Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

 

If you are in the market to purchase a home, a real estate agent can be one of your most valuable assets. From the beginnings of the search for your home through the end of your closing, you and your agent will be communicating with each other very frequently. It’s important, then, to find the agent who is the best match for you and your needs.

Tips for Choosing the Perfect Real Estate Agent

  • Ask friends and family about their experiences: if you have no idea how to get the ball rolling in your search for a real estate agent, start with recommendations from friends or relatives who have purchased homes recently. You’ll be able to get a feel for what they liked about their agent, along with what they didn’t like. If your friends or family members had a poor experience with a realtor, you might have the same experience too.
  • Choose an agent who has experience working with buyers: as you narrow down your search for an agent, you’ll likely find that some agents narrow their focus to either buyers or sellers of property. Make sure that you choose a realtor who has experience representing buyers—while a selling agent may be competent at their job, their experience might be more limited than an agent who works with buyers as well.
  • Find a local agent who has a firm grasp on your preferred area: an agent from a different town or other part of the state may not have as much of a grasp on the area in which you are looking to purchase as a local agent would. Look for a local agent who can give you the inside scoop on things like school ratings and morning commutes.
  • Ask how many clients the agent is currently working with: as you search for your home, there will be many instances in which you need to call your real estate agent. Make sure that your agent has time to work with you—if they have too many clients to handle, your search for a home may fall to the wayside.
  • Trust your gut: while the tips outlined above can help weed out agents that might not work best for you, it’s also important to trust your instinct. If you get the feeling that the agent is the right one for you—or just the opposite—then you’re probably right.

Purchasing a Home? We’re Here to Help

If you’ve found the perfect home in South Carolina and are ready to take the next step toward homeownership, the Boger Law Firm is standing by to assist you. With over four decades of combined experience and tens of thousands of loans closed, the Boger law firm is ready to provide you with competent representation for one of the most important investments you will make. To learn more about the closing process, or to schedule your upcoming closing, call (803) 252-2880 today.


The Do’s and Don’ts of Applying for a Mortgage

If you have decided to purchase a home and are applying for a mortgage, then there are several things that you should know about the mortgage process. In particular, there are several things that you should do—and absolutely shouldn’t do—in order to ensure that you don’t jeopardize your mortgage approval.

Mortgage Applications: Do’s and Don’ts

DO get pre-approved for a loan: A pre-approval will give you an estimate of how much your lender will loan you, and will inevitably have an impact on the price range of homes you tour.

DO try to pay off debt: if you have a high debt-to-income ratio, your credit score may suffer. Paying off or paying down the balance on credit cards, car loans, and other forms of debt can make your credit score improve significantly, which can help you get a lower interest rate on your mortgage.

DO use a reputable lender: a home is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. When choosing a lender for a mortgage, do your research; if the deal sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

DO keep good records: your lender will probably require a lot of documentation such as paystubs, tax returns and a list of your current assets and accounts. Be sure that you are prepared to give this documentation to your lender.

DO keep in communication with your lender: even if you provide your lender with all requested documentation, he or she will probably have some questions for you. Keeping an open line of communication with your loan officer will make the process move more quickly.

DON’T miss a payment on any account: a thirty-day late payment can severely affect your credit score, which can compromise your chances of being approved for a mortgage.

DON’T shop for more than you can afford: the bottom line isn’t simply the sales price of your home. You will need to take into account the costs of homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and, in some cases, private mortgage insurance. Be sure to speak with your lender about what you can and can’t afford.

DON’T open or close any credit cards: inquiries for credit card applications can negatively impact your score by several points. While this may not seem like a big deal, those several points lost from your credit score can bump you up to a higher interest rate.

DON’T make any unusual large cash deposits: a large sum of money suddenly appearing in your bank account can throw up red flags for your lender. If you absolutely have to make a large cash deposit, make sure to have a paper trail—keep a record of where the deposit came from and what it will be used for.

DON’T make any large purchases: regardless of how good the deal is at the time, a new car or furniture purchase can wait until after you have closed on your home. Large purchases can throw off your debt-to-income ratio to the point that your lender might not approve you for a loan.

DON’T quit or change jobs: a steady employment is critical to being approved for a mortgage. If you can help it, don’t switch or quit your job while you are waiting to close on your home. Your lender will require proof of income to approve you for a mortgage.

Purchasing a Home? We Can Help

If you are in the market to purchase a home, the Boger Law Firm is here to help you from contract to closing. To schedule your closing today, fill out an online contact form or call (803) 252-2880 today.


Owner’s Title Insurance: Is it Worth the Expense?

From lender processing fees and title work to escrowed items and closing costs, buying a home can be more costly than you might expect. As such, you might choose to save money by cutting any optional expenses in the home-buying process. An owner’s title insurance policy, however, is an option which should be carefully considered with any home purchase.

What is Title Insurance?

When a home or piece of property is bought, sold, or mortgaged, the transaction is filed with the Register of Deeds in the county in which the property is located. If you are purchasing a home or piece of property, a title search will be performed in order to ensure that clean title can be given to you for the property.

Although title searches are performed by experienced professionals, they are still human, and certain problems in the chain of title may be overlooked. These errors could cause a “cloud” on your title, meaning that you do not have a clean title to the property.

Should I Purchase an Owner’s Title Insurance Policy?

If you are obtaining a loan through a lender or mortgage broker, a lender’s title insurance policy will be a mandatory expense. The lender’s title insurance policy protects the lender in the event that a defect exists in the title to the property. Such a defect might put the lender’s security interest in the property at risk. This policy will remain in effect until your mortgage is fully paid or refinanced.

If you are purchasing a home or piece of property, an owner’s title insurance policy is an optional policy which you can purchase to protect your own interest in the property. While a lender’s policy protects the lender’s interest in the property, it does not protect your own interest in the property. An owner’s title insurance policy is a one-time purchase—generally just one hundred dollars depending on the price of property—and protects your interest in the property for the entirety of the time that you own your home. If a defect in title is uncovered, your title insurance company will defend your interest in your home, and the insurance company will pay for an attorney if you need one. In short, when it comes to the protection of your home, an owner’s title insurance policy is the wisest expense you could have which you hope you never have to use.

Purchasing a Home? We’re Here to Help

If you are in the process of purchasing a home in South Carolina, the Boger Law Firm is here to help you from contract to closing. Our office has forty years of experience conducting real estate closings, and has performed over 20,000 closings in that period of time. Put your real estate closing into the hands of an experienced attorney—to schedule your closing, fill out an online contact form or call (803) 252-2880 today.