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As the market enters the spring selling season, more and more hopeful homeowners are entering the playing field. If you’re looking to buy a new home this year, be it a downsize, vacation home, or your very first house purchase, follow these three tips, offered by Todd Hetherington, CEO of Century 21 New Millennium.

Check into reality

Instead of daydreaming your ideal home, make a list of what things are absolutely essential: a specific number of bedrooms, close proximity to work or your child’s school, a decent-sized yard. “Once you know what you need, but before you begin your actual house hunt, start looking at what sold in the last six months that fits your bill,” says Hetherington. See what the selling prices are looking like, and figure out if you can afford a similar price tag. If you can’t, it might mean waiting a bit, or reassessing your needs.

Get pre-approved, not pre-qualified

Pre-ApprovedMany people get confused between “pre-approved” and “pre-qualified” when it comes to obtaining a loan. “Getting pre-qualified means a bank has qualified you for a mortgage based on information you provided, but they have not actually checked up on your credentials,” says Hetherington. A letter of pre-approval means the bank has thoroughly checked out your financial status, and is ready to give you a loan. “This holds more weight in terms of buying quickly, and can act as leverage should it come to beating out other buyers,” explains Hetherington.

Don’t lowball

“When it was a buyer’s market, lowballing was often a good way to start negotiating price,” notes Hetherington. However, now that we’re seeing inventory shortages across the country and more and more buyers entering the fold, lowballing most likely means you won’t land a deal. Instead, present a fair offer that’s in your price range but still leaves some negotiation room on both ends.

For more information on buying a home, please contact Century 21 New Millennium at move@c21nm.com, 800-382-1101, or Century 21 New Millennium.

About CENTURY 21® New Millennium CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. In addition to the Capitol Hill location in Washington, D.C., the Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, Loudoun, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Columbia, La Plata, Lexington Park, Lusby, Prince Frederick and Waldorf. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.

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