The North Texas real estate market is unbelievably diverse. Although 2017 was a year of market stabilization, buyers in many cities are continuing to navigate competition and dwindling inventory. If you're buying in 2018, it's your responsibility to know where to start. Check out these tips, from our friends at RUECKERT + STEWART.
1. Before you even hop online, get pre-qualified.
Making the decision to buy is an exciting one! We know you're excited to browse your local inventory and start looking at homes. But, before you do, having a clear map of your financial situation is vital. Many times, a certain price point appears to be a great decision for your family - but, there are other costs that buyers might overlook in their initial excitement. Have you considered your down payment? Property taxes? Closing and loan origination costs? Upkeep on the interior and exterior of the home? HOA dues? This list represents a few of the many items your financial planner will help you identify. The associates at RUECKERT + STEWART have deep relationships with some of the top financial planners and mortgage originators in North Texas, if you don't already have someone you know and trust.
2. Hire a professional REALTOR®.
Yes, we recognize there are tons of resources available today. If you're a buyer, finding an app or website to search for homes is not the hard part of the process. But, here's the thing - at the end of the day you owe it to yourself, your family, and your finances to be aligned with an expert in your marketplace. Many times buyer representation is even free to the buyer! Be sure to do your research when you interview your professional. The most powerful thing you can say during the interview process is "show me." RUECKERT + STEWART associates back up every commitment with a successful track record; a history of proven, substantial results.
3. Trust your REALTOR®, and communicate often.
We often advise our clients; the buying process is not a process of selection, but a process of elimination. Contrary to popular belief, the first step is to knock out all details you don't want in your next home, so the only options you're left with fundamentally support your families' goals. With this in mind, note that It's incredibly difficult for your professional to operate if those goals and property specifics are not clearly articulated. You won't hurt your professional's feelings if you dislike a specific area or property - proper communication fully sets expectations, and significantly cuts down the search time.
4. Get your ducks in a row.
So you've found your new home, successfully won an offer, and executed a contract on the property. Congratulations! This part of the process is quite complicated - especially if you don't have your paperwork in order. If you're working with a RUECKERT + STEWART agent, you have already been prepped on the next steps and (hopefully) have been getting your paperwork in order since day 1. During the pending stages of the contract, there are many moving parts: Your role as a buyer, your REALTOR®, the seller's REALTOR®, the sellers, your lender, underwriter, inspectors, and contractors, just to name a few. The most helpful thing you can do as a buyer, is have your ducks in a row. When the lender requests a document, it needs to be your first priority to get that over to them. If your REALTOR® recommends a meeting to walk through inspection reports and repairs, please find time. The phrase, "Time is Of The Essence" is a very real thing, especially in real estate transactions.
5. Get Closed!
At RUECKERT + STEWART, we firmly believe that the closing is not the end of the relationship - it's just the beginning. Fast-forward to the coming weeks and months - you move in, and want to start a project or have a question. Perhaps your new home is in a different part of town, and you want to find a great hidden restaurant for "date night?" Or you need a professional landscaper? Contractor or painter? The list goes on and on. Think of your RUECKERT + STEWART agent as your resource for all things home, for as long as you live in the area. If you were satisfied with the level of service you were provided during the transaction, don't forget to refer your agent to your friends and family!