By Monte Mohr
With the arrival of a new year many people will be making resolutions or promises to themselves to achieve specific goals as the year unfolds. And while you may or may not be a believer in resolutions, if you are thinking about buying a home in 2013, here are four resolutions you should explore.
1. Get Your Finances Organized
Purchasing a home takes a lot of time and effort and you need to be prepared. Meeting with a mortgage lender as you embark on your house hunting journey can be beneficial because they will paint a very clear picture of your financial standing. A qualified mortgage specialist will point out your financial strengths and weaknesses. Review your credit report so you can correct any existing issues that might be adversely affecting your credit score. Make sure you are practicing good credit behavior to ensure you will secure the best rate available on your loan. And lastly, make sure you comparison shop for the best loan. Lenders use different profiles for their borrowers; this means different companies will approve or reject applications based on different criteria. Contact multiple lenders and negotiate one against the other to get the best deal.
2. Educate Yourself about the Market
Buying a home isn’t as easy as touring a few open houses until you find your perfect match. You need to take some time to learn about your local market; that includes understanding home values, the value of certain neighborhoods, school ratings, localized amenities, and overall market trends. Take time to study comparable houses to learn what is available on the market within the budget you have laid out with your mortgage specialist.
3. Find a Great Real Estate Agent
This sounds like a no-brainer, but the task shouldn’t be taken lightly. Different agents have different strengths and weaknesses. Some agents specialize in distressed properties or relocation packages while others may have expertise limited to certain neighborhoods in town. When selecting a real estate professional to represent you during the purchase process, it is critical that you find a person whose talents match your needs. Ask family, friends, and co-workers for first-hand referrals. Go online and do a little research on various brokerages. Schedule an interview and don’t be afraid to ask questions of your potential agent. Whatever you do, don’t drive around calling the individual agents listed on for sale signs; those agents are already representing the seller. You need a professional real estate agent who is committed to your best interests only.
4. Make a Reasonable Offer
Once you’ve finished the hard work of getting your finances in order, researching the market, and finding a fantastic agent, your search will hopefully lead to a suitable housing match. And when this happens, it is important that you don’t fall victim to the assumption that every seller is under duress. Many regions are seeing market rebounds and if you blindly go in with a lowball offer thinking “it’s the thing to do” in a buyers’ market, you might just alienate the seller to the point of losing your chances of acquiring your dream home. Refer back to your market research and use that as a guide in presenting a fair and reasonable offer on the home you have selected.
Monte Mohr has sold over 2,500 homes, making him one of Americas top Realtors for the last 25 years. This experience has given him a unique perspective on the Nashville TN Real Estate Market worth paying attention to. He is also a regular contributor of real estate advice to Nashville’s NBC affiliate station, WSMV Channel 4. To learn more about Monte Mohrs experience as a real estate agent, to get free advice about your biggest real estate challenges or to request an interview contact him at Info@TennesseeDreamHomes.com
First Published January 10, 2013 3:30 PM