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This is the second installment of this mini-series on buying a house. Check out the first installment here.
If you’ve never bought a house, you’re likely don’t know all the players and their roles in the entire process.
First up – You and Your Family.
You and your family are the single most important players in this entire process. You and your family are who will be living in the house you ultimately buy. Without you and your family, there is no house buying. Do not let anyone else persuade you into a house you don’t love or can’t see yourselves in.
And by that I mean, you may have your dreams, your partner may have dreams too. You may have dreams for the child(ren) you may have or foresee having. All in all though, the house has to work for you. After all, this is the place you’ll be spending the majority of your time in outside of whatever you do outside your home. Or if you work at home, this is the place where that will be happening too. If you know that you plan to have more than one child and you don’t really like the idea of moving frequently, it’s quite possible that looking at a 2 or 3 bedroom house isn’t going to work. Or maybe it will.
In other words, take all of your needs (as well as some desires) into account.
The Mortgage Company/Bank.
These people will be getting into so much of your business, present and past. It’s important that you work with a company or bank that is interested in not only your consuming. Establishing a relationship, albeit professional, with your mortgage company or bank is important.
You have local and national banks themselves.
You also have Mortgage broker companies. Some are better than others.
In the end, remember that this is about you and that every sweet deal, or seemingly sweet deal may not be all that sweet. Make sure whomever you choose to work with is always up front and honest. They should be willing and able to promptly answer questions, while also remaining confidential, professional, and friendly. They don’t have to become one of your best friends, but they should be friendly and welcoming towards you and your family.
This person should only be looking out for your best interest! So, get one of these!
Remember that. A buyer’s agent should mostly help you pare down choices, point you in the direction of possibilities, and help you tour/view houses. It’s helpful if they point out potential issues or concerns, as well, and most will.
In other words, this person though likely licensed as an agent, should listen to what you want. They should be open to hearing about your dreams for your home. You don’t have to sit down and tell them everything you want to do in your home. They do need to know and understand what’s important to you.
For instance, our buyer’s agent, knew that we wanted some land. I wanted a really good and functional kitchen and was drawn to older homes and the character they have. We weren’t concerned about school districts, but that we did want quiet whether in a more country setting or city setting. She helped me to understand that a house that had even slightly uneven floors was likely not a good investment and that despite my desire for a basement/cellar, many of the houses with them aren’t very good anymore and could lead to really big issues (mold, sunken floors, bad drainage systems, etc.).
She was so very patient with me and my desire for an older home. She even talked to me once about stepping back when I was feeling incredibly defeated about the available homes in our area. At the same time, she helped us to remain realistic when it came to matching our needs and desires in a home with the home prices in our area versus how much I (in particular) wanted to spend on a home.
Next comes the Seller’s (or Listing) Agent.
You’re interaction with this person will be minimal to non-existent. They will mostly only talk with your Buyer’s Agent. Their role is for the current homeowner and their interests. Any negotiating on price and contract issues will be handled between your buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. This is another important reason to have a buyer’s agent who advocates for your best interest and attempts to get you the best deal possible. The seller’s agent you may never even see, even at closing (which we’ll get into later in the series).
And lastly, You and Your Family.
I know I said you were first, but I just want to drive the point that you are first and foremost when it comes to buying a house. Therefore you both begin and end the process. None of the individual roles are as important as you. And honestly, you can replace any of the individuals if you really feel it necessary. You can also halt the process or end it entirely if your situation changes, your desires change, or for some other reason only you know. Just make sure to be comfortable with whom you work with.