Steps to Buying a Connecticut Home.
Find the right Realtor® for you.
The most important step in buying a home is deciding who to hire as your Realtor®. Not all licensed real estate agents are Realtors®. A Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) who subscribes to a strict Code of Ethics and are required to take a certain number of continuing educational courses. Along with that NAR provides advanced educational and professional requirements to Realtors who can earn specialty designations from NAR such as Accredited Buyer’s Representative, Short Sale & Foreclosure, Resort Property Specialist just to mention a few. When you pick your buyer’s representative Realtor® look at their:
- Experience and Credentials
- Services Provided
Once you pick your Realtor® they will become your buyer’s representative which involves signing a buyer’s agency agreement. With this agreement comes fiduciary duties that your Realtor® owes you. This means that they will protect your confidential information, act in your best interests, adhere to specific responsibilities, obligations and provide a high standard of good faith and loyalty.
Your Realtor® will work with you and:
- Learn about your needs and requirements of a home.
- Educate you about the local housing market.
- Answer questions about the neighborhood and community.
- Guide you through the home buying process, documents and paperwork.
- Negotiate the best terms for you.
- Make sure deadlines are met.
- Coordination of inspections and services
- Mediate any issues
- Keep things on track the process moving forward.
- Recommend quality support services such as attorneys, mortgage professionals, home inspectors, etc.
Build your team. Attorney, mortgage broker/banker, home inspector, contractors, insurance agents.
Start putting together your list of supportive professionals that you will need as part of your team for purchasing a house. Your Realtor® can help you with this but as well ask friends, family and work colleges for additional recommendations ahead of time so you do not have to rush at the last minute. This will also help you with your budget and cost associated with buying a home.
Get a mortgage pre-approval
Before even looking at homes get a mortgage pre-qualification or pre-approval from your local mortgage professional. This will be done at no cost to you but will give you a clear number on what you can afford and qualify for. As well your mortgage professional can explain the different mortgage programs and plans along with rates and cost. Another key point is to know your credit status; you can a get a free credit report every 12 months from each of the three major reporting bureaus.
Determine your needs & wants.
What are your needs, close to public transportation, bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, garage, etc. Along with this determine locations, neighborhoods, house style & features, lot characteristics, specific features at home (i.e. fence for pets, in-law suite, and children). This list will help you search for properties that fit your basic requirements in a home.
Your wants or wish list are different, they can be compromised if necessary such as finished basement, fireplace, additional square footage, updated kitchen, etc…
Start looking at homes.
With today’s internet it is easy to start looking; Realtor.com has the most up to date list of homes for sale or rent. Along with that drive through neighborhoods, check out community amenities, research local schools and household demographics. Talk to friends, family and work colleges they might know of a house not on the market yet. If you find a home you like talk to the neighbors, remember just ask the more information you have the better of a decision you can make. As you view homes keep a comparison list to help you decide what is the best home and price for your specific lifestyle.
Time to make an offer
Now you have found that home, pull up comparison properties that have sold plus use the other properties you have viewed to come to a sound offer. Figure out your contingencies, building inspection, other inspections such as well & sewer, mortgage contingency, etc.
Home Inspections, Obtaining Mortgage, Insurance, Attorney Review & Title Insurance.
Once your offer is accepted it is time to hurry up and get all your inspections done, if need be get quotes on major repairs. Contact your attorney so he can review the contracts, get house insurance quotes and get your mortgage professional on the move regarding the mortgage application, appraisal and all of your documentations. Start comparing quotes for movers and book them early, use a moving checklist. You will also want to contact the Utility companies and have the accounts moved into your name on closing day.
Closing ~ Final Walk through, prepare for closing costs, finalize mortgage, and get ready to move.
Day of closing do a final walk through of the home and property with your Realtor® to make sure there is no damage. Make sure you have enough money for closing, closing costs can add up, your mortgage professional and Realtor® can help you with this.
Congratulations you are now a homeowner.
For more detailed step by step guideline and information click on link to get a FREE Home Buyer’s Toolkit from the National Associations of REALTORS® REBAC website. There you can find local Accredited Buyer’s Representatives (ABR) Realtors® who specialize in representing home buyers.
Buyers and Sellers looking for step by step assistance in Fairfield County contact David Popoff at DMK Real Estate in Darien, Connecticut.
For further tips and advice for Connecticut home buyers and sellers check out these links: