1: Choose The Perfect Agent to Assist You
This is first for a reason! A selling agent will make all the difference, not just in finding the right home, but ensuring the process is smooth, quick, and clear. Make sure you find someone you like and trust, and make sure they are a lake expert. Not just any agent will do, and you can read why and how to find one in my previous blog post. Most likely you will be working with this agent on a daily basis for a while so make sure it’s a good match!
2: Specify Your Wants, Needs and Budget
Meet with your agent to discuss and narrow down location, price range, and style of property. And don’t leave out the long term details! Is this your retirement home? Something you’ll hopefully keep in your family for generations? An investment property you hope to rent out or sell later? Your agent will send you available properties online to preview so you can get a feel for what meets your criteria.
3: Contact A Mortgage Loan Officer and Get Pre-Approved for A Loan
Your Realtor can recommend a loan officer who has performed well for his or her previous clients.
4: View Properties That Meet Your Criteria
This will take some time. You’ll probably want to see enough homes to feel comfortable in your marketplace. In this step, patience is key. Your agent will find you homes that meet your criteria, but only you can truly know the RIGHT one!
5: You’ve Found The One!
If you know it’s right, be prepared to act fast. Time is of the essence in this step, and one delayed response can mean losing this property! You don’t want your dream home snatched out from under you after all that hunting.
6: Make An Offer to Purchase
Allow your agent to prepare and present your offer to the seller. Understanding how homeowners and listing agents price their home may help you come to the best offer! You can read more about how home pricing works here.
Your agent will negotiate terms. Let them give you suggestions and let them be creative! Counter-offers are common, so don’t be surprised when your initial offer isn’t agreed to immediately. Be prepared to be a little flexible on price, closing date, appliances or repairs.
8: Due Diligence
Arrange for a professional home inspection. Contact the US Army Corps of Engineers, who manage and maintain Lake Lanier, regarding dock permit, corps line and other permitted/non permitted items in question. Have the septic tank and/or dock inspected if needed. Research the area and know what’s around you (I have some great blogs about things to see and do all around Lake Lanier). Check school ratings if needed. Check sex offender list. Get quotes from contractors on any future changes you would like to make to the property. Check the water depth – I’ve also broken down the importance of understanding water depth. Walk the property and have survey done if necessary. Walk the neighborhood and meet the neighbors. Get an insurance quote. This is your best chance to carefully evaluate the property’s systems and structure. Your agent should be able to recommend inspectors and contractors who they have worked with in the past – trust their recommendations!
Work with your agent to negotiate repairs found during the inspection – they are there for you and want to make sure this home is perfect before you buy, so leave no stone unturned and nothing left unsaid!
9: Walk-through of The Home
Make sure that everything you thought was included in the purchase agreement remains on the property and all negotiated repairs have been completed. If anything seems off, unfinished, or suspicious, notify your agent and get it handled before it’s officially your problem to deal with!
10: Close on The Property
Congratulations!! Your closer, agent and loan officer will walk you through the process. Pay close attention and don’t miss a step!
11: Move In!
Don’t forget to use a checklist to plan your move so you don’t forget anything. You’re ready to start your new life in your dream home!
Finding and purchasing a new home is one of the most exciting things a person or family can go through! But the process can be tricky and costly if not well managed. That’s why it’s so important to follow the right steps and have a trusted licensed realtor show you the way! With my years of experience as a licensed realtor in lake and luxury housing, I can help you find the home that’s perfect for you and your family, whether you’re a first time buyer or a seasoned home owner. Call me today and let’s get started on the process of getting you into your dream home!