In Step 1 of How to buy a home, we explained the importance of hiring a real estate professional.
Step 2. Analyzing your needs
Analyze your needs in a full consultation
Once you have found your trusty agent, this person will walk you through a consultation. Your agent should go deep. Your agent will ask questions such as:
- Single family home, condo, multi-family or townhouse
- How many bedrooms
- How many bathrooms
- Open floor plan or individual rooms
- Do you prefer single level living or are you ok with multi levels
- Do you need a garage
- What kind of yard
- Do you prefer the city or the county
- Do you need a basement
- How much storage do you need
- And many more questions to really get an idea of what is ideal
As you go through this list with your agent, understand that there is no such thing as a “Perfect House”. If you are shopping for a $200,000 house your perfect home will be $250,000. If you are shopping for a $900,000 your perfect home will be $1,000,000. It’s always just out of reach. Don’t let this discourage you. Your agent will compare your needs with your wants versus the luxury add-ons. They will also explain the current market. During a buyers market you may be able to search homes that a 5-10% above you maximum value in hopes of negotiating the value down. But in a Sellers market you may want to view home slightly under your maximum in case you need to bid up in multiple offers.
Once your agent gets an idea of you ideal home, they will set you up on a search via the MLS. Top producing agents go beyond this, especially in a scarce sellers market. The Pro’s Real Estate Team will find neighborhoods you would prefer to reside in and call or door knock the entire neighborhood in search of a potential seller that might be willing to sell you their home. Don’t just sit around watching the MLS. For Sale By Owners, Next on market sellers, auctions, foreclosures, and other agents non-mls listings are important to have access to. Make sure your agent knows where to find these.
Make sure your agent is direct with you. There is no need to show you a home the agent knows does not fit your criteria. Don’t get upset with your agent if they tell you NO to a showing you have requested but do ask why and let them explain. For Example; if a buyer wants to see a home that is $15,000 over their pre-approval amount and the home seems to be priced accordingly and has only been on the market for a few days, this home will sell outside of what you may be able to afford. If you view a home like this it will most likely be the best home you have viewed. This now creates a comparison you can not beat in the lower price ranges thus creates buyer disappointment. Your agent should be open and direct enough to keep you on track through out the whole process. They use skill, educations and knowledge to help you buy a house, rather than emotions. Trust your agent!
In Step 3 we will discuss Getting your finances in order