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A Seattle Home Buyer's Checklist

June 17, 2019

Buying a new home in the Seattle area can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming. From securing a reasonable interest rate to navigating a highly competitive seller’s market, there are many little things that will require your attention as you move forward.

When it comes to maintaining your sanity and securing the home of your dreams, a little pre-planning goes a long way. I’ve come up with my top five list of the things that all home buyers should do before they start their search for a new home:

Check Your Credit

One of the most important and sometimes overlooked aspects of buying a new home in Seattle is your credit score. Generally speaking, if your credit score is below “800,” you will pay more money in interest for every point thereafter. The difference between a 3.9% interest rate and 4.9% interest rate is a little over $30,0000 on a $150,000 loan for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.

That’s a lot of money that could be better spent elsewhere instead of giving it to the bank. If your credit isn’t all that great, there are many paid credit fixing services out there that can help increase your rating.

In fact, your mortgage broker may have a few hot tips that can quickly raise your score, such as going to a bank and getting a secured credit card and making regular payments on it for 12 months. You can also pay off some debt, which will quickly cause your credit score to rise.

Get Your Financing Ducks in a Row

Seattle is currently considered a seller’s market. This means that homes for sale don’t stay on the market for very long. Sellers have the luxury of being picky when it comes time to choosing the right offer.

Many of them will feel much more confident in your bid if you are pre-approved for a loan and have all of the financing taken care of before you make an offer.

However, if you don’t get pre-approved for a loan and all you have is a letter from the lender that states they think you are qualified, this doesn’t do much in terms of reassuring the seller that you can afford to buy the house.

Find a Qualified Realtor

Having an experienced realtor on your side can make your life a lot easier when it comes time to buying a new home. Their job is to help find you the right house at the right price and work hard to ensure that the sale goes through smoothly.

As a Managing Broker and Master Certified Negotiation Expert (MCNE), I have the experience and ability to help you navigate through the sometimes-complex process of finding and buying the home of your dreams. I’m also an expert in the Seattle area and am here to help you every step of the way.

Be Ready to Make an Offer

The Seattle real estate market is currently considered a seller’s market. Many buyers are coming in with all-cash offers, and houses are usually sold within a few days or a few weeks. This is why you should be immediately prepared to make an offer when the right home comes along.

In many cases, the owner will accept multiple offers, and you might find yourself in a bidding war. If this happens, be prepared to act fast as this game of back-and-forth usually doesn’t go on for very long. At some point, one of the buyers will back out, and the house will sell.

Review the Comps

“Comps” in realtor-speak are real estate comparable listings. They’re records of recently sold homes in any given geographical area. While your realtor will perform a comp review automatically, you can still perform research on your end to locate neighborhoods that you think you might be able to afford. This will help both you and your realtor narrow down potential areas in your search.

The best way to review comps is to write down the exact kind of house you’re looking for:

•    How many bedrooms.

•    How many square feet.

•    How many bathrooms.

•    Amenities such as pools/etc.

•    Neighborhood amenities.

Check out such real estate websites as Redfin or Zillow and look at what various homes in certain areas recently sold for using their search filters. You’ll begin to get a better idea of not only the current real estate market, but what you can expect to pay for a house in any given neighborhood.


Buying a Home in Seattle

When it comes time to buy a home in the Seattle area, you need an experienced realtor on your side. As a Seattle realtor, I am an expert on both the Seattle area and real estate market. Give me a call at (206) 953-8311 or email me to learn more about how I can help you find the home of your dreams!

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Scott is more than just a realtor: in the short time that I have known him he has become a trusted advisor and friend.  I first had the pleasure of working with Scott when I decided to sell my property on the East side.  He went well beyond what I came to expect from other brokers and helped me in every aspect of getting my house ready for sale.  He also gathered the most up-to-date market intelligence so that we could set the right offering price.  Once the sale was done, Scott gave me the education I needed to purchase my new home in Seattle with confidence.  Throughout the process he provided personalized service and had a team of specialists on standby to assist in every aspect of the transaction.  If you’ve spent any time looking at real estate in Seattle recently, you know that every advantage counts.  In today’s competitive market, you need a person like Scott on your side. ~ Mark M.

Buying or selling your perfect Seattle home?

shaveson@windermere.com • (206) 953-8311
214 W McGraw St. Seattle, WA 98119