your credit report for accuracy and completeness.
Buyers with inaccurate information on their credit report may have a
hard time obtaining financing, or be offered loans at higher-than-market
interest rates. The Fair Credit Reporting Act gives consumers the right
to a free credit report from each of the three nationwide credit reporting
companies every 12 months. Visit https://www.annualcreditreport.com to
request a report.
2. Educate yourself about mortgages and mortgage fraud.
mortgage products are available in today’s market, but not
all of them work for all buyers. NAR warns consumers against exotic
loans and predatory lending practices that can poison the home buying
and trap unsuspecting borrowers into years of financial hardship.
Visit www.REALTOR.org and search on “specialty mortgage” to
read the brochure, “Shopping for a Mortgage? Do Your Homework
consult a Realtor® to learn about different financing
options and their implications over time.
According to Fannie Mae, mortgage fraud has increased five-fold
in the past 10 years. Unsuspecting home buyers who aren’t familiar with
an area’s property values can be victimized by scam artists who
have bought a property at a bargain-basement price and have made minor
cosmetic changes to sell the home for much more than it’s worth.
People with blemished credit can also fall prey to unscrupulous individuals
who pose as real estate agents or mortgage brokers, offering promises
of a new home and mortgage qualification. These buyers end up assuming
a loan they can’t afford, and the lender forecloses.
To protect yourself, work with a Realtor® who knows the local market,
and check his or her credentials with the Realtor® board or
association in your area.
3. Hire the right real estate professional for the job.
When you’re buying a home, would you know what to do if your
financing fell through the day before closing, your home inspection
found a termite
infestation, or your future neighbors had just built a wall on
your property? As a buyer, you want someone who knows the market and
who has experience
handling the particular needs of home buyers, whether it’s
identifying homes and neighborhoods, negotiating for the best deal,
the 20+ steps between contract acceptance and closing. Realtors® who
have earned the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) designation
have demonstrated their commitment to and expertise
in serving home buyers. To earn the ABR designation, Realtors® must
successfully complete a two-day designation course that covers agency,
marketing and promotion, and negotiation and risk management; take
an approved elective course, such as buyer representation in new
homes, second homes, or relocation; and have completed five transactions
which he or she acted solely as a buyer representative. Some real
estate professionals offer rebates or may work on a fee-for-service
basis, in which buyers may be responsible for their own property
searches, negotiating strategies, or other tasks. These different
give consumers a degree of choice in deciding how they want to
work with their real estate professional. Just make certain you
are provided and what you can expect from the business relationship.
Remember that you’re not just buying a home; you’re investing
in your future.
Buyer’s Guide information provided by the National Association