If you are in the market for a new home, you know how overwhelming that search can be. In today’s market, properties are selling fast. Buyers need to be prepared when they begin looking so they don’t miss out on their dream home.

Keep reading for a list of must-haves on a house hunting checklist.

House Hunting

1. A Wish List

Buyers need to decide what items are needed rather than wants when looking for a home at https://www.homesinchapinsc.com/. Some of these important factors can include the location (where the buyer wants to live), price range, the home’s school district, new vs. old home, the layout of the home, size of the home, and its layout. Some buyers include the size of the garage, yard, and which systems come with the house, such as A/C and security systems, as non-negotiables. Whatever it is that the buyer requires to purchase a home should be on this list.

2. A Mortgage Preapproval Letter

If a buyer can’t make an all-cash offer to buy a property, they will need mortgage financing. In competitive markets, many sellers won’t consider an offer unless the buyer has a preapproval letter from a mortgage company. Typically, to be preapproved, buyers need a credit score between 500 and 620 and a stable income with two years of consistent earnings. They will need a down payment of at least 3% unless they are taking advantage of programs that do not require a down payment, such as a first-time homebuyer’s loan. Buyers also need to be prepared to pay closing costs from 2 to 6% of the loan.

3. A Real Estate Agent

A real estate agent’s job is to help a buyer find a home at the best price. They do this by keeping track of market conditions, preparing offers, and negotiating until the offer is accepted. The best agents will know the neighborhoods the buyer will be interested in. They should be able to provide a personal touch, be friendly, and be someone that buyers enjoy working with. Agents should be able to communicate effectively to explain real estate and legal terms. A good real estate agent should always have an up-to-date list of homes that have recently gone on the market.

4. Know Home Inspectors

Once a buyer decides on a home, they usually will spend between $300 and $500 for an inspection. Contracts usually provide a certain amount of time for buyers to back out of a contract if the seller isn’t willing to fix an issue. Often, real estate agents have relationships with inspection companies, and this will be an easy task. But, be sure to know this in advance, as there is a time limit written into contracts.

5. Watch Out for Scams

Real estate fraud is a real thing, and scammers try to take advantage of homebuyers’ feelings to trick them. Watch out for properties you aren’t able to examine in person. This should be a red flag that the home is not really as it is being advertised. Another scam involves sellers asking buyers to wire funds directly to them. Be aware that there should always be a third-party attorney or escrow company involved in a legitimate purchase.

Before you start walking through homes, have your checklist ready. It could make all the difference in helping you locate and buy the home of your dreams.