Dos & Donts for Buyers

We get it. It’s scary. The mental load of buying a house, especially your first home, can be overwhelming.

Remember this—you do not need to be an expert.

It’s not your job to know the nuance of the real estate business, understand all the intricacies of the mortgage world, or stay on top of home buying trends. That’s our job. And we’re ready to help.

Allison Boshell, the Welter Group Buyer’s Agent, knows how daunting the process can be.

“Homebuying is said to be one of the most stressful times in someone’s life,” Allison says. “But it doesn’t have to be. Hire professionals you trust, and trust in the process. Your win is our win, and it is as simple as that!”

Allison offers up some great Do’s and Don’ts of buying a home, to help out no matter where you are in the process.

DO call us Early on, Even if You Aren’t Sure

“Call me anytime,” Allison says. “Whether you are curious about how to buy a home, want to buy now, or just want some education, I am just an email, text, or phone call away. We could even go grab coffee!”

Stephanie and Allison understand the market, mortgages and interest rates, and can help clarify your goals. They are always available to offer expert advice, not a sales pitch, and will help you form a clearer picture of what you’re looking for and identify a path to make it a reality.

DON’T Get Hooked on Web Searches for Properties

We all do it, scrolling through websites and apps to look at houses is America’s new favorite pass time. But when you’re searching in earnest, these websites invariably lead to frustration and misinformation.

“I cannot stress enough the time that can be saved using a buyer’s agent so you aren’t wasting time scrolling through dozens of homes that aren’t for sale anymore,” Allison cautions. “These websites often are not up-to-date about what is actually still active on the market. Time and time again, I have buyers come to me and say ‘I saw this home on Zillow and I really want to tour and submit an offer.’ I search the address on the MLS (multiple listing service), and the home is under contract already.”

As professionals we have direct access to real-time information about what is truly on the market, what fair prices are, and what equal or better properties might be out there.

DO Take the Time to Understand Your Needs vs Wants

Asking yourself the right questions will help you understand what you’re truly looking for in a dream house. It’s fun to dream about the perfect breakfast nook or walk-in shower, but it’s critical to understand what your long-term needs are.

Allison reminds buyers they will be in their home long term and can make it their dream home over time. She says, “Keep in mind that you can always update or change a space overtime. Most of the time, homeowners aren’t going to fix everything all at once or out of the gate because you are already putting a lot of liquid cash into your down payment. At the beginning, focus on necessities rather than cosmetics.”

Be as clear as possible on if you need a certain number of bathrooms or bedrooms, a first floor bedroom for someone who can no longer go upstairs, or a garage. Do you need office space? Allison can help you think through what you must have, what you can add later, what you want, and what you can live without.

DON’T Try to Go it Alone

“Homebuying is not straightforward,” Allison cautions. “You need help from a network of professionals from start to finish: buyer’s agent, listing agent, lender, home inspector, specialty inspectors (think things like septic, mold, etc.), appraiser, attorneys, title company.”

As agents, we act as the hub for all these professionals, making sure they are reliable, scheduled on time, asking the right questions, and serving as advocates for you.

It can be tempting to save a little money up front by acting as your own agent or looking for deals that are for sale by owner. However, these deals forfeit legal protections and present considerable risks including the likelihood you will end up paying more in the long run.

Allison has run into this reality over and over. “I have seen buyers go through the motions with a for sale by owner (FSBO) transaction, only to lose thousands of dollars and have to cancel the deal after weeks and weeks because something vital was not disclosed or completed by the seller. Having an agent protects you, because we are legally bound by a code of ethics to disclose anything and everything we know about a home, unlike FSBO sellers that are not bound by this code.”

DO Take a Holistic Look at Your Finances

Interest rates make headlines and, understandably, can make potential buyers nervous. But truthfully, they are only one component of a much bigger financial puzzle. Focusing on the financial aspects you have control over, such as building up strong credit, can make a much larger impact.

Allison advises taking a big-picture look at your financial reality. “Make sure you are looking at your budget holistically—mortgage, taxes, HOA fees (if any), services you may need to help you care for your new home. If something like the furnace breaks down, do you have some money saved up so you can replace it?”

As a licensed mortgage broker, Stephanie can also walk you through all the steps to make sure you’re finding the best possible mortgage.

The Welter Group is ready to talk you through all of these questions and help you make the best financial decision for yourself.

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