First Time Buyer – Selecting The Right Agent

It seems that home owners are quite a bit more selective when picking an agent than home buyers are. Which is odd to me, as a prospective home buyer I would want to ensure that I have the best representation. It is the biggest purchase most people will ever make and you should feel confident that you can trust your advisor (realtor).

This article should help you make an informed decision on who to pick to help you when you’re ready to buy. Interview multiple agents, this will help you get an idea of what of what an agent that knows what they’re talking about sounds like verse one that doesn’t. A good way to interview agents without them knowing is to take a weekend or two and go to open houses in the area you are thinking of buying. Just go in and talk to the realtor, see how engaging they are, do they seem happy to talk to you? Are they positive and motivated? Are they interested in getting to know about you and your goals? Ask them questions about the house, the area, and the general market. You’ll be able to tell which ones know what they’re talking about, they will make you feel confident in their abilities to represent you.

Once you find a couple of agents that you are interested in working with make appointments with them to sit down and talk about your goals. Tell them what you want and why, good agents will probably ask you these questions naturally. See how they advise you, are they giving you knowledge that will help you make more informed decisions or are they trying to push you into something and leaving you in the dark as to why.

You should feel confident in the agents ability to help you with the necessary paperwork, which there is a lot of! They should also be a skilled negotiator, their purpose is to help get your offer accepted and as close to the terms you want.

Another thing to remember is just like most successful agents pick and choose what clients they work with, you have the same power you don’t have to work with any particular realtor. If you feel they are not doing their job or are not keeping you informed you can decide to work with someone else. You’ll come across agents that will want you to sign a buyer-broker agreement, which is totally fine, agents use them to keep clients from using them for all the leg work and then switching to an agent at the last minute to write the offer because that agent will give them a rebate of part of their commission. A lot of the really good agents don’t tend to use them, they are good enough at proving their value to their clients and picking their clients that they don’t tend to have that problem as often.

I hope you found this information helpful and I would love to represent you if you’re planning on buying a home in the south bay. Feel free to contact me with any questions at bpickens@bradpickensrealty.com or by phone/text 408.718.9319 you can visit my personal website at bradpickensrealty.com

First Time Buyer – The Mortgage Loan

So since this is a new blog I figured it would be good to provide some helpful information to first time home buyers. I think I’ll break this topic into sections so I can go more in depth in each. Also I don’t think I’m the best at writing but the information should still be helpful.

As a first time home buyer you probably have a lot of questions, like how much can we afford? Is buying a home the right choice for me? Should we buy now or should we wait? Does it matter what agent we work with? Should we go straight to the listing agent? I think the best way to tackle all of these is a step by step guide.

So in the quest to obtain a loan for a house there are two terms which often get confused. Pre-qualified and pre-approved, the first is a quick estimation of your buying power and does not always mean you can get a loan for that amount. Pre-approval on the other hand is much more in depth and usually requires a fee to be paid and the lender takes a harder look at your finances and credit worthiness. In today’s market you should be pre-approved before you go looking for houses that way when you find the one that suits your needs you can make an offer more quickly.

So first thing you should do is get pre-qualified for a loan. This will help you find out exactly how much you can afford and better helps you determine what you would be comfortable paying monthly. There is a couple of things to consider here which I think the general home buying crowd doesn’t consider.

Just because you are qualified for a certain amount of money doesn’t mean you should buy something that costs what you’re qualified for. When a lender qualifies you they are basically telling you the biggest amount loan you can afford. You have to remember that lenders are in the business to make money and the bigger the loan the more money they make. That doesn’t mean they are necessarily going to prequalify you for more than you can pay but they will loan you an amount that will keep you on a tight budget.

My suggestion is to sit down with a financial planner and figure out what you can afford based on your budget. You always want some breathing room for unexpected expenses its never a good feeling to be on the verge of using credit cards for living expenses.

The next thing to remember when getting prequalified is to shop around. Different lenders have different rates and loans. If you already have a realtor you’re working with they will surely have some recommendations for good lenders too. I know its boring and tedious to sit down with loan officers and tell them all about yourself when you want to be out looking at houses. But trust me it will be well worth your time and money to do this, it will help you find the best rates and determine the right kind of mortgage for you. It will also increase your knowledge and confidence making the decision to sit down and write an offer with your agent easier when the time comes.

Once you find the lender you want to work with you’ll want to sit down with them and fill out the application and get pre-approved. With your pre-approval in hand you become a serious buyer when shopping for a house and your offer will be more strongly considered by a seller against someone who is just pre-qualified.

I hope you found this information useful, if you have any questions or are looking to buy or sell in the south bay don’t hesitate to give me a call or text at 408.718.9319 or shoot me an email at bpickens@bradpickensrealty.com you can also visit my personal website for more information about what I can do for you at bradpickensrealty.com

About The Author

Hey there I figured the first post on this blog should be about the author and what the blog is about. My name is Brad Pickens and I’m a real estate agent with Intero Real Estate Services in Cupertino. I was born and raised in San Jose and ended up moving to Sunnyvale for work back in 2010. I always new I wanted to do more than work a 9 to 5 my whole life and it wasn’t until 2015 that I decided to venture into real estate sales. I had a couple of reasons to get my license, first and most importantly, I really enjoy helping people specifically helping people achieve their goals in real estate since owning a home has always been a dream of mine. Secondly and not nearly as important, I wanted to wear a suit everyday haha I know it sounds really weird but its always been something I wanted to do.

I write these blog posts to help people educate themselves on the home buying and selling process and current market conditions. I hope you find the information contained in this blog helpful and informative.