By Melissa Forte-Litscher, Realtor
Ready to stop renting and buy a home in Fort Walton Beach? Purchasing your first home is an exciting prospect, but it comes with its fair share of questions and challenges. From picking the right neighborhood to navigating the paperwork, the process can be a bit overwhelming. This is where a real estate buyer’s agent can step in to be a knowledgeable partner who makes buying your first home a much smoother experience.
The greater Fort Walton Beach area has a variety of neighborhoods; the City of Fort Walton Beach, Shalimar, Mary Esther, Cinco Bayou and Okaloosa Island. Each has its own unique charm, and it can be tough to decide which one suits you best. A local buyer’s agent knows the ins and outs of these neighborhoods, can suggest ones that align with your preferences and help you find a perfect fit. Chances are, you have an idea of what your dream home looks like. A buyer’s agent will listen closely to your desires and then create a property search based upon your specific needs and wants, such as price range, location, home characteristics and the lifestyle you desire. Once the right homes are selected, they set up viewing opportunities and tour the homes with you and help you narrow the list to the ones that fit your preferences, so you can decide which one you want to purchase.
Home prices in our area can vary widely and a good buyer’s agent is familiar with local real estate market pricing. They research comparable properties and advise you on whether a home is fairly priced. Your buyer’s agent will help you create an offer, negotiate with the seller and their agent, and make sure your contingencies are outlined. Once your offer is accepted and you are under contract, the real work begins.
Buying a home involves working with different professionals like lenders and inspectors. A buyer’s agent has a network of trusted experts and can recommend reliable professionals for each step of the process. This way, you know you’re getting quality service at every turn. A trusted lender is a key partner in the entire process. They often will begin working with you even before the search begins. It’s also important to have the home inspected for any issues that may not be readily seen and to help ensure the lender will be able to finance your purchase. A buyer’s agent will help you arrange for professional inspections and help you understand the results. Insurance is a key issue in Florida and your agent can help you find trusted insurance brokers to assist in finding appropriate insurance.
Buying your first home is an exciting journey. But, it can also be a bit nerve-wracking. A buyer’s agent is there to answer your questions and alleviate your worries. They guide you through the process, answering questions by phone, text and email, often at all hours of the day and night. Once the inspections have been completed, requested repairs made, title work done and financing approved, it is time to head to the closing table to complete your purchase. This rewarding experience is where all the time, energy and effort come together, fulfilling dreams for buyers and their agent. Finally, the keys are exchanged and, with the purchase completed, the agent has earned their payday. But, it doesn’t end there.
Even after you move into your new home, your agent is there, offering advice on home improvements, helping you understand your new responsibilities as a homeowner and keeping you up to date on your home’s value in the current market. Remember, a buyer’s agent is an ally who provides expertise, support and a wealth of knowledge to help you make informed decisions, even after the purchase. As an Accredited Buyer’s Representative, if you need assistance, contact me. I’m at your service. Call me at 850-496-7444.