FINDING YOUR DREAM HOME
Finding the right home can be a quick or long process. There’s really no way to predict how many home viewings it will take, or how quickly it can be done. If you have an agent tell you otherwise, run the other direction. The process will largely be determined on how specific your search parameters are, as well as the inventory on the market. For example, if you’re on a very tight budget, but require a 3 car garage, 4 bedrooms and want in the most desirable part of town in a low inventory market, your search is going to most likely take some time, if not be near impossible. It’s extremely important that you sit down with your agent and discuss expectations and market conditions. Having an understanding before you get started can lesson a lot of anxiety. Here are some other tips to help your buying process go smoothly:
- Compile a list of desires and necessities for your new home. Put them in order of priorities. It’s important that you realize upfront, there usually isn’t the “perfect” house to fit all your wants and desires. Be realistic in your expectations and know what you can compromise on ahead of time.
- Drive around areas or neighborhoods you think you may be interested in living. Get to know the proximity to where you conduct most of your life activities – work, schools, sports, shopping, restaurants, things you do for fun.
- Have your agent set up a search for you with your parameters. Get a feel for what’s available on the market. When possible, and market conditions allow, do a drive by of properties of interest before scheduling a showing. This is not your agent being lazy. This is a way to save a lot of wasted time, energy, and disappointment on everyone’s behalf, as you would be amazed at how deceiving some photos can be when looking at property online.
- When finding a property of serious interest, ask your agent to schedule a viewing as soon as possible. Remember to try to have a flexible schedule. Not only are you coordinating with your agent, but also the seller’s schedule and availability. Often sellers have children or pets to consider when opening their home for a viewing. You also want to be able to get there quickly in competitive markets.
- Once you have found the property you feel is the one, trust your agent to help you make a viable offer. Your agent should investigate comparable properties in the area to know the home is priced accordingly. And while it’s always important to buyers to get a good deal, it’s just as important to remember that low balling a seller may cost you your dream home, not to mention lower the values in your desired area. In a competitive market, you want to make sure you submit a strong offer and have an agent that is experienced in such to give you the best chance at winning a bid. Even in the best of circumstances, it may not come out in your favor. In these cases, it’s important to know that the right house will come along, and never become so ‘stuck’ on one home that you develop tunnel vision. To do so will make the process extremely frustrating for you.
- When you have found your new home and received an acceptance to your offer, listen to and rely on your agent to walk you through each step. Work closely and diligently with your lender and title company to submit any requested information promptly. This will help ensure the smoothest and least stressful process possible.