Beginning your search for a home purchase is an exciting time. You’re cruising through new home listings, visiting open houses, and weighing if you can afford a second bathroom and a remodeled kitchen. When you start mapping your new commute and dog walking route, this is definitely a signal that it is time to start building your team of pros.
We teamed up with Seattle real estate veterans Cassie Walker Johnson and Jeremey Johnson to identify the five essential pros you need to help you successfully purchase your home. If you think you’ve found the one or if you’re looking for expertise and guidance, we’re here to help!
Get your financial house in order. Instead of asking how much you can afford, consider how much you are willing to pay. A financial planner can help you define your long-term financial goals and build a strategy (and contingency plan) for your home purchase. By preparing how your home purchase integrates into your larger financial plan, you’ll be poised to strike with a competitive offer when the right opportunity comes on the market.
Check out our most recommended Financial Planners to get started.
Real Estate Agent or Broker
While browsing online is a great way to peek into homes that are for sale, hiring a real estate broker is the best step to ensure you have a trusted advocate and advisor. Not only will they arrange tours for you in different neighborhoods based on your wants and needs, they can also provide input and advice on the type of home that best suits your lifestyle. In a competitive market such as Seattle’s, a real estate broker will help ensure that you are not only fully prepared but also putting your best offer forward.
Our pros recommend meeting with a few recommended agents to determine if there is a good fit.
If your offer included a home inspection, then you will see an up close and detailed report of the interior and exterior of the home--from the crawl space to the attic. The inspector identifies any issues or concerns in their report with photo documentation. Inspectors cannot predict the future, but if an issue does come up during the inspection, your agent will communicate with the seller’s agent to negotiate any repairs or funds necessary for the repairs. Home inspections are popular for pre-purchase, pre-listing, and regular home maintenance, so they can get booked up. It’s a good idea to keep another highly recommended contact on hand just in case your first one isn’t available during your contract timeline.
See our top recommendations for Home Inspectors in your area.
Mortgage brokers work on your behalf to provide a variety of lenders, interest rates, and terms to choose from based on your financial situations. They are different from mortgage lenders, as lenders usually work for a bank and loan you money directly. Both can help you obtain pre-approval letters. The benefit of using a mortgage broker is they give you a choice of lenders so you can weigh different options before finally selecting one.
Fresh Chalkers who recommend mortgage lenders say the best ones are responsive and can clearly explain the loan process to their clients. See the full list of recommended mortgage lenders in Bellevue or Seattle.
Getting ready for your big move means you must first channel your inner Marie Kondo and say, “thank you and goodbye,” then sell, donate, or toss unwanted items. Measure your furniture to make sure it will fit in your new home. If you have less stuff to pack, you’ll save time (and money) unpacking at your new place. Hire local, licensed, and insured movers who work with an experienced crew. Mover fees vary so contact a few to provide estimates for your space before making a final decision. Remember to change your address with USPS!
Find a recommendation for a Mover on Fresh Chalk.
Home Buyer Masterclass
If you’re interested in learning the step-by-step process to home ownership, Fresh Chalk is partnering with Cassie Walker Johnson and Jeremey Johnson to present a Home Buyer Masterclass on Wednesday, February 26th in Seattle. This is a complementary event for anyone interested in purchasing a home in the Seattle or Puget Sound area. Reserve your space, as seats are limited.
Wednesday, February 26
5:30 - 7:30 PM
In South Lake Union
From real estate agents and staging to property management and a handyman, Fresh Chalk has recommendations for all of your home buying and selling needs.