How Aspiring Homebuyers Can Set Themselves Up for a Successful Real Estate Transaction
First-time buyers have a long hill to climb before they see their dream house at the top. Not only must they develop a sizeable nest egg, but they have to tick off numerous boxes: finding the right agent, understanding the market, calculating their purchasing power, juggling multiple documents and deadlines, etc.
It’s an arduous process. And before the advent of real estate technology, it was a largely opaque process too.
Thankfully, the modern homebuyer has several resources (this article included) at their disposal. If you’re an aspiring homebuyer, consider these tips and recommendations for a successful transaction.
Get a Jump on Pre-Qualification and Pre-Approval
This tip is as true in 2023 as it was in 1993. If you want to set yourself up for a smooth, hiccup-free first-time buy, get a jump on your eventual mortgage approval – now.
The mortgage approval process is a series of hurdles, each important in its own way. First, you should consider “pre-qualification,” a recommended (but not required) first step that involves self-reporting your financial situation to an institution in exchange for a ballpark understanding of the extent of your mortgage eligibility. Pre-qualification makes “pre-approval” easier. And pre-approval is a necessary designation as you start searching for homes and making competitive offers.
Use the Full Suite of Digital Tools and Calculators at Your Disposal
Before diving head-first into the property viewings and offers, take a weekend to tinker with digital tools and calculators.
Start with a mortgage calculator, which calculates the mortgage you can afford based on input information like salary, expenses, etc. Next, cross-reference the figure in an affordability calculator to get an overall sense of your monthly expenses. These should give you a ballpark indication of the price range you’re after.
Finally, consider consulting a “market conditions indicator” to determine whether you’re buying in a buyer’s or seller’s market.
Find the Right Real Estate Agent
Your real estate agent should be your educator, champion, bodyguard and advocate, all rolled into an affable package. They should not be checked out, self-interested or hard to reach.
Again, you can use real estate technology to your advantage here. Nobul is a popular site for finding a real estate agent; unlike some other platforms designed as lead generation for agents, Nobul is on the consumer’s side. You aren’t the product – you’re the client in control of negotiations.
Essentially, you input criteria, and the platform’s AI algorithm lists relevant matches. Agents then compete for your business by pitching attractive terms and services. It’s a fantastically beneficial idea for first-time buyers, and you can hear more about it in this BNN Bloomberg interview with founder Regan McGee.
Practice Clear, Comprehensive and Quick Communication
Now that you (hopefully) have pre-approval, a tenable budget and a winning real estate agent, you can hit the market. It’s largely up to fate at this point whether you can nab your dream home. Nevertheless, there is one last thing you can do to ensure success: communicate!
Too often, first-time buyers miss their chances because they aren’t candid, complete or responsive enough with communication. This includes communication with your agent and your partner (if you’re buying with a partner). Throughout the process, keep clear lines of communication open with your agent; give them direct instructions on how aggressive they should be in pursuing listings; let them know how much wiggle room you have in numbers negotiations; tell them your risk tolerance around conditions, etc.
If you can nail these all-important facets of the home-buying process, it doesn’t matter that you’re a real estate novice. You’ll be buying a dream home like it’s your tenth time around the block.