Whether you are a first time homebuyer or looking for your second or third home, we want to make sure that you have the best experience possible. Here is a quick list of steps you can take to prepare yourself for your next Florida home or property purchase, as well as a few tips to help ensure that your property search goes as smoothly as possible.
Step One: Finances
It’s always best to get the finances out of the way before you begin an earnest property search. Check with your bank or mortgage company to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This gives you the benefit of knowing exactly how much you can afford before you start looking at different properties, which will allow you to move with greater speed to grab a bargain on your dream home! If you aren’t from around here or just would like us to recommend some local mortgage companies, we would be more than happy to provide you with contact information.
Step Two: Find and Choose a Property
Once you know what your budget is, it is time to start searching for a property. You can use our MLS listings, or contact us directly for homes that might be ideal for you. We will discuss all of your needs and wants so that we can highlight ideal properties and set up a time for showings.
Step Three: Contacting a Realtor
If you have found a house that you would like to see, it is important to contact your real estate agent. While it might seem like the best option would be to contact the agent in charge of selling the house, it is important to realize that the seller’s agent will have his or her best interests at heart. What you want is a real estate agent who is looking out for you, the buyer. It will cost you nothing extra to have an experienced realtor on your side, and it can make a big difference in the overall price after negotiations.
Once you have chosen a real estate agent, give them a call and set up the showing to ensure that they have the time to pick up keys and work around the schedules of those who may be staying in the house. When you are looking for property, plan on several days of house showings. If you prefer to preview different properties before heading out on a day of showings, you can ask for Internet listings ahead of time. Here are a few things to tell your realtor so they can help you find real estate that fits your needs:
- What kind of neighborhood you are looking for
- How close you want to be to the beach or water views
- What style of home you prefer
- How many bedrooms and bathrooms would be ideal
- Whether you require a swimming pool or not
- Your price range
Step Three: Making an Offer
Once you’ve found the property that you want, it’s time to negotiate! Market conditions are phenomenal for buying property and there are deals everywhere. Once you’ve found what you want, be prepared to move quickly or risk losing out to another buyer. Make a written offer to start off the negotiations. This is where your Real Estate agent can truly shine as we are experts in negotiation and the structuring of effective offers.
Step Four: Closing the Sale
After negotiations are settled there is generally a lot of documentation, financial paperwork, inspections, and the like to take care of before the home actually changes hands. Your agent will be able to notify your lender and provide them with the documents that they need in order to process your loan. Inspections will be ordered and a title and escrow company will be engaged to handle the final closing documents and the disbursement of funds. It is also advised to purchase homeowner’s insurance before the closing is finalized.
Give me a call at 850-708-7724 today to find your next property in Okaloosa or Walton County! I can help you with every step along the way on your journey to home ownership. Northwest Florida is my home, and I would love to help you make it yours as well.