The 6 Important Steps to a Trouble Free Real Estate Transaction


When I work with home buyers, especially first-time home buyers, I try to make sure they are aware of 6 very important steps to take to ensure a trouble free purchase. It is an exciting time when you are contemplating a new home, second home, or investment property. Take the time to follow these steps and you will pave the way to the next chapter in your life with the least bumps in the road.

Find out your credit score

The best house-hunting intentions will all come to a halt if you do not have a credit score sufficient enough to obtain a mortgage. Most lenders will not approve a mortgage if an applicant has a credit score below the good to excellent range.

It’s a good idea for would-be buyers to get their credit reports about a year in advance of house hunting. Credit reports can be wrong, depending on the source the buyers choose, and it might take time for them to correct their scores.

Get Pre-Approved for A Mortgage

Prospective home buyers should get pre-approved for a mortgage before they start to look, for two reasons.

First, it avoids heartache if they aren’t ultimately approved for a mortgage once they’ve found the house of their dreams. It lets them know of any issues in approval upfront, so they can rectify them.

Second, if you’re in a hot real estate market, the first person to make a bid may have an advantage. Pre-approval lets your clients have a chance at making the first bid.

Have a Realistic Budget

Most home buyers are savvy enough to budget for their mortgage costs. But they may be ignoring the other costs of home ownership — property taxes, state and local taxes, utilities, upkeep and private mortgage insurance (PMI). And that’s just for after the purchase.

Before the purchase, homeowners should plan on appraisal (between $300 and $550) and inspection costs (in our area they average around $450)

Homeowners need to budget for all home ownership costs and have money saved up for repairs. They also, frankly, should have a cash cushion of at least three months’ income in case of unexpected costs early in their home ownership.

It’s NOT Just The House. Get a Sense Of The Neighborhood!

Neighborhoods matter. Home buyers need basic information about the neighborhood. Each neighborhood has it’s own mini culture. Will they feel at home among their neighbors?

They can walk around on the weekend to get a sense of it. A couple of things buyers should ask are:

  • Does it have open green space, parks and hiking trails, (if that’s important to them)?

  • Will they be close to major highways and public transportation?

  • Is the neighborhood safe, or does it have crime issues?

  • Are the school districts good?

  • How is shopping?

The answers to these questions will help them decide if the neighborhood is the right fit. This is especially important for buyers who are relocating to a new area.

Take Time To REALLY Think Through Your Criteria

Home buyers should make a list of the type of home and property they want, suitable for their budget of course.

Otherwise, they can spend unnecessary time and effort looking at homes or properties unadaptable to their budget. Fixer uppers may be a good starting point due to a limited budget, but the daunting aspect might quickly wear on them.

It also helps to make a list of must-have and negotiable home qualities. This will eliminate future financial strain as their budget will need to adapt to their growing wants and needs.

Get Inspection Results BEFORE You Fall In Love

It’s not uncommon for home buyers to see a house, fall in love with it, and essentially, make the decision before they really know the property’s true condition.

A house and grounds can look fine with no visible problems, but have issues an inspection will surface. These issues can include costly structural concerns and health concerns that may make the house uninhabitable.

No home buyer should make a final decision until the inspector has ruled.

Home buyers often make mistakes if they’re not adequately guided. Choosing a home is a major life decision. It’s easy to overlook essential steps, especially if they are first-time home buyers.

These 6 steps helps me guide my buyers through the turbulent home buying process. They help me to make sure that my buyers get through the sale without a hitch. Hiring a professional, trust worthy, top agent is the absolute BEST thing you can do to ensure a smooth transaction. Read testimonials, don’t just glance at 5 stars.

If you would like more information about purchasing a home in the Hilton Head, Bluffton or Okatie area call, text or email me ANY TIME. I am delighted to chat with folks about our little piece of paradise, even if they are just gathering preliminary information! Kim France 513-476-2658 kfrance@kw.com kimfrancehhi.com

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Kim France
Principal Agent
Cell:  513-476-2658
Email: kfrance@kw.com
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We do not attempt to independently verify the currency, completeness, accuracy or authenticity of the data contained herein. It may be subject to transcription and transmission errors. Accordingly, the data is provided on an “as is,” “as available” basis only and may not reflect all real estate activity in the market. © 2016 Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island, Inc. All rights reserved. Certain information contained herein is derived from information which is the licensed property of, and copyrighted by, Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island, Inc.

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