In an ideal world, buying your first home is not just the most important purchase you can make in a lifetime but also the smoothest.
But In today's world, the real estate market is ruthless because homebuyers are scrambling to take advantage of low interest rates before the Fed bumps them back up.
In addition, housing inventory is still scarce, while tough bidding wars force many hopeful homebuyers to set aside their search for another, calmer time.
Even amidst a chaotic market, first-time homebuyers can still take a few steps to make the buying process easier.
Below, the team at Prevu Real Estate put together five tips for first-time homebuyers that can make the process smoother.
Save early and plan your budget
It may seem like common sense, but saving early and planning an adequate budget are the most important steps to ensure you can last through a potentially grueling real estate transaction.
Saving in advance will give you resources to work with when push comes to shove. Closing costs, escrow fees, and possible legal expenses are all costly, so having a split budget to handle the home purchase price and the above fees will leave you in the driver's seat, cruising comfortably towards signing that deal.
Once you set your budget, getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the next step. Almost any seller who sees that you have solid backing from the bank will see you as a serious buyer and want to work with you to make the transaction happen.
Choose a neighborhood that works best for you
Having the ideal, tree-lined street and cozy coffee shop right around the corner is tempting, but choosing from the best Seattle neighborhoods that might fit your lifestyle in the long run is a tough choice to make.
Seattle is notorious for heavy traffic, so if you rely on your car often, see which highways you’ll be using and if there are alternative routes that will help you avoid traffic jams. Prioritizing these details will let you focus more on the fun stuff, like the home features and neighborhood amenities.
Of course, keeping all these things in mind can be overwhelming, which is why hiring a local real estate agent is your next big step.
Hire a local expert agent and make your search easier
Many of the hardships first-time homebuyers encounter are due to tackling the search alone. At first glance, searching for a home might seem simple: browse listings within your price range, choose a few that you like, and reach out to the listing agent.
But then comes the rest of the transaction, which means complicated paperwork, due diligence, and a list of questions you should ask about the property. Facing that checklist by yourself is a daunting task, which is why having an expert buyer’s agent in your corner will give you an invaluable line of support.Prevu’s digital home buying platform helps buyers streamline their search and connects them with expert local agents that work with them every step of the way. Plus, working with a Prevu agent can unlock significant savings in the form of a commission rebate.
Plan to save with a commission rebate
For the longest time, buyers entered a real estate transaction scrutinizing all of the closing costs. That’s because traditional buyer’s agents pocket half of the 6% commission fee the seller pays at closing.
Modern brokerages like Prevu Real Estate invest in a contemporary approach that gives back a portion of the buyer’s agent commission to the buyer. This is known as a commission rebate, and you can stand to receive up to two-thirds of the buyer’s agent commission when you work with Prevu.
That means that once you sign the contract to buy your new home, you will walk away with savings in the form of a buyer rebate. These savings can help offset the closing costs and fees, help you prepare for renovations, and give you room to start furnishing your new house as you see fit.