6 keys to happy home-buying
A friend was buying a house. The closing date was a few weeks away. His parents were visiting from out of state, and he wanted them to see the inside of the house. His real estate agent called the seller on Thanksgiving morning to ask permission. The seller was so annoyed to be called on a holiday that she threatened to cancel the sale.
My buddy wanted to placate the seller. "I'm a personable guy," he told his agent. "I can clear this up." He asked for the seller's unlisted phone number.
The agent convinced him (correctly) that this was a bad idea. The seller calmed down and the mini-crisis withered away.
The moral of this story is that you should trust the judgment of a competent real-estate agent. My friend's agent goofed by calling on Thanksgiving, but otherwise she was capable. She displayed good judgment when she refused to give out the seller's phone number, averting a possible personality clash that could have scuttled the sale.
There are other do's and don'ts for getting a mortgage and for buying and selling a house. Here are a few of them, expressed as New Year's resolutions for 2003:
When buying a house, I will watch what
I say to "my" real estate agent.
Without a buyer agency agreement, the agent you deal with ultimately works on the seller's behalf. If you say something like, "We would be willing to pay $260,000, but we'll offer $240,000," a seller's agent is obligated to pass along that information.
I will check my credit report before getting
Credit reporting errors take many forms: Your report might say that you have declared bankruptcy, when in fact someone else with the same name filed for bankruptcy. It might list closed accounts as open. It might omit a credit card account that you have been paying on time. It might say falsely you're late in your payments.
Derogatory, but wrong, information on your credit report can cost time and money when you're getting a mortgage. If you find out about it too late, you might have to delay the closing while the errors are fixed. Or you might end up paying a higher interest rate than you deserve.
will count the cost of taxes, insurance, repairs and maintenance into the home-buying
will save for repairs and maintenance.
Article continued at http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mortgages/20021226a.asp?page=default
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