If you’re one of the many people who want to buy a home for sale in Scottsdale, you probably already know you’ll need to do a bit of homework before you find the perfect pad. This guide covers four things you should do before you even start looking for your dream home in Scottsdale; that way, you’ll be as prepared as possible.

4 Things to Do Before You Start Searching for Your Dream Home in Scottsdale

Check out this quick list of four things you should do before you start house-hunting:

  1. Check your credit report
  2. Get mortgage preapproval
  3. Make a list of must-haves, wants, and don’t-wants
  4. Talk to a real estate agent

Here’s a closer look at each.

#1. Check Your Credit Report

Thanks to the Federal Trade Commission, you’re entitled to one free copy of your credit report each year from each of the major credit reporting bureaus (Equifax, TransUnion and Experian). You can get your report by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com or calling 1-877-322-8228.

When you’re reviewing your credit report, look for errors; according the the FTC, as many as one in five people have mistakes on their credit reports. If you find any errors – even if they seem minor – dispute them with the agency that’s reporting them. Disputing errors is generally easy and doesn’t cost you anything, and the agency you report them to is required by law to investigate.

You should also take this opportunity to see where you stand in terms of your credit score. If your score is on the low side, there are steps you can take to improve it before you start the home-buying process. The higher your credit score is, the more favorable interest rates and loan terms lenders will be willing to offer you.

Related: Everything you need to know about HOAs and condo owners’ associations

#2. Get Mortgage Preapproval

Getting preapproved for a mortgage is an important step in the home-buying process. When you’re preapproved, a lender gives you an estimate of how much they’re willing to lend you, based on a review of your financial history. This gives you an idea of how much house you can afford, and makes the entire home-buying process smoother.

When you find a home you love, you’ll be able to make an offer that the seller can take seriously. (Often, when an offer doesn’t come with a preapproval letter, sellers aren’t comfortable taking their homes off the market; they have no way of knowing the person making the offer can actually get the money to purchase their home.)

You can get preapproved by going to your bank or credit union, or by working with a mortgage broker. Whichever route you choose, be sure to compare interest rates and fees before you commit to anything.

Related: 15 unmistakable signs you’re ready to buy a condo in Scottsdale

3. Make a List of Must-Haves, Wants, and Don’t-Wants

This is probably the most fun part of the home-buying process: figuring out exactly what you want (and don’t want) in a home. To do this, sit down with a pad of paper and make three lists: must-haves, wants, and don’t-wants. Your must-haves are features your future home absolutely needs to have; for example, if you need to be in walking distance of good schools, that goes on the list. Wants are features that would be nice to have, but aren’t deal-breakers if they’re not there. And don’t-wants, as you may have guessed, are features you definitely don’t want in your home.

Once you have your lists, it’s time to prioritize them. Figure out which items on each list are the most important to you, and put them at the top. That way, when you start looking at homes, you’ll know right away which ones meet your needs – and which ones don’t.

Related: Should you build a new home or buy an existing one?

4. Talk to a Real Estate Agent

It’s always a good idea to work with a real estate agent, whether you’re buying your first home or your tenth. A good agent will help you find homes that meet your needs, give you advice on negotiating the purchase price, and be there to answer any questions you have throughout the process. Your agent will be in your corner from start to finish, giving you the guidance you need to get the perfect home in Scottsdale. The best part? Working with a buyer’s agent doesn’t cost you a thing; sellers typically pay real estate agents’ commissions.

Are You Buying or Selling a Home in Scottsdale?

If you’re selling a luxury home in Scottsdale, we can help. You can use our home value calculator to get a ballpark idea on what your home may be worth – and you can call us at 602-694-3200 to talk to a REALTOR® about how we can market your home to all the right buyers.

If you’re also looking for a new home, we’ll be happy to show you the homes that interest you most. While you’re here, explore all our Scottsdale real estate listings or look in specific communities:

Don Matheson
REALTOR® | Founder
The Matheson Team
RE/MAX Fine Properties
21020 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255

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