The $8000.00 tax credit for first-time buyers ends on Friday. In order to take advantage of it you will need to have your purchase contract signed by Friday and you must close on the loan for your property by June 30.
If you haven?t already started the process you may be too late. However, the houses will still be there when you?re ready to buy with or without the tax credit.
As a first time buyer, however, you probably have millions of questions about the process. As a former Realtor, I helped many first time buyers get into their first home and there are a few things that every first time buyer should know.
First off. Never buy the house through the listing agent. The listing agent has a fiduciary responsibility to the seller. That means that it is absolutely their job to get the best terms and conditions for the seller. While buying through the listing agent can work out, the truth is that as a buyer you have the right to your own representation. If you find a Realtor to work with you as a ?buyer?s agent? they will have a fiduciary responsibility to you. That means it is their job to get ?you? the buyer, the best terms and conditions.
And the best part about that is, that the commission is paid from the proceeds of the sale of the house. So you don?t have to pay your Realtor, who is working for you to get the best deal. The seller still pays the commission. (Actually the seller pays their agent, who in turn shares with your agent?but that is just details.)
Next up. Go to the Mortgage Company first. Apply for your loan, get pre-approved, find out exactly how much money you will need up front and exactly how the whole mortgage loan process works before you go out hunting for a house. There is nothing more discouraging for any buyer than to find the house of their dreams but not be able to get it because they didn?t have the financing in order. If you are serious about buying and you can?t pay cash (most people can?t) then applying for the mortgage is crucial. Do it first. Do not hesitate. If you have credit issues, they will stop you from qualifying for a mortgage, so fix them before you find your dream house.
When you write the contract, get your contingencies in order. Get an inspection done on the property. You will have deadlines so make sure everything is completed in a timely manner. If there are problems with the home, make sure they are repaired or fixed or that you can get out of the contract and get your earnest money back. Make sure that there is also a financing contingency. And make sure anything else that needs to be addressed is addressed. This is the time when you want a good Realtor on your side. If you have a question or concern about anything, talk to your Realtor. They should be able to give you a satisfactory answer that makes you feel comfortable with your decision.
Buying your first home is a huge decision. Make sure that you have the answers you need and you feel comfortable with what you are doing.