First Time Buyers:
First, find an experienced, full time realtor to make your home search, and legal transaction of buying a home, smooth. In your first meeting, give the real estate agent your home wishes, wants, and needs.
1) Getting pre-approved for a home loan, should you need one;
2) What lender you want to use; your monthly payments amount;
3) Which insurance company you want to use, along with the yearly premium charges (this is usually included in your monthly payment amounts, 1/12 of insurance and yearly taxes);
4) What areas, or school districts, would be most desirable to you.
The agent will do a multi-list search of possible properties for you.
You could review it in the agent’s office, or they can send it to you via email, and you can look at the individual listings at a convenient time. When you have your selections, go over them with your agent. After this, your agent will arrange the day, and time, to show you homes. This is especially critical, if the homes to be shown, are still owner occupied.
In Missouri, there are several ways an agent works. The agent will give you a small pamphlet, and go over what each one means. Most buyers want the agent to represent them. Should that be the case, some paperwork would need to be signed before you look at properties.
Once you have started looking a property, you may spend hours looking at different homes. At the end of the day, they may all blend into a giant blur! Which room was where? Was the master bedroom small, or large? Were the children’s rooms’ closeby, important for infants? Was the kitchen updated? Etc.
To help you remember, there are little tricks agents developed. If a pamphlet is at the house, take one, and make notes on it. If not, carry a notebook, or a device that allows notes, or use the customer data sheet the agent will give you on each home. First, number each sheet in the order you have seen them at the top. Note price and address if not using the data sheet. Write down things you would remember. Exterior, style and color. Interior color of walls, carpet, or tile floors. Second, did it have a major feature that will that would “jog” your memory later on? Thirdly, use nicknames for the houses, the yellow tweety bird house, the fabulous backyard, the huge basement family room, the granite counters in a kitchen, etc.
Later, you will be able to recap your house viewings day, and give feedback to your agent. Ones that drop out of consideration, ones that just won’t work for you, we have an established action!
After you narrow down which homes are in consideration, contact the agent and go back to them on a different day for a “second look”. You will be surprise what you may have missed.
Once you have made your decision on what home is “perfect” for you, the agent will do all the appropriate paperwork and “walk” you thru it.