Buying a first house is a daunting, scary idea. But when you do it, and when you have a good agent, it can be the most exciting, thrilling time of your life!
What are the benefits of buying a home?
Has everyone been telling you that you should buy a home? It’s time? So you have thought about it, looked at some homes on the internet, dreamed of what your perfect house will be like? You are already half way there.
What to look for?
Almost 80% of all home searches today begin on the Internet. By looking at a few websites, you can look at a myriad of house styles. You may have even decided on the neighborhood that best suits you. By the time you reach your real estate agent’s office, you may have done your homework and know what it is you are looking for. But be open to suggestions from your agent. That is his or her job and he or she will have some good ideas on the market, or on an area that you may have not investigated.
(Even if you haven’t looked on your own, your agent will find out exactly what you want and come up with some good options for you to look at.)
How Long Should It Take to Find “The One”?
In seller’s markets, you shouldn’t have to look at too many homes. A good agent will also have done his or her homework and make searching that much easier for you. Some buyers will look for months, but buyers who do aren’t that motivated. A motivated buyer should be able to find a home within two to three weeks.
Good real estate agents will listen to what you want and need and arrange to show only those homes that fit your particular parameters. A thorough agent should preview potential homes before showing them to avoid wasting anyone’s time.
How Many Homes Can You Expect to See?
The average number of homes to show to a buyer in one day is six. Any more than that, and the brain is on overload. Seeing anymore than that does not do you any good as you won’t remember much and all of the details will blend together. As excited as you are, there is always tomorrow.
Be judicious in your search. Do not shop, shop, shop and then go back and revisit most of the homes you already saw. When you find the perfect home, get ready to buy it. Go back for a second look, but act!
How to Look at Homes
* Bring a digital camera and begin each series of photos with a close-up of the house number to identify the house you looked at.
* Take thorough notes of unusual features, colors and design elements. Especially things that interest you.
* Pay attention to the home’s surroundings. What are the surrounding homes like?
* Do you like the location? What is it near? A park, playground, or an office park?
* Immediately after leaving, rate each home on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest.
(I like to do a spread sheet, one copy for my client and one for me, with all of the homes we will be looking at where my clients can fill out info on the homes and their general impressions, and I can too, so I can remember details.)
View Top Choices a Second Time
Choose a few of your top choices and go back again. You will see thing differently the second time, both good and bad.
Your agent should call the listing agent to find out these homes are still available to purchase.
Making the Selection
An agent should never pressure you to buy a specific home.
Real estate agents are required to point out defects and should help buyers feel confident that the home selected meets the buyer’s search parameters.
So have fun and enjoy the process!