Preparing for Your Purchase

Where to Begin
Successful house  hunting depends on careful preparation. Following the steps below before you begin pounding the pavement will save you time, money and almost certainly, disappointment.

Arrange Your Financing
Getting pre-approved for financing  is the first and most critical step in preparing for the purchase of your new home.  Although it makes sense to approach your own bank first, it is also wise to get at least one additional quote from a mortgage broker and/or another bank.  Ask your agent or friends for references.

Do Your Homework
Once your financing is in order, educating yourself about the real estate market is crucial.  Ask your agent to put you on an automatic email list which will send you all new listings that meet the criteria you’ve chosen. Don’t be discouraged by some of the underwhelming properties you’ll receive -it’s all part of the process. Remember, you have to kiss a lot of frogs before you find your prince!

Visit as many Open Houses as You Can
The more you see the better you’ll understand fair market value in your area and price range.

Understand Multiple Offers
Multiple offers are not nearly as frightening when you know what to expect.  Talk to your agent about the process. Agree on a strategy. Then give yourself a little leeway on price.  You never want  to pay more than you can afford.  But you also don’t want to lose an offer for a few extra dollars a month.

Be Prepared to move Quickly
The difference between overpaying for a property and getting “a deal” often comes down to who can move the fastest. Make sure you’re pre-approved with the bank before you start looking. Ensure that your downpayment is ready. Go through the offer process with your agent in advance. And don’t wait to check out a house that might meet your needs.  A few minutes delay can mean the difference between winning the home of your dreams, or losing it.