There are some simple steps that homebuyers often miss when looking for a new home. Taking the time to consider these can save you thousands of dollars, time, and stress.

1. Be honest with your realtor and lender about your credit history. Your credit, whether good or bad, affects everything from your down payment to your interest rate. Your realtor or mortgage consultant can often advise you as to how you can get credit problems cleared up or completely eliminated from your credit report before you apply for financing or make an offer on a new home.

2. Get pre-approved for a loan before you begin your search for a new home. Then you will know in advance exactly how much home you can afford. This makes it possible for you to make an offer on your new home with confidence that enough funding is available.

4. Ask your realtor for a market analysis of the home and area, before you make an offer. Real estate is an investment. Research sales and community amenities.

5. Think about timing. If you already own a home and must sell it before you buy a new one, it is best to get a market analysis on your present home as well. Then you will know what to reasonably expect to receive in the sale, before you make an offer on a new one. If you are leasing or renting, your lease’s expiration date will give you a timetable for your new purchase.

6. Make your offer contingent upon a home inspection and ask the seller to make the required repairs. If the seller is unwilling, negotiate a lower price. You don’t want to purchase someone else’s deferred maintenance problems. Also, if major, your lender will require the repairs be completed pror to closing.

7. Choose your agent wisely. Working with a full-time professional real estate agent is a must. Ask questions. Find out how knowledgeable he or she is about houses currently for sale in your price range and those recently sold. Can your agent recommend a good lender who has the reputation of excellent customer service and experience? Does your agent ask you questions to understand what you are looking for?

Our Coldwell Banker agents are experienced in our local home market and the island economy. Call or stop by our office. We welcome your questions and the opportunity to be of service.