How to Find the Right Real Estate Agent that Fits Your Needs

Are you thinking about selling your Seattle house with the help of an agent? There are so many agents out there that it’s hard to know which one’s the right one. That’s why I’m sharing this blog post about how to find the right real estate agent that fits your needs in Seattle.

Selling your house can seem like a daunting task, which is why many people turn to a real estate agent to help them. After all, a real estate agent’s job is to work on your behalf to help you sell your house! But there are so many agents out there and they all claim to be the very best! How can you decide which is the right agent for you?

Here’s our recommendation about how to find the right real estate agent that fits your needs in Seattle.

Ask Around

Ask around to your friends, family, and other trusted people to find out which agents are worth working with. Some people will tell you not to work with one agent, while others will have great things to say about another agent. Make a short list of agents.

Look Up The Agents

Go online and look up the real estate agents. Do they have a website? Do they have a Facebook page? Search their name in Google.

Check Out Their Credentials

Look at their website and Facebook pages. What does each say about them? What kind of ratings do they have? What testimonials are there? What awards have they won? How many transactions have they completed?

Review And Narrow

Review your findings and narrow down these agents to just a couple who look like they will be able to help you the best.

Book An Appointment

Call your shortlist of agents to book an appointment and ask how they’d help you sell your house.

Make A Choice

Finally, choose the agent who will help you the most based on all of this information… and then you can start the process of selling your house!

Note: this is a great way to find an agent but it can also take some time. You can always ask us for an agent referral to sidestep all of these steps; or, if you’d like to sell your house faster, why not give me a call at 425-324-7358 and we’ll see if I can buy your house from you.

Summary

If selling seems like more trouble than you want to deal with yourself, an agent is there to help. But finding the right agent might also seem overwhelming. That’s why you should read this blog post again if you’re wondering how to find the right real estate agent that fits your needs.


5 Tips for First Time Buyers in Seattle!

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Buying a home for the very first time can be exciting and exhilarating as well as stressful and nerve-wracking. It’s the fulfillment of a long-held dream for many people, but because it’s their first time, they also don’t know exactly what to expect. But being forearmed with a little knowledge can make the whole process much easier to navigate – and maybe even save you some money as well. So here are our 5 tips for first time buyers in Seattle.

1. Be Clear on Goals

The very first step you should take toward buying your first home is that of getting clear about your home-ownership goals. And this may be the most important of the 5 tips for first-time buyers in Seattle so that you aren’t disappointed on down the line and locked into paying for a house (for many years) that you really aren’t happy with.

The first and immediate goal for many is just to stop wasting money on rent and to start building equity. But what are your goals beyond that? Will you live in the house for many years, or is it just a stepping stone to the next bigger and better home? You should determine, before you ever begin house hunting, what type of home best meets your needs and what features you want in that home.

2. Find Out How Much Mortgage You Can Qualify For

One thing you absolutely must do early on in your home-buying efforts is to find out how much mortgage you can qualify for. If you start out armed with this knowledge, you won’t waste time looking at houses out of your reach. You will also avoid that very embarrassing situation of making an offer only to find out you can’t get enough financing to actually buy the home.

3. Determine What You Can Actually Afford

Of these 5 tips for first-time buyers in Seattle, this one definitely should not be overlooked. While it seems obvious, enthusiasm and excitement can often make us miss it.

Your bank may be willing to loan you $200,000 to buy a home, but in reality, you may be able to afford only a $100,000 home. For there are many other factors besides the mortgage loan amount that affects what you can actually afford. You also have to consider all your other debts and monthly payments such credit cards, car payments, health insurance, and student loans. And then there are property taxes, homeowner’s insurance, and closing costs.

4. Get Ready for the Offer-and-Negotiations Process

We’d be remiss in our 5 tips for first-time buyers in Seattle if we didn’t alert you to the (sometimes pretty drawn-out) negotiating process that usually accompanies an offer. You don’t want to make an offer and let it go at that – you need to try to get all you can for your home-buying dollar. So be ready to try to get the seller to pay for at least part of the closing costs and to knock some off the sale price for whatever repairs need to be made.

5. Be Prepared for Inspection Issues

Then there’s the inspection, which many times turns up problems that you (and even the seller) weren’t aware of. If the inspection turns up serious problems the seller wasn’t aware of or didn’t disclose and if you can’t come to an agreement on a way to rectify those problems, you may have to rescind your offer. Generally, though, you can get the seller to make the needed repairs or updates or negotiate a reduced sale price. Just be aware that these issues sometimes do arise late in the game.

Buying a home for the first time, then, doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it seems at first glance. Keep in mind, though, that these 5 tips for first-time buyers in Seattle are just a starting point.There’s quite a bit more to know and do – and that’s where a qualified real estate professional can be a big help.


First Time Buyer Programs in Washington. What You Should Know!

It’s still the American dream for a whole lot of people . . . owning your own home. The problem for many of us, though, is that we just can’t come up with that big chunk of cash it takes in the beginning. Traditional mortgages require a pretty hefty down payment and have some fairly stringent qualifying criteria. But there are other ways to achieve homeownership, including these 5 first time buyer programs in Washington.

1. USDA Loan

Most people aren’t aware that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has a home-buyer assistance program as one of the viable first-time buyer programs in Washington. Although this program’s emphasis is on homes in specific rural areas, you don’t have to be a farmer or rancher to be eligible.

The USDA guarantees the loan, so if you qualify, you may not need a down payment, and payments will be fixed. You may have to mee certain credit-score requirements, and there are certain income limitations.

2. FHA Loan

With this kind of loan, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures the mortgage, which provides protection for the lender. And that, in turn, makes it easier for you to get a smaller down payment, better interest rates, and lower closing costs than you would with a traditional mortgage.

With a credit score of at least 580, you may be eligible for a loan that requires a down payment of only 3.5% of sale price. Even if your credit score is lower than 580, you can still qualify for an FHA loan, but with a slightly higher down payment.

3. Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are government-sponsored entities with the purpose of collaborating with local lenders to help low-  and moderate-income families obtain mortgage loans. With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backing, lenders are able to offer loans requiring low down payments (as low as 3%) and competitive interest rates.

4. National Homebuyers Fund

This is another of the relatively little known first-time buyer programs in Washington and is one that offers down payment assistance. The National Homebuyers Fund (NHF) offers help with down payments in the form of a non-repayable grant up to 5% of the amount of the loan. The key word here is non-repayable – if you qualify, you don’t have to pay back anything on the grant you received for the down payment.

The NHF’s two down payment assistance options are both designed to help low- and moderate-income home buyers. The NHF Sapphire program is available in many states and has a low credit score requirement. The Platinum program, offered only in California, has a credit score threshold of 640.

5. VA Loan

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) offers home buying assistance to active-duty military, veterans, and surviving spouses of veterans. f you’re a veteran, then, you’ll certainly want to check into this opportunity regarding first-time buyer programs in Washington.

With this program, the VA guarantees a portion of the mortgage loan so that lenders can offer you several advantages. These include loans requiring no down payment and with lower interest rates. In addition, there is no minimum credit score requirement, and you don’t have to pay for private mortgage insurance.

So don’t give up on the dream just yet. You most likely can own your own home if you look into these first-time buyer programs in Washington. And keep in mind that there are alternative routes to home ownership. And that’s where we can help. If you’d like to discover more about how we can help you own your own home, call us today at 425-324-7358 or contact us.