Looking to buy a home? Here are some essential tips for making the process as smooth as possible.

Get Your Finances in Order

Start getting a full picture of your financial standing by obtaining a copy of your credit report. Make sure the facts are correct, and fix any problems you find. In order to get you the best terms and rate for your mortgage, consistently pay your bills on time and keep your credit clean. Next, find a suitable lender and get pre-approved for a loan. Lenders prefer that you be at the same job for the last 2 years, but it’s not completely necessary. This will put you in a better position to make a serious offer when you do find the right house. The current Nashville market finds most sellers requiring proof of funding to accompany any offer, so having it all ready before you ever step inside a property can make or break your ability to buy a home you love. Documentation needed and more details are outlined HERE.

Hire a Professional

While the Internet gives buyers unprecedented access to home listings and resources, many aspects of the buying process require a level of expertise you can’t pick up from surfing the web. Zillow and Trulia can’t tell you if the house smells like cat urine! That’s why you’re better off using a professional agent than going it alone. If possible, recruit an exclusive buyer agent, who will have your interests at heart and can help you with strategies during the bidding process. I ask all my Buyers to fill out my buyer’s survey to get us on the same page as quickly as possible, so I don’t waste a client’s valuable time.

Tighten Up Social Media

Change privacy settings on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and LinkedIn to the highest security settings possible, while still allowing people to Friend you. Use discretion when posting and do not share anything about your home search as it can be used against us during negotiations.

Avoid Big Expenditures

Buying or leasing a car would seem an obvious hit on your credit report, but did you know that paying off a student loan can have the same effect? Anything that requires a credit check or a significant hit to your savings will raise red flags with lenders.

Choose Accurate Apps/Websites

With so many to choose from, it can be hard to navigate the online market. We recommend using Realtracs for the most accurate listings in real-time , which is the public interface of the MLS system all licensed agents/brokers use. The mobile version of Realtracs allows you to see homes for sale near your geographic location, and allows you to see which properties are already under contract, which is very helpful in assessing options in the market.

Check out the page Did You Know? for more tips on common misconceptions about the buying process.

For questions on how Buyer’s agents are compensated, you can read NAR’s synopsis here.

Use these tips to help you be organized and prepared to find your perfect home!