There are many advantages to homeownership. For starters, homes typically increase in value, build equity and provide for a more secure future. Furthermore, the rental market is unpredictable and rents usually go up over time. If you finance your purchase with a fixed rate loan, your housing cost is more stable. Lastly, the interest and property tax portion of your mortgage payments are tax deductible.

Whatever your reason for purchasing, a Bullock Russell agent is here to guide you through the process.

It is a good idea to interview more than one real estate agent. Potential interviewees may include your previous agent, the local neighborhood expert, or referrals from someone who’s judgment you trust. Calling a random agent found off the internet is risky. Buyers should prepare a list of questions in advance of an interview, ask for references, and request details about how that agent plans to find you your dream home. A Bullock Russell agent will be prepared to answer all your questions and provide a detailed analysis about the market, as well as discuss a plan of attack to getting you that perfect home.

Most buyers will need to obtain a loan to finance the purchase of their new home. In the world of lending, there are many different loan types and terms. Also, interest rates are on the move daily. Therefore, it is imperative to start the loan process before you ever see a home. Your lender will have to run your credit and verify your financial documentation. You should talk with more than one lender before deciding who to work with. Ask your Bullock Russell agent for referrals to great, industry leading loan professionals that get the process started for you.

First, home buyers must compare their needs with their wants and understand the difference. Not every “want” will fit into the price range that you may be able to afford and it is important to understand what you are willing to compromise on when searching. This thought process will ensure you end up purchasing a home that meets all your needs and as many of the wants as possible. The other consideration is the appeal to other buyers when you go to re-sell. If the home you love is too unique to only your preferences, your investment in the home may suffer when you go to sell. The more focused your needs, the easier it will be for you and your agent to identify properties that you actually like. A Bullock Russell agent will use all the latest technology at their disposal, their vast network of other real estate agents, and pound the pavement, to find you both on market and off market opportunities.

Once you have found the home you love, then it’s time to make an offer. Before making your offer you need to determine what the house is really worth, regardless of what the list price is. List price is a good gauge for figuring out the starting point, but your agent will help you determine what the actual fair market value is by running a comparable market analysis (CMA). Furthermore, timing for both you and the seller, repairs, personal property, market conditions, and other factors will need to be considered before making an offer. Once you have discussed these topics with your agent, the agent then will write up the offer for you to sign and submit that offer to the listing agent for consideration by the seller.

Once you have an accepted offer, you will open escrow, deliver your initial deposit to the escrow holder, and start your due diligence. Typically, the purchase and sales agreement will provide for contingencies in favor of the buyer. These contingencies allow the buyer to investigate the property, conduct inspections, review reports, investigate neighborhood conditions, appraise the property, and secure financing, among other items. Once the buyer has performed their due diligence, the buyer has three options: (1) cancel the agreement for good cause; (2) request repairs as a condition to proceed with the sale; or (3) elect to proceed with the sale. Once the buyer has elected to proceed, the buyer will need to remove their contingencies in writing and the buyer no longer can cancel the agreement without being in breach of contract (in most instances). A Bullock Russell agent understands the complexities of the real estate transaction and will make sure that you are fully aware of everything going on during the escrow period and what your rights and obligations are under the contract as well as ensure that your due diligence is handled properly.

Once the parties have fulfilled their obligations to each other under the contract, the escrow holder will record the deed (or other evidence of title) and disperse the funds to the appropriate parties. This is the point at which the seller will typically hand over keys and the home to the buyer. Congratulations, you have now purchased your new home!