1. Get pre-approved! You really can't start your home search until you know what you qualify to buy and what price range to be looking in. Know your budget and how much you will need for down payment and closing costs. Be prepared to pay in advance for earnest money, appraisal, and for a home inspector. Let us give you the names of reputable brokers to talk to for the best rates. Most times you will get better rates going through a broker than a bank.
2. Make a list! Get out a pad and paper and draw a column down the middle. In the first column make a list of "must haves". These will be things that you are not willing to compromise on. It can be items like number of bedrooms and baths, school districts and neighborhood. In the second column make a list of "wants". These would be items you would really like to have, but you are willing to compromise on if you found the right house with your must haves.
3. Call us to get your home search started. We have the ability to input your housing needs right into the MLS so you will be alerted as soon a home hits the market that meets your needs. Be flexible enough to be able to get out and look at these homes as soon as possible. In our current housing market, time is of the essence. We want to make sure you don't miss out on the perfect home.
4. Don't use some of the popular real estate websites to look for homes! The reason is because not all listings will show up there. A good example is Zillow. Not all brokerages list their homes there and you may miss out. Same with Redfin. Redfin doesn't post their listings on Zillow. Same goes for Realtor dot com. You can search for homes on our website www.TheSeattleTeam.com, as we list ALL homes that are input into the MLS there.
5. Be prepared to move. Once you have committed to buying a home, the process can go fairly quick. Consider if you have a rental lease and when it expires and if you need to give appropriate notice to a landlord. Will you need to hire movers? If selling your current home to purchase a new one be flexible on moving dates if there is more than one seller and buyer involved.
Jess and Julie Lyda
RE/MAX Northwest Realtors