Spend less time shopping for real estate and more time living in it with my tried and true method.
Follow these steps by step instructions, and you'll be living where you want in a fraction of the time.
This one is the most overlooked, as buyers generally want to find a house that suits them first. The problem is that if you find a property that's right, you won't be able to react swiftly, and a more prepared buyer may come in ahead of you. A pre-qualifiication will show how much house you can afford so that you don't waste time shopping for a home that won't be yours. You can shop around for rates later - and even work with a different mortgage agent if they cannot offer the best deal.
Getting a pre-qualification only takes a few simple questions and can be done over the phone. I can put you in contact with a lender immediately. There are a number of great mortgage officers who we work with locally.
Steps 1 & 2 are interchangeable but should be the first steps taken when shopping for property.
Working with a real estate agent is most often free of charge to the buyer, and it helps protect one if the biggest investments of your lifetime. A good real estate agent will help you find properties, establish a firm offer, help schedule third-party contractors and inspectors, and represent your interests throughout the transaction.
Choose a REALTOR® based on your preference and work directly with only one real estate agent. If you feel they are not operating to your expectations then notify them prior to working with another real estate agent.
Create a must-have list that includes those things that are most important to have in your new house. Leave out the details such as hardwood flooring, granite cabinets, and the 5-piece ensuite of your dreams and focus on the bones of the property such as the amount of bedrooms and bathrooms, the type of the home, and the minimum square footage.
These are the things in the house that are not easy to change and even less likely to be trendy.
Next create the list of things that you want in your new home such as the hardwood flooring on the main floor or that master bathroom you've dreamed of. It is important not to confuse these with your needs, and it is also important to generalize when acceptable.
These are the things that you love now but could grow to dislike as trends change. Wants are also things you can live without, and as you continue to house shop, you will find that these desires change as you see new designs, colors, and arrangements with each property.
Share the list with your real estate agent and find some target properties. Nowadays people spend way too much time browsing the seemingly unending array of homes available to the point where they cannot remember one home from another. Have a strategy, ask your agent for advice, and stick to your lists.
This may be your most important step in finding a home. Stop using the internet for all of your search and start with a drive-by of your target homes. No online search site can convey the feeling of the neighborhood, the amenities of the community, and the details the photographer purposefully excluded from pictures.
Contact your real estate agent, and schedule showings of the homes remaining on your target list. Don't call the number on the sign unless you want to work directly with that agent.
Don't visit more than three homes in a single outing unless you are in a time crunch. Take some notes and pictures of your own if necessary. Individual features become difficult to recall as you increase the amount of showings.
After seeing the homes you were most interested in, then it is time to make an offer on your favorite. You can only make an offer on one house at a time in case you liked more than one property. If you did not like any of the target homes then start again with Step 4 and adjust your wants based on the properties you have visited and continue from there.
When making an offer, ask your REALTOR® for an opinion of the asking price and for a comparative market analysis which compares similar properties that have sold. Consider any obvious deficiencies that will need to be addressed when making your initial offer, and at a minimum make rights for a third-party inspection of the property to discover any underlying issues.
After acceptance of an offer, be sure to provide all information that is requested by your mortgage agent and your REALTOR®. These transactions are usually time sensitive and can displace an entire family if they do not go smoothly, so it is imperative that you respond swiftly to any request.
This is also the time to prepare for your move. You should have an approximate schedule when initially making your offer based on the closing date established. Prepare to have utilities transferred into your name (electric, water, sewer, etc.) and schedule movers if they will be needed. Your real estate agent should be able to provide advice depending on your needs.
Buyers should make reasonable accommodations to ensure that they can meet with the real estate attorney for closing. Closings usually occur on a weekday during typical operating hours. Times are scheduled between the real estate agents and the real estate attorney so be sure to advise all parties on your availability.
Nothing makes a real estate transaction easier than competent professionals who take pride in their workmanship. As your real estate agent I only work with the best to ensure that you get the attention you deserve. Whether you are in the first stages of home buying or are preparing your property for sale, I have the connections that you need to make the real estate process less confusing, less cumbersome, and less demanding of your time and efforts
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Adam Miller | REALTOR
Coldwell Banker Premier Homes