While you may have been home shopping for a while— either perusing neighborhoods, looking at real estate web sites or perhaps using a real estate app— before you jump fully into the home buying process there are two important things to do before you choose your agent:
First — Speak to a Lender
Even before you choose your real estate agent, you should touch base with a lender and discuss your mortgage options. You want to ensure that your payments are affordable and that you will feel comfortable with the home-buying process.
Additionally, most agents, if not all, want their clients to speak to a lender to verify the price range they can afford. This makes it so agents can focus their time showing their clients homes that actually fit within their price range.
Second: Get Pre-Approved
When you speak to a lender, ask to get pre-approved. Getting pre-approved is important so you can demonstrate to real estate agents and sellers that you are a credible buyer. It means you are:
- Closer to locking a mortgage rate
- Able to act fast when you find the home you want to buy!
And when you do find a home, you’ll often need a pre-approval letter from your lender to submit with your offer so it’s a good idea to get pre-approved in advance so that you’re prepared with your letter when you decide to submit an offer.
Overall, the more you learn from your lender early on – about what you can afford, and what to expect from mortgage application process, the less anxiety you will feel regarding the overall home-buying process.
Third: Then Choose an Agent
Once you’ve spoken with a lender, learned about your financing options, and have been pre-approved, you’ll be more prepared to shop for homes with you agent. A real estate agent not only will be able to provide information about a specific home that interests you, but can also arrange home tours as necessary and assist in the final negotiation process.
Doing these three things in order will make the home-buying process easier for you and your agent. Once you have these things checked off, then you can enjoy searching for your dream home.