As real estate transactions find their way onto digital platforms, it’s increasingly important for homebuyers to understand how to engage in these deals with confidence.
Here are 10 tips to keep in mind if you are shopping for your next home online:
- Get a mortgage pre-approval before you shop
Knowing how much you can afford to spend is one of the most crucial early steps in buying a home, whether you are doing so traditionally or virtually. Get a mortgage pre-approval from one or two local lenders so you can get an accurate assessment of your actual purchasing power. This will keep you focused on targeting listings that you can realistically afford.
- Work with a knowledgeable, experienced, and well-connected local realtor
The homebuying process is complex enough when you do it with traditional face-to-face interactions. What more when you resort only to online meetings and remote transactions? Use the guidance and insights of an experienced professional to your advantage. You can pursue your virtual homebuying goals with greater confidence with a reliable partner guiding you through the process from start to finish.
- Be clear with your homebuying needs
There are hundreds of listings online at any given time. With this abundance of options, you might find yourself easily getting overwhelmed. Worse, you might get distracted by flashy, expensive listings that may not really be the right fit for your needs. This is why you should take time to assess your essential living necessities before shopping for houses online. Prepare a checklist and have it with you as you peruse your options.
- Know how your tech works
Understand or at least be familiar with the tools at your disposal. If you are joining a virtual house tour, for example, a computer will be a better machine to view it with rather than a smartphone because of the larger screen. Learn about the features of the app that you’re using, whether it’s Zoom, Skype, or Facebook Messenger. Check whether your internet connection is speedy and stable enough to support online meetings and home showings, as well.
- Prepare a list of questions for the seller or seller’s agent
Because you won’t be physically present at the property to scrutinize its details up close, be as thorough as you can with your questions instead. It’s your right as a homebuyer to learn as much as you can about the property, so you can make an informed and confident decision.
- Always have a notebook or spreadsheet handy
Ideas and questions will continue to pop up in your head as you go deeper into the homebuying process. Having a notebook or a digital file on standby at all times will help you keep track of these fleeting thoughts. Meanwhile, a spreadsheet is a great way to document the comparable features of the listings that you are considering.
- Take your time to decide
It can get quite exciting when you start finding beautiful homes for sale that fall well within your budget. But always keep a level head and evaluate every detail before making a final choice.
Talk to your agent to assess the strengths and weaknesses of each option until you can narrow down your list to the top two or three listings.
- Prepare a strong and complete offer package
A compelling offer is not just about offering the largest amount you can afford to pay. Remember that the seller will still try to negotiate toward a higher final price.
Instead, consult your agent to reach a reasonable offer price, combined with attractive terms of sale. You can also appeal to the seller’s good nature by writing a heartfelt letter explaining why you believe that their property is the perfect fit for your next home.
- Work closely with your agent during the negotiation stage
Once the seller accepts your offer, the negotiation stage will begin. Your agent will be your representative during this crucial stage, because their experience and expertise make them more objective parties at the negotiation table. Communicate with your agent consistently during this period to make sure that you are always on the same page about your buying goals and preferences.
- Act fast to complete all closing requirements
As soon as both parties reach an agreement, be prepared to launch into the final steps of your home purchase. These include processes like getting a home inspection, appraisal, and title review, as well as completing your mortgage application. You will have to accomplish all these within a mutually agreed upon timeframe, so act as quickly as you can.
Browsing homes for sale in Anacortes or Mount Vernon? Get professional assistance from the most trusted realtors in Washington State. Contact The Groesbeck Group today at 360.941.3734 or Info(at)JeanGroesbeck(dotted)com.