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Coeur d’Alene Realtor Home Buyer Guide- 5 Musts for First-Time Home Buyers (and Everyone Else)

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Coeur d’Alene Realtor Home Buyer Guide.

photo linked to home buyers section of the Bennett Realty Group webite for coeur d'alene idaho real estate first time home buyers blog

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.


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:

  1. Have you worked with a lot of 1st timer home buyers? (or corporate relocation, vacation home buyers, investors, etc.?)
  2. Are you available evenings and weekends?
  3. 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).
  4. Are you licensed in the area we are looking? (if interested in North Idaho for example.)
  5. 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?


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.


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 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.


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.


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!

Call The Bennett Realty Group Today for any additional questions you may have or request one of our FREE Coeur d’Alene Relocation Guides or to a FREE analysis to find out what your home is worth.
We want to be your Coeur d’Alene Realtor and look forward to hearing from you, and you are always welcome to Search ALL Current Area Listings on our website
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About The Author
Carol (Petersen) Bennett

Prior to moving to North Idaho I was licensed Realtor in Montana for more than 5 years, first in Billings and later in Missoula. We left Montana in 1998 and relocated to the Mid-west for Kevin's work, living in Eau Claire, Wisconsin then Rochester, Minnesota. Our two children were born in the Mid-West and when our first was to start school we knew we wanted to move back home to the mountains. We researched a lot of areas and Coeur d'Alene was an easy choice. We made the move in 2005 and couldn't have been more excited. In 2010 I became a licensed Realtor again and joined Kevin and his father Frank in what has now become The Bennett Realty Group. At that time the markets began to improve, the work load increased, and Frank started to dream about retirement. I have enjoyed being a part of the creation and growth of The Bennett Realty Group. We have a reputation of narrowing our focus to the needs of our clients' and an ability to apply state of the art tools to simplify what can be a daunting process. We have earned a good reputations and many friends along the way whose loyalty and trust have continued to place us among the top Realtors in the Coeur d'Alene market place. I love working with both Buyers and Sellers but have a particular fondness for first time home buyers and people who are considering relocating or retiring to North Idaho. The pride that they achieve when they've accomplished this major life goal fuels my passion for Real Estate. Put me to work, for all of your Real Estate needs