Thinking about buying your first home? You are perhaps excited. Maybe you are fearful. Both emotions are perfectly normal.
Let's face it - you've been doing lots of research. You've looked at homes online. Spent hours shifting through your favorite real estate websites. You've researched prices.
You've sought out neighborhoods and locations. Perhaps you've saved some properties which appeal to you in your "favorites". Wonderful! You are educating yourself and making decisions about what you like and dislike.
Along the way you've encountered some real horror stories about deals going bad. Yes they are out there. Do they happen? We've heard about them too. Most of them occur when inexperienced buyers attempt to represent themselves with a seller unaided by an experienced real estate agent.
Other times they occur when the agent is inexperienced and does not pay attention to details. The pitfalls do exist. No matter how much research you do nothing prepares you for every eventuality and legal issue.
For sale by Owner properties lure inexperienced buyers who believe the seller is cutting them a break because they are not paying a real estate agent commission.
Let's get real! If you were selling something and you could save an extra 5% or 6% whose pocket would you be putting that into? The buyers or yours?
The reality is more often than not the For sale by Owner property is over priced and will not appraise for a mortgage. Many failed deals are caused by this single factor. The buyer has already put up an escrow deposit, paid for an inspection and appraisal only to encounter a seller who will not budge on their price. The buyer is out their inspection and appraisal money. Depending on what kind of inspections you had done that could be close to $1,000.00.
A good experienced buyers agent will guide you past all the obstacles. So how do you find a good buyers agent? Believe me if we knew the answer to that question and could boil it down to a check list - we'd be offering an Ebook you could download.
The factor we find most important is communication. Things can run a muck quickly if both parties do not communicate adequately. You need to know what is transpiring and why. The agent needs to be able to convey complexities to you in simple terms.
You need to feel that your desires and requirements are being taken seriously. If your preferred manner of messaging is Facebook and the agent says to you "I don't have time for Facebook" - you need to find one who adapts to your needs. After all, this is all about you. Your money. Your home. Your future. Your happiness.
How much does it cost to hire your own buyers agent? Usually - nothing! As a rule Buyers agents are compensated through the commission split established by the seller at the time they list the home.
What does the real estate market look like for 2014? The inventory is still below normal levels. Just like going to the mall - when stock is low on a popular product the available supply dwindles more rapidly.
Home prices are in affordable ranges throughout the Greater Scranton area. Condition of properties varies greatly. Finding the home of your dreams might take a little while, but be persistent.
Interest rates might be climbing a little but not enough to make a significant impact on your purchasing power at this time. Sure the government has come up with a few more hoops to jump through with new mortgage regulations. Nothing to get overly excited about. An experienced buyers agent will be able to counsel you and assist you in finding the best possible financing options.
2014 is a good year to stop paying your landlord and start investing in your own home.