A Checklist for First-Time Buyers


The real estate sales process can be a tedious and challenging process for first-time buyers. With this in mind, the following is a checklist recommended by agents, which may serve as a guide during the process.

Talk to a Real Estate Professional

Perhaps the most important step to buying a home is figuring out if you’re truly ready, according to the National Association of Realtors. While few would try to enter the process without a good credit score and the ability to make a down payment potentially in the tens of thousands of dollars, an experienced agent will let them know everything they may need to start the real estate sales process.

Get Your Finances in Order

In addition to having the money for a sizable down payment – even the most flexible lenders will typically require 3 percent of the purchase price – hopeful shoppers have to make sure their debt-to-income ratio is low enough to qualify, and that they’ve put several months of work into improving their credit scores. That means paying down debts, keeping up with payments, and avoiding taking out new lines of credit in the months leading up to the sales season.

Do the Math

One of the most important things for homeowners to keep in mind is how much home they can afford, according to HGTV. It’s not just the size of the mortgage that needs to be taken into consideration. There’s also mortgage insurance (for those making a down payment of less than 20 percent), homeowners insurance, potentially higher monthly bills for things like heating or electricity and so on.

Crunching the numbers will help would-be buyers get a better idea of just how big of a mortgage payment they will be able to afford each month.

Shop Around for a Mortgage

Once potential buyers have determined that they have a good enough credit score, they should take a month to apply for a mortgage with a few lenders in their area. Doing so will help them find the best possible deal, which is always preferable to just accepting the first offer they find.

Get Pre-Approval

Once a reasonable mortgage amount confirmed, and have the best possible credit in place, buyers should get pre-approved on a mortgage. Doing so will let them know exactly how much they can bid on a home, expediting the sales process considerably if that bid is accepted.

Start Looking in Your Price Range

Once again with the help of an experienced agent, shoppers can start looking around in their preferred markets for homes that seem to have all the features they want at the right price. While few people are going to be able to get the home of their dreams without encountering a single hurdle, leaning on real estate pros for counsel and assistance in getting through a sale as quickly, easily and happily as possible is a must.

Even starting the home search online can be a great way to lay the groundwork for a successful process overall.

Brought to you by HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click: www.hmsnational.com

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