Gearing up to buy a home? “Since this can be a stressful time, it’s best to be as organized and prepared as possible,” advises Ilene Harpuder, a sales associate with ERA Justin Realty Co. “The more work you can do upfront, the better.”
Get Your Finances In Order
In addition to saving for a downpayment, you should also be aware of your credit score. “Meet with a trusted financial advisor before you start looking for homes,” Ilene suggests, adding “You’ll not only get an accurate picture of your finances but also understand how much home you can afford.”
Refine Your Wish List
Research neighborhoods so you can fine-tune your wants and needs when you work with your Realtor. Do you want to be close to downtown shopping and restaurants? Or do you want more of a suburban experience, with a big backyard? “The more specific you can define your home wishlist, the better your Realtor can serve you,” Ilene explains.
Choose a Lender with Local Relationships
In a competitive market, local relationships are key. “A local loan officer can help you win a bidding war,” explains Ilene. “They can often move faster than a national lender, and understand the specific market you’re in which can help you get to the closing table faster and with less issues.” In addition to working with a local lender, ask for a local appraiser. A good local appraiser understands the nuances between neighborhoods and how home values can differ from one block to the next.
Find the Right Realtor
Knowledge is power and fit is important. Your agent should be a resource for valuable market information and someone you are comfortable working with. “When I work with clients I act as their advocate,” Ilene states, adding, “I help them navigate the market and make sure they understand every step of the process. I also use my market expertise to guide them through making the strongest offer possible.”
If you’re interested in hearing more about how to achieve your real estate goals in the current competitive marketplace, call ERA Justin Realty at 201.939.7500 to speak to Ilene or any of our experienced agents.