If you’ve made the decision to buy a home, you’re in for an exciting time and a life-changing event. You already know that you’ll be “put under the microscope.” Your bank account, income, taxes, credit, spending habits, and more will be closely scrutinized. Like all large purchases, the process comes with a set of written rules, and buying a home has its own set. But there is also a set of unwritten rules every prospective homeowner should follow, and breaking them could cost you the home you had your heart set on.
Brush up on your “home-buying etiquette” with the following tips.
1. Don’t call the listing agent
Consider this scenario: You find a house online and it’s perfect in every way. Your first instinct is to immediately call the listing agent. Resist the urge and stop right there. Proper homebuying etiquette dictates that you ask your own buyer’s agent to contact the listing agent. In turn, they will inform the home seller of your interest.
You may have to play a game of phone tag for a few days, but doing it this way ensures that both the seller and the buyer have a professional to look out for their own specific interests while facilitating the deal.
2. Only work with one agent at a time.
If a realtor shows you a house, are you committed to using them? The answer is yes. If you’re serious about buying a home, be prepared to sign a buyer-broker agreement that outlines the relationship between you and your agent. Your willingness to sign indicates that you’re serious.
Agents only get paid if they close a deal, not for their time. And it’s poor etiquette to call another agent if yours is on vacation or unavailable. However, if for some reason things go sour between you and your agent, you’re free to find another one.
3. Get a mortgage preapproval letter before making an offer.
To compete against other buyers, a mortgage preapproval letter is a must. It serves as proof of how much you can afford to spend on a home and guarantees that the lender will provide financing for a set amount. It is a known fact amongst agents in Estes Park that the pre-approval letter makes life easier for everyone.
4. Don’t be late or bail out of a home showing.
Call your agent if you are going to be late or have to cancel a showing. You will have a better relationship with your agent if you respect their time. Agents are very busy and may have to rearrange all their other appointments if you cancel. That might not be possible when given short notice.
5. Don’t linger too long.
A typical first showing should last no more than 30 minutes. Again, real estate agents are very busy. Time is money, and they must stick to a schedule. If you want to see the house again, schedule a second showing.