Whether it’s your first purchase ….
. . . or you are an experienced home buyer, finding and financing your new home is a very exciting time. However, with a bit of preparation, you can help prevent the experience from becoming overwhelming or even disappointing. Before you start searching for Charlotte, North Carolina real estate, the first question you’ll want answered is:
How Much Home Can I Afford?
You can find out the answer to this as well as enhance your buying power by getting Pre-Approved or Pre-Qualified. What’s the difference?
Pre-Qualification Vs. Pre-Approval
Pre-Qualification is an informal discussion between you and the lender. The lender estimates the amount that you can borrow based solely on what you tell them about your income and assets. The information you give the lender is not verified by them and therefore, there is no guarantee that you will be approved by them for the loan amount. However, it will give you and your realtor a good idea of what your general price range probably is.
Pre-Approval requires that the lender verify your financial information and serves as a commitment to lend a specified amount based on that verified information. This gives you significant buying power with a seller who recognizes that you will be approved for a loan. If a seller knows that your financing is secure, your offer is stronger.
To get an estimate of what your monthly mortgage payments would be based on sales price, down-payment, interest rate and term length, try this mortgage calculator at the bottom of my home page.
The Buyer’s Agent
It used to be that when a realtor would work with a buyer, that buyer automatically assumed that the agent was working in his or her best interests. In the course of looking at homes together, agent and buyer would spend hours, weeks and sometimes even months working together, usually giving the buyer the impression that the agent was working solely on his or her behalf. In the course of all this time together, confidential information regarding the buyer’s private finances, family matters and more would often be disclosed.
The truth, however, was that until recently, the buyer rarely knew that, by law, the agent always automatically represents the SELLER in any transaction. Theoretically, the agent was obligated to share any useful information learned from the buyer to the SELLER and to negotiate in the SELLER’S best interests.
But now, with the Buyer Agency relationship, an agent is required by law to disclose to a customer that he or she works for the SELLER, unless and until the buyer agrees to have that agent represent them. This can be a temporary oral agreement, if the buyer is not sure yet if they want to work exclusively with that agent.
But once you are settled on which agent you’d like to work with, it is highly recommended that you and the agent sign a written buyer’s representation agreement. In this contract, the agent agrees to represent ONLY your interests, and he or she is forbidden from disclosing any information about you to the seller or anyone else. An agent, also, is not allowed to submit an offer from a buyer without first having a signed Buyer Agency Agreement with them.
If you would like to contact me for help with your buying needs, I’d love to hear from you. Just give me a call or send me an email and I’ll get right back to you.