Once you have completed step # 1, it’s time to define your most important home features and begin shopping for your ideal house in Connecticut. It helps to make a wish list of key requirements. By defining these requirements you won’t waste time looking at houses that don’t meet your needs. The following are some things to consider:
- New vs. Older Home
- Special features
- Type of houses – Traditional single family, condominium, cooperatives, etc.
After you have defined what you are looking for and you need to determine how much you can afford.
Realtors® have seen it time and time again. A homebuyer falls in love with a house only to be disappointed when they find out they don’t qualify for a loan large enough to purchase the home. They got “pre-qualified” by an online lender, but the transaction falls apart because of an unreliable mortgage qualification. Not all pre-approvals are considered equal, however. Some pre-approvals or pre-qualifications are simply a quick review of your salary and credit score, without a full analysis of your financial situation. At McCue Mortgage, we offer an approval you can count on called the Buyers’ Edge. Our Buyer’s Edge is a reliable approval that considers your income, credit history and assets into the qualification leaving only the final approval of the property appraisal and sales contract—with no hidden requirements or disclaimers for further verification. The Buyers’ Edge pre-approval allows you to shop for a home in Connecticut with full confidence. Contact us to determine what you can afford and shop with confidence.
The next step is to identify the houses that are on the market that are in your price range. There are several sources that can help you search for that ideal home, including newspaper ads, real estate guides, or even driving around looking for “For Sale” signs.
What about a Real Estate Agent?
Realtors® play a critical role in the sale of properties and you should have one working for you to represent your interests in the purchase of one the largest items you will ever buy. The term “Realtor®” identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics that will protect you when you buy a home.
Resources: Realtors can provide valuable and objective information about your potential new home in Connecticut. They have access to information that is specific to the property, local community, utilities, zoning, and schools.
Negotiations: When buying a home, there are many negotiating factors, including price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. Your Realtor® can help you to navigate through these issues and will negotiate on your behalf.
Inspections: Your Realtor® will recommend the appropriate inspections and tests that are necessary before purchasing your Connecticut home. He or she can suggest qualified professionals to carry out these services.
In addition, your Realtor® will accompany you on a final walk through of the property prior to closing.
Narrowing your Choices
On average, a person in the market for a new home looks at 15 houses before settling on one. Because you might be looking at several homes in Connecticut, it is a good idea to keep accurate records of the homes you’ve viewed. Try to include as much detail and be as critical as possible. Things to look for are the neighborhood, physical details, construction details, major systems such as plumbing, heating and cooling, and of course the all important….how much does it cost? Once you find the ideal home that is in your price range, it might be time to make an offer.
Making an Offer
In determining how much to offer the seller, there are a number of factors you should consider and discuss with your Realtor.
Market Value of the House: Does the asking price compare with the market value of the house, based on recent sales of comparable houses in the area?
Circumstance of Current Owners: What’s driving the seller? For example if the seller has entered into a contract to buy another home, and depends on the sale of this house to finalize the other deal, you may be in a good position to negotiate in your favor. How long the house has been on the market? Has the price already been reduced?
When you are ready to make the offer, your Realtor® will draw up the offer that may include the following:
- The price you are offering and terms
- The amount of earnest money accompanying the offer (your deposit on the home)
- A legal description of the land
- The amount of your down payment and how the remainder will be financed
- Any items of personal property that the current owner has said will stay with the house
- A proposed closing date and occupancy date
- The length of time the offer is valid
- The satisfaction of any contingencies which are additional conditions that must be satisfied before the contract is enforceable, like a home inspection and mortgage approval.
After submitting your offer, the seller will accept it, reject it, or make a counter offer. If rejected, you’ll need to decide if you want to make another offer. If the seller accepts the offer, you’ll enter into a sales contract and will need to put a down payment on the property to secure the mortgage. Your realtor plays an important role in this process as a negotiator and resource for you.