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Looking for a home? It’s not always easy to figure out what to look for, how to search, and ways to get the best deal. Here are a few tips for navigating the home search without losing your cool.
Get Expert Help
One of the best ways to make the home search easy is to work with a real estate agent. These individuals have extensive knowledge about the home buying and selling process as well as access to home listings. They also have knowledge of home trends in your specific area. Realtors are paid on commission, typically 3% although that can vary by area and even the specific negotiated contract.
Determine Your Criteria
Before you start your home search, make a list of the features that you want as well as those that would be nice to have. These can include things like number of bedrooms and bathrooms, accessibility features, yard and outdoor space, or proximity to work, school, or recreation. It can be helpful to divide these into must-haves and nice-to-haves. If you are working with a real estate agent, this can also help guide their search.
You should also have a realistic idea of your budget. Many buyers work with a lender to get preapproved or prequalified. Not only does this show sellers that you have already done your homework, it can also make the approval process much smoother.
The home search and buying process can take a while, especially if you are in a competitive market. Remember to be patient and keep your criteria in mind. It can be tempting to settle for a home that is not ideal for you if you keep running into obstacles during your search. While it helps to keep an open mind when it comes to some things, stick to your must-haves during your search.