First-Time Owners

Educate Yourself. Real estate is a very complicated and lengthy process, so it is easy to let things that you don’t understand slide by. However, a home is a large purchase so it is important to do some research before finding your home. Although your agent will be able to walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have, you should also do some research on your own.

Go to the Library. There are a lot of books out there specifically aimed at first time home owners. Get a few books from the library or a bookstore. As you read through, you will find a lot of things that never occurred to you- mark those items down and ask your agent about them. It is important to recognize that all states are different, which can be reflected in the literature. For example, in Massachusetts, as soon as the purchase contract is complete, a lawyer takes over the transaction. However, in California, your agent takes the transaction from the first stage to the close of escrow. There are also important differences in state taxes and laws.

Go Over the Contracts. Ask your agent for a copy of the purchase agreement long before you make an offer. When you begin to look for a home, you want to be as familiar with the terms and definitions used in real estate and specifically in the contract. You should read every line on the purchase agreement so that you understand the verbiage. As terms come up that you don’t understand, ask your agent for the definition. Your goal should be to learn as much as you can.

Real estate is a complicated field because there are so many different facets involved. There is the jargon used by agents, the contracts that you sign, the different parties involved in the transaction, legal issues, laws and taxes affecting each home, and there is the home itself. Each part comes with questions and it is important to educate yourself about every aspect. If you have any questions along the way do not hesitate to ask Lu for clarification.