A combination of warmer weather and the promise of rising interest rates will be enough to convince many potential home buyers that this spring is the time to look. If you’re one of those potential buyers, here are four unspoken rules of home buying you should know before starting your search.

1. Get pre-approved.

If there’s one decision that’s almost as important as the property you choose, it’s the lender you choose
to finance it. Some wholesale brokers can get the loan closed in 30 days or less, while others may take
longer. However, in buying a home, getting pre-approved and finding the best lender or mortgage
broker before looking at properties will ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

2. Keep an eye on your credit score and don’t make any changes to your credit situation between
getting pre-approved and closing on the loan.

Even if you have been pre-approved, the lender will check your credit situation one last time before
transferring the money for the purchase. They also have the right to rescind the pre-approval, so any
changes in your credit score or accounts could give them a reason to do it. This means that you should
avoid opening any new lines of credit or charging more debt on accounts that you already have open.

3. Hire a real estate agent.

If you are a first-time homebuyer, a real estate agent will be a valuable resource in guiding you through
the often-complicated steps for doing so. If you’ve purchased a home before, then you already
understand how important it is to have an advocate on your side who will look out for your best
interests in all of the negotiation process.

4. Put a deposit down with your offer when you’ve found the property you want.

This “earnest money” is a good-faith gesture that demonstrates your willingness to go through with the
deal, and is usually 1-3% of the value of the home.

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