Sometimes I hear people talk about the difficulty of the buying process.  To be certain, the process has changed over the last few years, but the good news is you have a professional that can guide you through the process.

First of all, listen to your Realtor.  Before you start looking for homes, talk to a mortgage loan professional.  It will be important to the transaction that you have established a relationship with someone that has prequalified you.  You need to know what your budget is!  The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a home that is out of reach financially.  If you fall in love with a home that is $300,000 but later find you budget is $260,000, everything you see at the $260,000 price won’t be able to measure up.  You will end up feeling discouraged and disillusioned.

OK, now you are shopping within your budget and you have found a home that is a great property for you and your family.  Time to make an offer!  Your  Realtor will be able to do a comparative analysis and help you figure out what to offer the seller.   Unless a property is overpriced, offering only 60% of the asking price probably won’t be a good strategy.  At some point you may insult the seller and they will not consider you as a serious buyer.  It is sort of like “calling someone’s baby ugly”.   You will need to consider terms of the contract not just what price to offer.  The terms are almost as important as the actual price you offer.  What do I mean by terms of the contract?  Examples would be: how quickly you want to close, is your offer “as-is”, are you asking the seller to pay closing costs?  Listen to your Realtor, they will be able to help you craft an offer that is a win-win.  You want to buy and the seller wants to sell, the trick is finding the common ground.

When you shop within your budget, you will be able to make a strong offer and back it up with letter from your lender indicating that you have done the preliminary work that can make all the difference in the ease of your transaction.  A seller is more likely to feel your offer is a serious offer when you are able to provide that letter at the time your make your offer.  

Now let’s assume your offer is accepted!  Your next step is to provide your mortgage loan officer with EVERYTHING they ask for as soon as possible.  Time is your enemy here.  Bringing in the documentation in dribbles and drabs will delay the closing.

The bottom line is that you have many professionals that will help you along the buying process.  Choose people you trust and like to work with then take their advice to heart. Before you know it, you will be moving into your new home.