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What First-Time Buyers Need to Know

by Winifred Cowee 10/01/2020

Photo by StockEU via Shutterstock

Purchasing a home for the first time is often a daunting task. There are many things to know and a plethora of conflicting advice. If you’re new to real estate and the home-buying process, keeping these tips in mind can help make the path to homeownership smoother.

Pick the Right Person

Choosing a real estate agent that specializes in helping first-time homebuyers can relieve some of the uncertainty you might feel. You must seek professional help when buying a home because you need someone to watch out for your interests. A buyer’s agent only works for you. They do not represent the seller, so when it comes to negotiating, they are committed to your best interest.

Remember that your agent does this for a living. That means they are licensed by the state and maintain that license. The information they give you is for you, in your situation. Work with your agent exclusively and don’t keep them in the dark about what you want. You won’t make a better deal with the seller by excluding your agent, and since you have a contract with them, you may set yourself up for legal action if you do.

Choose the Right Lender

Apply to several lenders to find the best loan at the best rate for you. Many lenders offer first-time buyer programs that give preferential rates to buyers that attend classes or go through a seminar. Choosing the best lender means the difference between closing the purchase on your home or losing out. Your experienced agent helps you differentiate among lenders, but check with your bank or credit union as well, since they may have a better arrangement for you.

Follow Through on Paperwork

In the end, much of the process comes down to you. You’ll be asked for a lot of paperwork, and the sooner you turn it in, the better your chances of a timely close. Keep track of other paperwork too. Your agent handles the contracts and submissions to the seller and the lender, but you need to read them and ask questions about anything you don’t understand.

Know Why You’re Buying

Back in the day, buying a home for a tax deduction as a financial tool made sense. But modern tax laws make that less of an incentive. If you’re buying a home to lower your tax bill, you might be disappointed. But when you’re purchasing a home because it is where you want to live and you want to make it yours, you’ve got the right idea in mind.

Talk to your real estate agent about what you’re looking for in your first home and start on the path to owning your own home right away.

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