January 2nd, 2015
Last week, we looked at what you should know and do to help your real estate agent if you’re a seller. This week, we’ll look at what you should know and do if you’re a buyer.
Potential home buyers can see what they think is everything online. But those listings can leave a lot out, including whether the home is still for sale. There’s nothing wrong with looking, agents say. But try to understand how your agent’s job works. She has access to the same MLS listings, but with updated and additional information that has been filtered to weed out your duds.
So what should you do? Put that effort into hiring someone you trust. Then be comfortable relinquishing some control to the expert you’ve hired. If you tell them you want 2-3 bedrooms and 2-3 bathrooms with good schools, they should be able to find you a better place than you could since that’s what they do for a living.
And they can consult with other agents who are experts in other geographic areas to find out what a homeowner would need to know.
This is just as important as if you’re a seller. Know exactly what you’re going into. Ask questions. And remember you can negotiate.
If you’re buying this home with someone, sit down and have some long discussions about expectations. How many bedrooms? Do you want a living room or a dining room? Stairs? Bathtub? Shower curtains or doors? Do you need the home to be move-in ready or do you intend to do some remodeling?
If one of your dreams is to have a gourmet kitchen and the others is to have a farmhouse kitchen, you’re never going to find a house.
And you don’t want to find that out while you’re looking, because what’s more awkward then having a knock down, drag out argument in front of the agent? (and yes, it happens)
Rank how important the features are to you. This will also help the agent find you better homes to view. If you must have open beam ceilings, then the agent will research that ahead of time saving you all from the frustration of not seeing what you want.
We’ve talked about this a few times. Pre-Qualified is not the same as Pre-Approved. Pre-qualification will let you know the range which you could be approved for but is not a guarantee. If you’re pre-approved, you will be able to move forward much more quickly when you find the right home, and could put you at the top of the list.
Your real estate agent is your partner and not your parent. Treat one another with respect and clear communication, and you’ll find the right place quickly.