5 Real Estate Rules You Shouldn’t Break

1. Don’t Make an Offer Without Pre-Approval
Getting pre-approved means a lender has vetted your credit and financials and is so far willing to continue the mortgage dance. Pre-approval letters detail your purchasing power and provide sellers and real estate agents a degree of confidence they won’t get anywhere else.

2. Use a Real Estate Agent
For many consumers, buying a home is the single biggest purchase they’ll ever make. It’s something you’ll do maybe a handful of times. It can pay to have an expert in your corner. Real estate agents show homes, negotiate contracts and close deals every month. They can help identify red flags and potential problems, all the while working to best match up properties to your unique needs.
The Internet has certainly helped demystify and democratize the homebuying process. But consumers may still want an industry professional on their side. Nearly 90% of homebuyers use a real estate agent.

3. Put Down Earnest Money
It’s customary, if not legally required, to provide a deposit when you make an offer on a home. Known as earnest money, this deposit is typically 1- 3 % of the purchase price, although the amount can vary by location and other factors.
Consult with your real estate agent regarding the right amount. Earnest money follows in line with loan preapproval – it’s another way to show a seller you’re a serious, legitimate homebuyer.
Be sure to includes contingencies in the contract that allow you to recoup the deposit in case the deal falls apart. Common reasons include a bad appraisal or your inability to sell your current home.

4. Sell Yourself
If you really want a property in a competitive environment or you need some special conditions, the personal touch still works. Sellers don’t always just want to get the most proceeds out of their house. Certain types of sellers want to know this is going to a good family.

5. Tour Homes in Person
Mobile video technologies are ushering in a new era for home tours. Cool tech and new apps can be a huge help for consumers moving to new states. These tools will continue to supplement the shopping experience. But nothing quite compares to the in-person experience.
People will use them to enhance what they’re already doing.“There’s never going to be anything that will completely replace the touch and feel of going to a house.