and proclaimed our mobile app and real estate technology such as Front Runner marketing as being the best in the nation. That was unsolicited praise! We hope you download our app and text or call our yard signs, too. However your process starts, and however you find the home that fits your needs, the key to efficient house hunting is to understand how much house you can afford since there is no sense in looking at homes out of your financial reach.
So, what can you afford?
It is recommended that you see a loan officer or mortgage lender in Wisconsin to determine your buying power which depends on your income, your debt and your credit report among other things. Give thought to what you feel comfortable paying each month, regardless of what the lender says you can afford. Just because the numbers say you can afford a $2,500 a month mortgage payment, for example, doesn’t mean you have to spend that much. Does the number surprise you? Then come up with a number you feel you could comfortably manage.
Working with an agent
Before you view properties with an agent and certainly before making an offer to purchase, the role of representation comes into play.Your agent can represent you as a buyer’s agent in which you sign a buyer agency agreeement. Or, your agent can remain an agent of the seller. By Wisconsin law, if a buyer agency agreement is not in place, the agent is the agent of the seller. In either situation, your agent owes you confidentiality, accurate information and assistance through closing. With a buyer agency agreement, however, your agent is able to take additional steps on your behalf such as express and opinion of the homes/prices and negotiate on your behalf.
The Offer to purchase
You’ve found it – the one! It is time to write an offer. Your real estate agent will walk you through the legal form and explain it, putting your wishes in the offer. What’s the purchase price you have decided on; what inspections do you require be part of the offer; what contingencies you need to be included. Your agent will deliver your offer to the listing agent of the property, who in turn will present your offer to their sellers.
The sellers have 3 options: Accept it, reject it or make a counter offer. A counter offer is not a rejection but more of like an answer to your offer, usually with some terms negotiated.You also have the ability then to accept, reject or counter offer back.
If your offer is rejected, you can walk away or make a new offer. If your offer is accepted, CONGRATULATIONS! Now certain things now must happen is a very timely fashion to uphold your end of this legally binding document. Home inspections, homeowners insurance and more are still to come. Listen to your real estate agent closely and you’ll soon be at the closing table and moving in!
Thank you for reading the First Weber Wisconsin real estate blog. For more information on buying a home in Wisconsin, please see our home buyer category on this blog. You can begin searching for Wisconsin real estate for sale at firstweber.com or search for a Wisconsin real estate agent.
photo credit http://www.flickr.com/photos/nikcname/4893848354/