Coeur d’Alene Realtor Home Buyer Guide.
So you want to buy a home in North Idaho?
Here are the 5 steps you will want to take to ensure a smooth process.
HIRE A COEUR D’ALENE REALTOR
Ask family and friends who know, but especially who they’ve personally used to buy or sell a home, get at least 3 names and start interviewing. You are hiring them to work in your best interest. Make them earn the position.
Some good questions to start with:
- Have you worked with a lot of 1st timer home buyers? (or corporate relocation, vacation home buyers, investors, etc.?)
- Are you available evenings and weekends?
- Are you good at explaining the process? (better yet, ask them a technical question that you already know the answer to, and see how they respond).
- Are you licensed in the area we are looking? (if interested in North Idaho for example.)
- How long have you been selling Real Estate?
Most importantly, trust your gut. How do you feel they’ve responded? Do you want this person to know your financial information? Are they easy to talk with? Do they welcome questions or are they defensive? When you speak with them, is it clear to you that your needs come first?
FIND A LENDER
Your Coeur d’Alene Realtor can recommend someone in your market that is responsive and qualified.
Should you use your own banker? That depends. Again, interview several mortgage lenders, get breakdown of costs and fees associated with each provider, compare interest rates and programs. Pick one that is knowledgeable about special programs through Idaho Housing, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Conventional, and Veteran’s Administration (VA).
Ask how many mortgage loans they’ve closed in the past two months. The more they close, the more efficient their process.
Pick a lender with a good track record, and again, trust your gut.
GET PRE-APPROVED and have that lender give you a letter to pass on to your Realtor for when you find the perfect house. It will give you an advantage if there are competing offers and the other bidders have not yet been approved for financing.
START LOOKING FOR YOUR COEUR D’ALENE HOME
This is the fun and frustrating part. Be as clear as possible and work off a New Home Questionnaire to help organize your thoughts.
Have your Coeur d’Alene Realtor set you up on a “Portal” through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), if available. It will have the most current information. Aggregators such as Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com are fine if you are just window shopping, but they often lag the MLS and you may be falling in love with a property that has already closed escrow. This can be frustrating and may be a road block on your ability to act quickly in a competitive market.
In the Coeur d’Alene Idaho Real Estate market, if you are in the $275,000 and under price range, houses are selling within a few days, if not a few hours of hitting the market. Be ready to look the day they hit the market to look, and if it is the perfect home, make an offer.
MAKE AN OFFER
There will be some paperwork to sign. The Purchase and Sale Agreement alone is eight pages, in Idaho. You may also sign a Buyer’s Representation Agreement, an Agency Brochure, the Seller’s Property disclosure statement and other forms. “Are all of these necessary?” you may ask. If you want to buy a house, then yes, they are all necessary.
TRUST THE PROCESS
Give the lender all the information they ask for. Be patient, it’s a process of checks and balances and many, many hoops for you all (you, the Sellers, your Agent, the Seller’s agent, the lender, the title company and the house) to jump through. It’s a lot of “hurry up and wait,” and can be extremely confusing, frustrating and exhausting. Keep your eyes on the prize — it will be worth it in the end, when you are relaxing in your new home and think, “That wasn’t so bad!”