When is the best time to start the home buying process?
First-time homebuyers ask me and my team this question all the time. Ideally, you want to start a year before you plan on buying. That’s when you want to meet with a real estate agent and do a buyer consultation. A good agent will be able to walk you through the whole buying process during this consultation—how to get a loan, how to negotiate the contract, what happens before and after closing, etc.
About three months later, I recommend meeting with a lender to get your financial ducks in a row. It’s never too early to meet with a lender. They can give you some handy tips right now that will put you in a better position down the road, like paying off a balance you didn’t even know you owed.
“OURS IS A VERY STRONG SELLER’S MARKET AT THE MOMENT, BUT THIS WON’T LAST FOREVER.”
At the six-month mark, you’ll want to get set up on a real estate website so you can get alerts on properties available in areas you’re interested in. This will help you become a market expert. It’s never too early to visit properties either because houses sell quickly in this market. Visiting homes and attending open houses will help you get a feel of what it’s like to walk through one.
When you’re three months away from buying, it’s time to actively start looking at homes with your agent. You never know—sometimes it takes three months to find the right home. At this point, you should be a market expert. You should be doing research, asking your agent for comps and other MLS information, etc. You should also be locking in the interest rate on your loan.
Ours is a very strong seller’s market at the moment, but this won’t last forever. You absolutely need to follow this timeline to compete as a first-time homebuyer. Additionally, you need to work with a skilled, educated agent who can help you navigate the market.
I’d love to help you take the first step in the home buying process, so if you’re ready to become a homeowner or have any real estate questions at all, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to speaking with you.