The is a lot of misinformation with the general public about the Home Buying Process especially with First Time Home Buyers. In this article I'll try to debunk some of the myths of buying a home in Fort Worth and surrounding areas.
I just want to look at homes and when I find one I want to by, then I'll get my financing set up because if I do it before hand when the lender pulls my credit it makes my score go down.
Getting Pre-Approved or Pre-Qualified for a loan is the first thing you should do when thinking about buying a home. It's best to start the process 60 to 90 days before wanting to start looking at homes in real life. Why 60 to 90 days? If you have misinformation on your credit report it will take 60 to 90 days to get that removed.
99% of sellers will not consider any offer that's made that does not have a Pre-approval or Pre-qual letter to be submitted along with the offer. If you are paying cash you will need a POF or Proof Of Funds letter from your bank. There is nothing worse than to find a home you absolutly love but can't make an offer because you are not pre-approved and someone else buys it.
Plus this gives you and your Realtor a price range you can afford and qualify for. Why look at homes $100,000 more than you can qualify for?
I don't need a buyers agent. I just drive around and call the agent who's sign is in the yard. I can save a second commission that way.
The Listing agent works for the seller. The person with the sign in the yard has a written contract to represent the seller not you. You don't save any commission because the seller pays the commission and generally has agreed to pay a 6% commission for the sale of their house. So by doing this you are on your own with no representation. This is a bad idea.
Any Realtor is good enough to show me homes. I can get my wife's brother's sister to show me homes. She works at Starbucks and just got her license. She won't charge me anything.
Best practice is to hire a Full Time Realtor. Have a face to face meeting with 1 or 3 different Realtors. Interview them. Ask how many transactions did they have last year? If they do less than 12 per year or more than 40. Here's the difference under 12 and they may not have the skill set you require and over 40 they my have young inexperienced buyers agents to show you around. You may not get the insight and service you need. Buying a home is a big investment and just like a football game, if you want to win you want the first team not the subs.
Questions to ask.
Is the area you want to buy in an area they work in? If So, ask them questions about the area; How are the schools? What is the traffic like? What's the crime like? What would they consider the best and worst features of the neighborhood or area? What are the market statistcs for that area? What buying strategy works best in the price point we want to buy?
We don't really agree on what we want to buy buy we'll know the home when we see it. Our Realtor will show us every home that comes on the market. We see alot of homes on Zillow that our Realtor doesn't show us.
When you meet your Realtor be specific about what "your must haves" are and your "like to haves" are and the "deal killers". If you are married it's very important to be on the same page. This will save you lots of time and keep you from settling.
I promise you, looking at 20-30 homes over a period of a few weeks will wear you out and you'll end up buying a home you don't really love because you just want to get this over with or you are crowding your timeline to get moved.
I just got a new job in Fort Worth and relocating from Atlanta. I'll put my home on the market when I fine a home in Fort Worth I should be able to get that done in a couple of weeks. Nope.
When relocating and you are getting a new job with a different company in a different field. The lenders will want at least 6 months of work history. More if your credit scores are below 680. If you are being transfered by the same company then its easier to get a loan. If you have a home to sell before you can buy then generally it will need to sell and close before you will be able to make an offer on a new home.
The short answer is; As soon as you know you are relocating, contact a local Realtor to help you. See Truth #3
As a Home Buyer, if you have a questions please don't hesitate to give me a call. I hope this was helpful.