A Home Buyers’ Checklist for Your New Clients

As a real estate agent, it’s as much a tightrope walk for you as it is for your homebuyers, especially if you’re looking to not just close a sale but also ensure that your clients’ home ownership goals are best met. It provides a sense of fulfillment knowing that your assistance and dedication helped them find their dream home. Moreover, it’s worthwhile to note that a satisfied client is more likely to recommend your services to friends and family and provide you with enough referrals to help you continue to serve the homebuying needs of more clients.

However, helping your clients find the house of their dreams isn’t that easy and is typically a lengthy process, comprising a number of steps along the way. It can be particularly overwhelming, time consuming, and exhausting for your clients, as they strive to find the ideal home for their needs and budget, especially if they’re first-time homebuyers. 

Considering the huge cost involved in buying a house, it’s an investment that no doubt warrants careful deliberation. Here’s a homebuyers’ checklist that can help your new clients navigate the process with ease and confidence:

1. Determine A Realistic Budget

Identifying your budget at the onset makes it easier for you to find the home that meets your requirements within the set financial constraints. It would help eliminate homes that are outside your budget, leaving you with adequate time and energy to focus instead on examining and evaluating properties that meet your requirements as well as budgetary limitations. 

It takes a lot of energy to go house hunting; you don’t want to fall in love with a house only to realize later that it’s not a financially viable option. So determine your budget and be realistic about it; you also don’t want to invest all your funds on buying a fancy house that may require considerable resources to maintain, furnish, or decorate or leaves you with no funds to take care of your other debts or expenses.

2. Find a Trustworthy Real Estate Agent

Given the lengthy homebuyers’ checklist and the huge investment a home purchase entails, it’s worthwhile to opt for the expert guidance of a trustworthy real estate agent, as they can make the process easier for you. Although you can search for suitable homes by looking at real estate websites or attending open houses, you need an ally who knows the housing market really well, can guide you through the entire process and its nuances, and has your best interests in mind.

The key is finding the right agent who is experienced, knowledgeable, and ethical.  Buying a home is a big and life-changing decision; the right broker understands this and is willing to guide you over the entire stretch, answer your questions in a thoughtful manner, and address any concerns you may have.

They make the process easy by helping you identify the right neighborhood first and then the house, based on your requirements and budget. Most importantly, they can evaluate the fairness of a listing price and make recommendations accordingly. However, their service extends to not only helping you locate the right house but also involves assistance in matters of mortgage, down payment, and the pre-approval amount for a purchase offer. In addition, thanks to their network of lenders and financial know-how, they can help you choose the right mortgage provider and loan based on your financial condition and needs. 

3. Get a Pre-Approval 

While it may seem preposterous, getting a pre-approval before you begin your hunt for the perfect abode can reap great rewards. It’s a good way to back your offer when you’re ready to submit one and sellers would be more inclined to sell to you, knowing that you are prequalified and you have a financial contingency. When there are multiple prospective buyers, it helps them arrive at a decision.

Plus it gives you the confidence to know what mortgage and borrowing options you have. There are many types of loans and loan durations; shopping for the right money lending plan ahead of time would also make it easier for you to find a good deal and mortgage plan that best meets your financial needs. 

4. Search for the Right Home

This is the most important step in the home buyer’s checklist. Going house hunting and the process of selecting the right home is fun too. With the help of your real estate agent, pick the neighborhoods that best meet your varied needs like budget, crime rate, or the right school district if you have children.

When you’ve zeroed in on some neighborhoods, you can then start looking for houses in the chosen localities. Feel free to do your own search by driving around or attending open houses, but remember that agents usually provide home listings that are accurate and most recently updated.

5. Submit a Purchase Offer

When you find a home that best meets your needs, it’s important to submit an offer promptly as the home seller may have multiple prospective buyers interested in purchasing the house. To increase the likelihood of getting a positive response to your offer, it’d be best to consult with your agent on the purchase offer amount as it’s their home turf! Home valuation tools can be helpful but they cannot replace the professional experience and know-how of your broker. They know the comparative factors that drive the price of a home like the market volatility and for how long the house has been on the market.  

6. Home Inspection 

A thorough inspection by a home inspector is every bit worth the effort and cost as it can help reveal problems. For instance, is the electrical system sound or would the walls need to be repainted or is the roof in a good condition? Your broker can help determine whether any potential problems can help you get a concession.  

7. Get an appraisal and Renegotiate

A home appraisal will help you decide whether to renegotiate or not. If the initially agreed-upon purchase price is considerably higher than the appraisal amount, it’d be best to renegotiate, if such a clause has been included in your purchase offer. 

8. Close the Home Sale

When your offer is accepted, you can close the sale – the grand finale and the most gratifying step on the home buyer’s checklist. It’s a good idea to cover the maximum possible amount when making a down payment as it helps lower the loan amount and length. Hopefully, you will have saved or arranged for the required funds to make a down payment and pay for potential closing costs ahead of time.  A final piece of parting advice – do your due diligence when signing the big pile of paperwork, as exhausting and tedious as it may be.

We hope our home buying checklist coupled with your valuable professional guidance helps your new clients find the perfect house for their needs. 

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