Buyer’s Resources

Are you in the market to buy a home? Home buying can be a daunting process, but with the right knowledge and preparation, it can also be an exciting and fulfilling experience. Whether you’re a first-time home buyer or a seasoned pro, it’s essential to understand the ins and outs of the home buying process, including financing options, the local real estate market, and how to navigate the negotiation and closing process. No matter what type of home you are in the market for, the realtors at Vutech | Ruff, Cutler Real Estate will work diligently to help you purchase your new home. Let’s get started!

What You Should Remember as a First-Time Homebuyer

As a first-time homebuyer,

  1. Choose One Agent to Represent You. While it might seem like bouncing from agent to agent can help you score a better deal, you want to have buyer representation to build a trusting relationship with a realtor who will put your needs first as they guide you through the home buying process – every step of the way.
  2. Buyer Representation Will Not Cost You a Thing. A common misconception is that first-time homebuyers believe they have to pay for representation. In Ohio, however, the buyers’ agent commission is paid by the seller(s). Sellers typically pay between 5-6% commission; part of the commission goes to the listing agent, and part of the commission goes to the selling/buyers’ agent. There’s no financial downside to hiring a Buyers’ real estate representative and you receive a professional, skilled negotiator who is working to fully support your interests, and your interests only.
  3. Get Prequalified. Getting prequalified by a loan office before looking at homes allows you to understand better your price range, your down payment, and your ability to upgrade once you select a home. If you are not already prequalified, your real estate agent will suggest lenders that will be well-suited to your financial needs. Some lenders also give buyers discounts or specialty rates if you purchase in an “up and coming” area and these incentives can be substantial.
  4. Get Educated. Is one area more likely to be tax abated than another? Is one area more likely to have bidding wars? While these questions are ones your agent can help you answer, having a base understanding of the current market is essential before submitting your first offer. To start your educational process, we suggest having your realtor set up a search for the areas you’re most interested in to get a feel for the market. If you can, attend open houses and drive around your favorite neighborhoods to get a better feeling for the area(s) you want to target in your search.
  5. Sales Comparables. To help guide you on market value and potential appraisal hurdles, always have your realtor prepare sales comparables (“comps”) for you before making your offer on the house of your choice.

What Does Our Buyer Resource Have to Offer?

Our Home Buying Guide will help guide you through what to expect from the home-buying process. Our team, including each of our licensed agents and full-time administrative team, is focused on each and every detail of the home buying process, from the first time you see a property to the closing table. We devote ourselves to ensuring our clients find the home of their dreams through a variety of means, including leveraging all of our team resources to locate off-market properties. Below are a few insights to get you started!

  1. Do Some Research. Set a budget based on a review of your finances to determine a down payment that you’ll be able to afford and start researching communities in and around Columbus, OH, that you’re interested in.
  2. Figure Out What Matters to You. This one is personal! Take note of home features you would like to have and those you absolutely need. When you start your search with an idea of what you’re looking for, you’ll save time by prioritizing which homes most closely align with your ideal.
  3. Use a Real Estate Professional. Real Estate Agents are here to help guide you through the financial and legal complexities of the home-buying process. Our realtors are local to the Central Ohio area, making them experts at providing market insights into neighborhoods and communities.
  4. Start the Loan Process. Typically, mortgage loans are available through credit unions, private mortgage companies, banks, and government state lenders. While you can browse for lenders, your realtor can provide valuable connections to lenders. Your Real Estate Agent can also educate you about programs that might be available to you, depending on what type of loan you are considering and/or the location in which you are looking.
  5. Bad Credit? No Downpayment? You Have Options. If you have no down payment or bad credit, you can still purchase a new home through a federal mortgage or local home buying assistance program. Home buyers are helped through the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) with insured loans. If the buyer defaults, the lender still receives the money owed to them. There are many assistance programs available to home buyers through the Department of Housing and Urban Development as well. There are a number of new home buyer resources available.
  6. Expect Some Upfront Costs. Upfront, home buyers can expect to pay earnest money, the down payment, inspection costs and closing costs. Earnest money is a “security deposit” paid to the seller when you submit your offer to prove that you’re serious about purchasing the property and can range from $1,000-$10,000 depending on the purchase price of the home. Down payments are a percentage of the cost of your home and are dependent on your loan. Home inspections in Ohio are usually a couple hundred dollars, depending on the home inspection company and/or if specialists are needed. Typically, closing costs are low for buyers; they represent the paperwork and lender fees associated with purchasing a new home.
  7. Other costs. Other expenses that you may encounter when purchasing your new home can include HOA or condo fees, utilities, and property taxes, which are usually lumped in with your mortgage payment. For additional fees related to your home, community, or neighborhood, be sure to ask your Real Estate Agent.

Still have questions? Download our Buyer Resource guide, a digital resource that provides you with a bounty of helpful home buying resources and knowledge to get you started on your home buying journey.