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Secrets To Buying A Home
By Cecilia Sherrard

If you're considering purchasing a new home now or later, there are a few things you must know in order to be successful. Today's market is different. If you've purchased real estate years ago or were previously involved in the search process but didn't complete it, make sure you're aware of the changes and make the right decisions.

There are secrets that experienced home buyers, investors and real estate experts know and utilize. I talk openly with my clients and do the same here. Let's get to it...

Don't work with pushy loan officers that want to direct you to a risky loan. Adjustable rate mortgages aren't meant for most people and they can be and are responsible for many of the recent foreclosures.

Shop around! Try to cash in on the FHA and rehab loan benefits as they're some of the best loan products on the market now. Some people fear a credit ding when lenders check their credit score. You get a one time ding no matter how many inquiries. The ding is only a few points. The credit bureaus allow smart consumers 2-3 weeks in which to get as many quotes as you can for the price of one ding.

Talk with banks and brokers. Banks often have one product, theirs. Banks sell their product retail. They may be cheaper in fees while a mortgage broker may be more expensive. A mortgage broker can also shop around to many wholesale banks for you. They can often beat your bank's quote due to shopping on that bank's wholesale division. This could save you much more over the years by having a lower mortgage payment.

It's not yours. Don't fall in love with a home's decor. The seller's furniture and way of life doesn't come with the house. Don't act excited while viewing the home or talk with the sellers openly. If they're around, fall mute. Also be prepared to see paint colors and decor you don't like. Many gems and deals are hidden behind clutter, awful decorating, or family chaos. Train yourself to look at the bones, not the clothes...

Avoid the myths that you can low-ball and wait to make an offer because that home or another like it will be always be around. Yes, it's a buyer's market but remember: If you like it, someone else probably does too. Look at all your options on the market but do it swiftly. Many times the first home you see and like is gone by the time you get back to it. It's hard to replace it once you've found it. Good deals go to those who don't wait.

Get it in order before shopping for a home. Get a solid pre-approval, proof of funds, earnest money ready to go and a home inspector picked out so you're ready to go if you find something.

Pick your battles. Make all the other terms of the offer as fair as possible, (closing dates, inspection times, etc) Give to the seller's side if you're planning to negotiate on the price. Make sure to point out the flaws of the home and explain why you're offering what you are. Include a cover letter with your offer. Describe your reasons for purchasing and your reasons for not offering full price. Try to be somewhat emotional yet strong with your points and words.

Put a time limit on the offer. If you feel the home may be a good deal and others will agree, don't let your offer linger in the seller's hands. Make them answer you so you can move on to the next step right away. You don't want anyone else sneaking in on your dream home with another offer.

Yes, I'm a Realtor... but work with a Realtor! Not all are created equal I'll admit, and not all are experienced. That goes with any profession. Do a little digging and find one that YOU mesh with well. Gut feelings and instinct should never be overlooked. A good real estate agent will be your advocate and complete source of support and knowledge throughout the process. Buyer agents are free to use and work on your side not the seller's. A good Realtor will save you headache, time, money and stress.

Cecilia Sherrard is a full time dedicated Realtor in Cleveland Ohio. Owner and operator of the largest real estate agent website in Ohio, Her team of agents are capable of assisting buyers and sellers with relocation and all their real estate needs. Cleveland Real Estate You can also visit her Ohio Real Estate Blog

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