The Top 3 Suggestions for Homebuyers in Kansas City: Homebuying 101
If you have not been in the Kansas City real estate market for a while, or ever, here are some simple tips to help guide you through the process.
1. Hire a Buyer's Agent. Though I said "hire", you don't have to pay the agent. Amazingly, it's true. In Kansas City area real estate transactions, we are paid by the seller from their proceeds at closing. Then, after hiring your Buyer's Agent, trust them to do their work. Ask questions and share your concerns. Make sure any agent that you contact knows that you are being represented. Also, please be respectful of their time. We are on 100% commission and are not paid until the transaction closes. But, we know that it's part of our job to drive you, or meet you at homes, make phone calls, schedule inspections, follow up on all parties to properly manage the transaction. So it is a risk that we take that we will ultimately be successful in helping you to find a home.
2. Either through a referral from your agent, or a trusted family friend or relative, apply for a mortgage (if you are not paying cash). Make sure it is a reputable lender known to offer great customer service, and get transactions successfully to closing. Getting pre-approved usually doesn't cost anything. Before looking at homes, you should have pre-approval letter in hand. The lender will share with you what your estimated payment will be, your costs to close, and what price range to search for the payment that you want. By being pre-approved, you are communicating to the owner of the home that you want to buy, that you are prepared and are pretty low risk.
3. Use accurate and up to date real estate home search sites to find homes. The best site is one that your Buyer's Agent will set up for you. Usually, it's through their company's website and updates property status changes almost in real time. It gets feeds directly from our data source (multiple listing services, MLSs). A lot of the popular sites like Zillow and Trulia are known to be inaccurate most of the time. Their information is delayed and outdated because they are not getting it directly from the source. We get calls and emails from excited buyers about a house that has been sold for 3 months sometimes.
So, good luck and have fun on your homebuyiung search! And, remember, start with an appointment with a Buyer's Agent who will review the process and help you get started on this fun journey!