Tuesday, April 26, 2011

10 Tips to Streamline the Home Buying Process on Chicago's North Shore

Spring has officially arrived on Chicago’s North Shore and is a favorite time of year as we see the budding plants and have a fresh start after our long Chicago winter.  It’s also a great time of year for us as North Shore Real Estate agents!  The North Shore Real Estate market becomes even more vibrant with an abundance of homes budding onto the market each week and a buzz of activity with buyers and sellers.
As the weather warms, sellers who have been waiting for the spring season to sell are excited to finally put their home on the market.  Consequently, those hoping to buy a home in the North Shore wait until this change of weather to begin searching for their ideal North Shore home.  These savvy buyers know that they’re bound to find a home, out of the many North Shore homes that are currently available, that will fit their needs and lifestyle. 

If you have been waiting to do your house hunting, now is the ideal time to start!  You’ll want to be settled in your new North Shore home in time to get out and enjoy summer in Chicago and the North Shore!  To ensure that your home buying process runs smoothly and efficiently, we’ve gathered ten great tips that will help streamline the process.

1.  Start Your Search Online- Instead of spending your time perusing neighborhoods for open houses or for sale signs; get online to streamline your search.  There are many great homes in Chicago’s North Shore and Chicago you can view online.

2.  Get Pre-Approved- Finding the home of your dreams and then shopping for a loan is a risky move, as most home sellers won't even look at an offer that's not accompanied by a pre-approval letter.  Getting pre-approved ensures you know your exact budget and can save you from a bidding war if many are vying for the same home.

3.  Prioritize Your Housing Needs- Finding a home fast means being flexible.  The longer the list of requirements, the harder it will be to find a home.  Keep your list short and to the point.  Focus on the key elements you’re looking for and let the extras fall as they may.

4.  Look for Motivated Sellers- Again, this shouldn’t be hard to find motivated sellers in the spring since they’re well aware of the competition they’re facing as the North Shore Real Estate market is flooded with great homes in this busy season.  Don’t settle for sellers who aren’t willing to budge on a home at the top of your price range; there are too many other great North Shore homes out there that will have motivated sellers.

5.  Find a Great Agent- This may seem easy, but finding an agent that truly knows the North Shore Real Estate market and can show your properties that are right in your price range and meet your style and needs can be challenging.  Of course, we’d love to help you in your home search and know that our experience and proven success will make the home buying process an easy one.  You’ll want to do your homework and really research local agents. 

6.  Steer Clear of Short Sales- While short sales seem to be flooding the market across the country; if you’re looking for a quick buy, short sales are not the way to go.  There is a long process involved with these homes and complications are almost always in the cards.

7.  Try a Real Estate Auction
- While not common, auctions make the purchasing process quick and streamlined -- in many cases, you tour the property beforehand, make your bid, and close in 30 days if you're the highest bidder.

8.  Negotiate Repairs- If an inspection reveals that the home you want to buy requires repairs, taking the responsibility off the seller can help you close the deal quicker. After obtaining estimates, ask the seller for a credit rather than asking them to complete the repairs themselves.

9.  Have Cash Ready for Closing- You don't want to be scrambling for funds at the last minute, so be prepared for this important date. A day or two before closing on your North Shore home, you'll get the final settlement statement, detailing the terms of your loan and all the closing costs. Be sure to get a certified or cashier's check made out for the total amount you owe at closing, including the down payment since you can’t use a personal check.

10.  Have a Plan B- Because not every transaction goes smoothly, be sure you have a property or two as a backup; you don’t want to have to start from scratch!

We hope these tips will be helpful as you go through the process of buying a North Shore home!  If you have any questions about the North Shore or Chicago Real Estate market; please let us know!  We’d be happy to meet with you and answer any questions you may have.  Our years of work in these markets and dedication to our clients are sure to give you the North Shore home buying experience you deserve! 

We hope to hear from you soon!

The Thomas Team
@ Properties

Chicago's #1 Real Estate Brokerage

Chicago & North Shore Real Estate
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