Lancaster County PA Realty Check: Six Steps for Success in Buying a Home

Six Steps for Success in Buying a Home

Six Steps for Success in Buying a Home:

Buying a home can seem like an intimidating prospect.   So much is at stake - your credit rating, your savings - it can be difficult to work up the nerve to sign a contract.  How do you determine whether or not the purchase of a home is a good investment?  Here are some steps for success in your search:

1)  Start out by establishing your needs and wants.  I recommend that you do this in writing.  Make two columns:  one for what you would ideally want, and the other for what you definitely need.

2)  Determine how much you can afford.  Your monthly housing payment should not in most cases be more than about a third of your gross monthly income.

3)  Find a good real estate agent to help you.  A good agent can help you organize your thoughts and formulate a gook plan for finding and financing just the right home for your needs.  Let them tell you how they can help you and what programs and technical tools they have at their disposal.

Be sure to ask questions and take note of whether they are really listening to you or whether they have an agenda of their own! 

Ask if they are knowlegeable about the area and price range of homes you want. 

How often will they update you with new listings? 

Can you represent me as my Buyer Agent?

Do you have references from previous satisfied clients?

By finding  a good agent from the beginning, you will save yourself a huge amount of time and effort.

4)  Get preapproved by a lender.  This will save you time and stress later, when you are ready to make an offer.  Sellers want offers by buyers who will get them to the settlement table on time and without hassle.  If they get two offers, one from a preapproved buyer and one from an unapproved buyer, which offer do you imagine they will favor?  An experienced real estate agent can make recommendation for local lenders with good reputations and track records.

Getting preapproved will give you peace of mind as well.  With that approval in your pocket, you can have confidence that if you want a particular home within your price range, you are already approved for a mortgage!

5)  Find a home that meets your needs.  Write down comments about the homes you see.  Make sure your agent is aware of your time schedule and expectations.  Your agent can give you lists of available homes, which you can take with you and check out exteriors and neighborhoods.  Let your agent know which homes are your favorite choices.  Your agent can set up showings for you to see the interiors of the ones you like best.

Tell your agent honestly what you think of each home.  This will help them in choosing future houses to tell you about.  Be honest.  The agent won't take it personally.  To do the best job, your agent must know your true feelings.

6)  Make an offer.  You should already know whom your agent is representing.  If he or she is your Buyer Agent,  your agent will help you negotiate the best possible offer.  Remember that a listing agent is representing the seller, and may not be able to advise you what is a fair offer.

If you would like no-obligation information on how an Accredited Buyers Agent can help you save money and reduce your risk, call (717) 951-5552 or email .




Brian Schulman offers expert real estate representation for buyers and sellers of homes in Lancaster County, PA.  To learn more, visit

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Comment balloon 0 commentsBrian Schulman • June 22 2007 07:12PM