Buying a home is not something that most people do every year or even every decade, and the process has certainly changed with the advent of the internet age. Let me describe what the process is like nowadays.
Most people have a computer and an email address. A cell phone — hopefully a smart-phone — is another tool that will make your home search easier not just for the your agent, but for you, too. If you don’t have a smartphone, some companies offer short-term plans for very low fees. If you don’t have a computer or email address, you can get a free email account and receive and send emails on your temporary smartphone.
Hire a buyer’s agent. They are typically paid by the seller’s agent, not you, so it costs you nothing to have an experienced professional on your side. I’ve written before about how to select the best agent. Or just call me!
Homes can sell quickly, so it’s important to get email alerts, which your agent can set up for you. Within minutes of a new listing being entered on the MLS, you’ll receive a mobile-friendly email alert with pictures and details about any listing that matches the search criteria you’ve provided to your agent. There’s even a notes section available for your use. Make notes on those listings you find most interesting and your agent will immediately see what you’ve written. For example, if you write, “I’d like to see this at 4 pm today!” your agent can set up the showing and get you in that quickly.
If you like the home and want to submit an offer, your agent will use online software. You can print the documents for reading and for your records after signing, but you’ll be able to sign on your smartphone or computer with a few clicks, or just sign with your finger.
You will be signing paper documents at the closing, which will take 30 to 90 minutes, depending on whether you are paying cash or have mortgage financing. Your lender (or you, if paying cash) will wire the funds to the title company which conducts the closing.
Once you get used to it, you’ll find that the process is a lot easier now.
Golden Real Estate is experienced in all aspects of the buying process. Our free moving truck and packing materials are just one benefit of hiring us.