1) Find a good Real Estate Agent (we think that’s us…)
While these tools are powerful and offer buyers a chance to get a good feel for the market, as a consumer you don’t have access to all the search tools and information professional agents have. Our internal agent search engine allows even greater search criteria to narrow down and pinpoint results. If you’re looking for a fixer for instance, there’s no way in the public search engine to limit your results to homes that need work.
Agents also have all important access to our best resource and that’s other agents. Aside from using our MLS, searching the For Sale By Owner listings, and researching our own catalogue of builders, investors and clients, we communicate with other agents, active and inactive, looking for “pocket listings” not currently in the MLS.
As your agents, we will work diligently to find the home you want with the amenities you need at a price you can afford. If you give us a price range up to $200,000, we will only send you properties that fit that range, and if you tell us you need at least three bedrooms and over an acre, you will not receive 2 bedroom homes on quarter acre lots! We take pride on our searching skills and more importantly in our people skills, which means we listen to what you want and don’t waste your time or ours.
2) Find out what you can afford before looking at properties
Pre-qualifying will help save you time and sometimes disappointment, and it’s completely free. A mistake many buyers make is to start looking at homes before they know what they can afford. If you find out what you can afford before you look, you won’t look at homes you can’t get into, and then be disappointed at what you can afford.
People are often surprised at how much home they can (or can’t) afford and the only way to find out is to contact your local lender, bank or credit union. If you don’t have a relationship with a lender, then you should ask us to recommend one. We will be happy to suggest lenders that have helped our former clients through purchases at the best rates possible.
3) Determine your wants and needs
Now that you know what you can afford, it is time to discuss with us exactly what you want, and what you need, because there is a difference… Be prepared based on your budget – sometimes what you want can’t be purchased for the price that you are able to pay and you have to be realistic about your search.
This is one of the places where our experience and knowledge will benefit you. We promise not to laugh when you tell us you’re looking for a 3000 square foot home on the river for under $100,000 because we’ve been there and understand that when you’re starting your search, you really don’t know the market yet. We will help guide you to make the tough decisions of what you’re will to give up if necessary based on future market value. And you never know…. sometimes those amazing deals come up and when they do, we let you know right away due to our obsessive compulsive Hot Sheet searching and our relationship with national and local banks which often are where the best deals come from.
4) Find your home – and buy it
There is no ‘magic number’ of homes you have to see in order to make a decision. The average home buyer will look at 5 or 6 homes before making a decision. Some will look at 20 homes before making a choice and some will look at 60 homes over a year and never select a home and become discouraged. Those buyers were generally not ready to buy when they started their search.
I can’t tell you how often a buyer will fall in love with a home the first day of looking but decide it’s too early in their search, so they wait and keep looking for a better property. Of course, because we try to show you the best deals as soon as possible, that initial home ends up being the one you compare all the others against and you’re constantly disappointed. The moral of that story is that you shouldn’t second guess yourself. Most buyers have a gut instinct and they know right away if the home is the right one for them — whether it’s the second home they look at or the thirtieth.
5) Let our experience and knowledge protect you
With over 22 years of Real Estate experience, training and knowledge, you can trust that when we represent you in a purchase transaction you’re getting the best service and representation possible. We communicate with you immediately and completely and make sure that at all times you’re in the loop. While Kirk handles the searches and knows the area extensively, Mimi takes over when contract time comes, and her attention to detail and experience both as an Associate Broker, Managing Broker and Real Estate office manager put you in the best possible position as you negotiate the most important financial transaction of your life.
We think you’ll find that you’re in great hands when you choose us as your buyer’s agents.