Hi there. Hope you’re having a terrific week.
Today I thought I’d spend a little time discussing the general home buying process. According to the National Association of Realtors, over 90% of you are searching online for homes well before you contact a real estate agent. There are untold numbers of real estate web sites where you can search for active listings. Many have tools available for you to save your search criteria so that you will receive notification when there are new listings and price/status changes. This is incredibly helpful…it saves you time and gas and makes you very knowledgeable about the area you are searching for. (ex. http://www.terrysellskchomes.com)
I respect this due diligence and it shows me that these folks are taking this very seriously. There is, however, another type of diligence that is required and that is getting your house in order as you start your search.
Picture this….you have spent hours upon hours searching for listings and you think you have found “the one”. It has the big, treed lot…fenced yard….great kitchen with pantry…potential man cave in the basement if she’d ever let me have 10 minutes to myself? You get the idea. Now it is time to take the search from the cloud and actually go into the home to tour it. Many times, this is the first contact a prospective home buyer will make with an agent. So you call an agent and they check the details of the home and try to get a showing scheduled only to find out that it went under contract earlier that morning. How can this be you ask? It’s only been on the market for 3 days!
This happens again and again it stings. Avoid scenarios like this by contacting a buyer’s agent at the start of your search. You can most certainly keep up the online home patrol, but you will also be armed with your own representative (buyer’s agent) who will counsel you on the home buying process from end to end.
For example…are you pre approved and does the purchase amount sync up to what you are looking for? I can guarantee you that there is no circumstance in purchasing real estate where a pre approval is a bad idea. Are you looking for bank-owned properties and need renovation financing? Are you clear on what your costs will be (down payment, inspections, appraisals, closing costs) to get into the home? Do you have that and if not, how are you going to raise it? What about the monthly supply of inventory in the neighborhood? Is it a hot seller’s market? If so, your timeliness on scheduling showings and being prepared (see man cave example above) will make a real difference. Your buyer’s agent will know how fast homes are selling in the area you are interested in. They will also provide you with comps for the subdivision. Comps (comparables) will show you what similar homes have recently sold for in that area. All of these things will benefit you with a strategy for offers and negotiations.
I wish you happy house hunting…don’t hesitate to contact me with your questions.
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