Discovering your dream home online is a lot like swiping right on your favorite dating app. Perhaps you’ve been searching for a while, sans luck, but you decide to give it another go just for the heck of it.
As you skim through a barrage of profiles, an enticing photograph, accompanied by a catchy expression, sets your pulse racing. You try to remain calm, but your instincts keep niggling that you’ve discovered your perfect love. Your interest piqued, you decide right there on planning a face-to-face evaluation. After all, you’re eager to know if your newfound love interest (read: home), has the potential to evolve into something long-term and meaningful.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. The following is a comprehensive guide on how Homie’s innovative home buying technology help you find your next home effortlessly.
It’s a Big Decision
As with finding a life partner, finding a home is one of the biggest lifetime investments you could make. It’s therefore imperative to conduct thorough research on pricing and have the proper checklist before closing. After all, you wouldn’t want to commit to something you haven’t bargained for.
It’s important to remain level-headed and not make decisions based on emotional whims or physical appearances. Home searching and dating both revolve around making a long-term commitment. You’ll need to make a proper assessment of your desired home before signing any contracts, just like you’d get to know a life partner, prior to committing. Below, we’ll look at some of the intricacies of the buying process, and steps you need to follow before signing.
Going for the Close: From First Date to Wedding Bells
Making the right offer is tantamount to negotiating success. Although tiresome, you should conduct research on the market in the area you’re looking to settle in. Look at recent selling prices of the houses for that neighborhood, in comparison to their listing figures. Also find out if places are selling for the asking price, or below. The general rule is to offer 5 percent below the asking price. See if the asking prices of your favorite homes fluctuate. This should reveal the housing trends for that area.
It’s challenging to not bite off more than you can chew. And as with love, you should always look before your leap. First determine whether you can afford the home, before you go falling head over heels in love with a listing. Look at your finances and whether the home costs more than three to five times your yearly income. This applies to buyers making a 20 percent down payment. Also take your credit rating into account. Since nobody knows their credit rating by default, you will have to find yours via http://www.AnnualCreditReport.com. Remember that the minimum credit rating for conventional home loans is 620.
Get prequalified and pre-approved for a mortgage loan. This will help ensure an effortless offer. It also speeds up the process, as sellers are confident they’re dealing with someone who can put their money where their mouth is. Pre-qualification and pre-approval is time consuming though. You will have to visit a bank, credit union, mortgage lender, or broker. For pre-qualification, you’ll need to declare your income to determine your lending limit. For pre-approval, you’ll need to submit financial documents like a W-2 statement. You’ll also contact several lenders for the best terms. Each lender will conduct an inquiry on your credit report. And multiple inquiries on your credit report more than two weeks apart, may affect your credit score.
Finding the right real estate agent is imperative, though time consuming. You may need to chat with the agent’s former clients, and check their licenses and experience. It’s also wise to gauge their knowledge about the location you’re interested in, and view their available listings. Remember that traditional real estate agents are quite costly, and they could charge 6 percent commission on a $300,000 home.
Once you’ve determined your mortgage limit, feel free to start viewing homes within your price range. Document your findings with images if you find it difficult to remember all the homes you’ve visited. You’ll be living here long-term, so take factors like the neighborhood into account too. If you’re quiet, could you live harmoniously with a loud or obnoxious lifelong partner? If not you probably wouldn’t like living in a noisy neighborhood either. Also find out if the area is centrally located.
Maintenance can be a deal breaker too. You wouldn’t want to commit to a partner who neglects their hygiene and appearance, so you shouldn’t commit to living in a poorly maintained environment either. As with finding a lifelong partner, you should not settle for the first abode, but invest time in finding your ideal home. Negotiate with your agent on the best offer, and base your price on similar homes in the area. The home will automate into escrow when you and the seller agree on the cost.
If possible, conduct a home inspection prior to making an offer. You could test the electricity, plumbing, water pressure, window hinges, and door handles. Or hire a licensed inspector to check for any hidden repairs or structural damages. The downside to hiring is that you’ll be charged for the inspection. However, what you pay could be less than paying for unforeseen repairs. If repairs are necessary, request a price cut from the seller. Or include a clause in your contract that requires that all repairs are completed before you buy. Inspect the house for repairs or structural damage before you sign.
Similar to getting engaged, being in escrow means that the home is almost yours, but not quite yet. You’ll still need to go the final lap with the necessary paperwork before closing. You could hire an attorney to review the purchase agreement before you sign, as the contract is legally binding. Attorneys are very expensive but necessary here. You may also need to put down some earnest money, which could help you secure the deal from your competitors. You could ask your attorney to handle title issues. Or you could hire a title company at an additional cost. They will determine if the seller owns the title. Once the deal is closed, they’ll transfer the title on to your name. Like marriage, the deal is closed once the contract is signed. And holding the keys to your new home will feel a lot like placing a ring on a life partner’s finger.
Technology That Makes Buying and Selling a Home Easier
Homie is your one-stop shop for all your real estate requirements. As with choosing a life partner, we know that choosing a high maintenance one is not ideal in the long run. We understand how costly and stressful buying a home can be, and are committed to simplifying your buying experience. All you need to do is sign up as a buyer on our user-friendly platform for our range of free services and experts.
We’re not just in this for a short term fix to your real estate woes. We’re here for the long haul, and will assist you from registration to closing. In fact, we’re so committed to maintaining an ongoing relationship with you, we’ve partnered with a range of maintenance service providers. Just click on our provider marketplace post sale for help with home insurance, HVAC, cleaning, security and automation, or landscaping.
We’ll also act as your agent, so there’s no need for an expensive or super busy middleman. Once you’ve signed your buyer broker agreement, our software will inquire if you require help. If yes, one of our agents will call you to help you review your offer. Our agent will submit your offer to a listing agent and manage all your paperwork. Homie agents serve as vital liaisons here, as it’s illegal for you to work directly with listing agents on offers. The seller will review your offer and inform our agent if it’s been accepted. If not, they will provide our agent with a counteroffer. Our agent will notify you via email regarding this. Our agents also assist with re-negotiations. Sometimes you may need to renegotiate your contract if you’ve discovered issues post due diligence. Or perhaps your appraisal was too low, or stipulated that the house needed TLC. Our agent will then also create an addendum for you here.
We’ll save you the trip to the bank or your broker with our pre-qualification service. Homie Loans will pre-appove you, so you can make an offer with confidence. Choosing us as an agent entitles you to a refund of up to $5,000 with our Buyer Agent Commission (BAC). This money would go towards reducing your closing costs.
We streamline the negotiation process, as our user-friendly platform makes it easy to negotiate with multiple sellers. We also offer free home inspections, so you’ll be saving there too. And you can schedule tours at your convenience via the platform without having to personally call the seller. This saves you on phone calls. Our attorneys will also offer you free advice, help with contracts and addenda, and negotiate with challenging sellers. We also collaborate with a title company, so you won’t need to pay for one.
Say “I Do!”
Finding and marrying the ideal partner is very similar to finding and buying your dream home. Commitment to either is a huge decision and cannot be based on emotion. You’ll need to conduct research on several factors, prior to closing the deal. Some of these include affordability, locating the right agent, pre-approval for more streamlined negotiations, and shopping around for the ideal match. It’s also imperative to perform home inspection, and seek legal assistance for paperwork. Once all these preparations have been made, closing the deal should feel a lot like signing a nuptial contract. Homie is the ideal platform for streamlining your entire buying process. Sign up with us today, and we may save you enough for a honeymoon!