Take the Stress Out of Buying a Home
Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to buying a home in the Sarasota area. That's why we have provided this step-by-step guide to the home buying process. We want to make sure that you are able to find the best home, know which tasks you need to complete, and understand how the transaction works. After you've read over this brief home buying guide, talk to our experts to take the next steps.
Before You Start Your Home Search
Buying a home can be an emotional, time-consuming, and complex process. But fortunately, with the right resources and a real estate professional on your side, there are a few things that you can do to help make the process go as smoothly as possible. Here are the essential steps to take before you even start to look for homes.
1. Check Your Credit
Before you apply for a home loan, regardless of your credit, it's a smart idea to obtain a copy of your credit report. If there are errors or things that need to be taken care of, it's easier to address them before you have found a house rather than when you are trying to close.
2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage
You have the choice to get pre-qualified or get pre-approved for a mortgage. While pre-qualification sounds official, it is only an estimate of what you can afford based on your monthly income and monthly debt. However, a pre-approval means means that a lender has reviewed your credit history, verified your assets and employment, and has approved your loan before you have found a home to purchase. As long as the home appraises for at least the purchase price, the loan should close.
Getting approved also gives you an advantage over other home buyers, since your approval makes it easier for you to negotiate on the price of a home.
3. Find a Reputable Buyer's Agent
A buyer's agent's job and fiduciary responsibility (meaning legal duty) is to you, the home buyer. When you work with a buyer's agent, that means that he or she will negotiate the best price and contingencies for you.
As your exclusive buyer’s agent with RE/MAX Alliance, we will fight for your best interests and make sure that you find your dream home quickly and easily. Learn why home buyers choose The Kotaska Team to purchase their new home in Sarasota.
4. Create a Needs vs. Wants List
You likely already have a picture of your ideal home. To keep from overpaying on a home later, develop a lists of the features you must have in your home and the features you have wished for. If you have this list handy during your home search, it will be much easier to prioritize features like price, square footage, number of bedrooms, and a garage.
When You Have Found the Right Property
Buyers who get caught up in the excitement of buying a new home tend to overlook important details. Once you're ready to make an offer on your favorite property, follow these tips to avoid paying too much for a home, or worse, losing your dream home to another buyer.
1. Talk to Your Realtor
A professional Realtor can offer an unbiased opinion on the value of a home, which is based on current market conditions, the condition of the home, and the neighborhood. We offer several reports that can help you learn about the Sarasota real estate market, including market updates and Neighborhood Sold Reports.
2. Make an Educated Offer
What price do you offer a home seller? Is the seller’s asking price too high, or is it a deal? If you have done your research on the Sarasota real estate market and comparable home sales, you have the best chance of the seller accepting your offer.
3. Order a Home Inspection
For $300-$500, a trained professional will conduct a thorough inspection of the home. This way, you’ll have an idea of the cost of future repairs and know if there are any issues with the home. Make the final contract subject to a favorable report so that you don't end up paying thousands of dollars.
4. Review the Title
Before you sign any document, be sure the property you are considering is free of all encumbrances. As part of their services, a Realtor can supply you with a copy of the title to ensure there are no liens, debts, undisclosed owners, leases, or easements.
5. Have a Survey Completed
An updated survey is essential for purchasing a home. This report will indicate boundaries and structural changes (additions to the house, a new swimming pool, neighbor’s new fence which is extending a boundary line, etc.).
Ready to Buy a Home?
Whether this is your first home purchase in Sarasota or your fifth, we will work hard to help you experience a smooth and stress-free transaction. As Sarasota real estate experts, we do everything we can to make sure our clients find the best property, and that includes simplifying the process as much as possible. If you're eager to learn more about buying a home in Sarasota, or if you're eager to take the next steps in the buying process, contact us and we can help.