On this journey of life, with so many different paths to take and roads to explore, there’s no right or wrong direction. You might be an intrepid traveler, or a notorious home-body. Maybe your definition of family consists of animals, humans, or some combination of both. No matter how you envision your life, there’s a good chance that it includes a home of some type. (Otherwise, I’m flattered that you’re taking the time to read this!) You could be a renter, an investment property owner, or a nomad, but regardless of where you are on the spectrum of ‘first time home buyer’ to ‘real estate fiend,’ there’s a good chance you’ll have some questions throughout the process. Whatever your case may be, here are three of my biggest tips to help make your journey a little easier…
1. Find an agent you connect with
If you’re picky about the company you keep, why not be picky about the agent you use? This is a person who you’ll be spending a good amount of time meeting and communicating with on a regular basis throughout the transaction. Therefore, doesn’t it also make sense to choose someone you actually enjoy spending time with as well? In my opinion: heck yeah it does.
Not only should you be able to comfortably interact with them, you should also be able to trust them fully. Making sure you trust your agent enough to confidently lead you through buying your home could also be a deal-maker or –breaker. Expressing to your agent the degree of involvement you want to have will help keep the lines of communication clear as well. Letting them know that you want to be fully informed about every step from contract to close, or just getting an update on the big key items and leaving the rest up to your agent, will keep expectations high and decrease room for disappointment.
*Bonus tip! Telling your agent your preferred methods of communication can go a long way. Ex. texting, phone calls, face-to-face meetings, email, etc…*
2. Be prepared to act quickly
Although buying a house should never be a process that is rushed through, there will be some instances where you’ll need to jump. How high, you might ask? Well, that’s up to you. My recommendation is to make yourself available to see as many houses as your agent is able to take you to. If your agent understands what you’re looking for, and they’re following your direction, there should be nothing that’s a ‘waste of time’ to see. Get ready because here’s where the jumping comes in…
Once you’ve found that perfect property, you’ve got to get ready to jump on it. Chances are, you’re not the only one who thinks they’ve just found their new dream home. The market we find ourselves in right now is hugely competitive. Most homes have multiple offers within the first few days and sometimes the price gets driven above asking. I don’t mean to discourage, I mean to express the importance of being prepared. A pre-approval letter from your lender is an enormous part of that. Hopefully, your agent will already have everything that they need to submit a strong, competitive offer for you. When it comes time to negotiate, we’re there to put you in the best position possible to make that dream home your own. In this case, slow and steady does not always win this race.
3. Do your homework
It’s okay not to know everything, that’s why you have us! We’re here to answer your questions and help to organize your thoughts. Knowing what your most desired neighborhoods, home styles, and wish-list items will help us immensely when finding you a home. It’s easiest to work on making a list of what your non-negotiables are and begin there. (Homework, get it?)
This is especially helpful to your agent if you’re buying a home as a couple and your wishes slightly differ. The more you can do to nail down what you want and need out of your new house, the more eventful and worthwhile your showings will be. Plus, the more questions you have, and the more involved you are in the process, the more knowledgeable you will become when it comes time to do it again. Home buying is a marathon, not a sprint, and we’re here for you in any way we can be.