All Buyers including First-time Buyers
Here are some tips for all buyers to do, First Check your credit score or if you already have a lender let them check it for you so you will know if you are ready to start shopping for properties.
If you are not already working with a lender then you need to call a few to see which one can get you the best interest rate on a loan. Make sure to tell them you are a first time home buyer (if you have not bought in the last 5 years you may qualify for this always ask) and see what type of a loan you qualify for. If you are a veteran make sure to ask about VA loans but do not limit yourself to just a VA loan make sure to compare it to other loans because it may not be your best option.
No Down Payment Money
If you buy a house in rural areas such as Loris, Longs, Conway, Aynor, Nichols, and part of Little River see if you qualify for a USDA Loan because it is 100% financing and no Down payment, If not ask about an FHA and a Conventional Loans with low down payments, Also ask if you will be able to add the closing cost to the loan and how much is allowed, Always have them explain the Closing Cost and Down Payment to you for each type of loan. They may not be able to tell you everything until you pick a property to purchase and then let them pull your credit.
Tell lenders you will be working with me as your realtor if you plan to and then they can keep me in the loop during the buying process. They will not share any of your financial information with me because I do not need it. If you do not use me as your agent just remember do not give any real estate agent your SS# or Financial information up front they do not need to know anything other than if you are working with a lender and if you have been pre-approved.
All a real estate agent needs are your current address and full legal name or names that are going to be on the loan because they have to be on the contract/offer and whoever name that will be on the deed.
Are you a Cash Buyer
Anyone thinking about purchasing with cash should talk to their accountant or CPA/Tax-preparer to make sure cash is your best options for tax purposes. Realtors do not and should not give any tax advice unless they are also licensed to do so. When purchasing with cash you can put whoever name you want on the contract/offer and deed.
Now with that being said if your agent has made an offer on a property and it has been accepted your agent may ask for your SS # and more information if they are doing it for the attorney's information sheet that would be the only time they need it. I prefer letting the attorney contact you for that information. In the state of SC, it is required that an attorney does the closing.
Now an agent will need to know who your lender is and will need a copy of your pre-approval letter when making an offer on any property and most transactions will require earnest money when making an offer on a property. That will go towards the purchase price of the property at closing. I will walk you through the whole process step by step when you are ready to purchase a property right up to the closing table.
Be Aware of This
Beware of the large real estate companies and franchises where the agent's only job is to get your name on a contract! Then they turn you over to someone else, these companies may have you working with serval other people called Closing Coordinator's they may call them specialized closers. That's a big name for a lower paid person behind the scenes handling the largest investment of your life! Instead of the agent you came to know and trust to assist you with purchasing your property or hired to sell your property. It's nothing more than a salesperson getting names on the dotted line and moving on, it's all about the numbers to the large companies and franchises, some of them even have a class for that. When you are ready to start looking at properties make sure to ask an agent if you will be able to contact them directly anytime during the closing contract process or will you be working solely with a closing coordinator's because they will not tell you this up front. Then you can make a discussion do you want one on one personal service from start to finish or do you mind a lower paid person behind the scenes handling the largest investment of your life!
Let me know if you have any question.