It’s time to start touring Houses.
Yep! You’ve “Graduated” from Steps 1-3.
- Step 1 – You’ve found just the right REALTOR to guide you through the process and had a productive Initial “Listening Consultation.”
- Step 2 – You’ve “Pre-Qualified” your Expectations and Financial ability.
- Step 3 – You’ve done your Home Work and have a decent idea of which neighborhoods fit you best.
Step 4 is the FUN part of this process . . . This is when you start looking at houses, but first some simple ground rules to help me make the best use of your time.
By all means, do as much digging and searching as you can for great possibilities driving through neighborhoods and searching on the internet. Carry a note pad with you ALWAYS and write down addresses or MLS numbers of any houses that interest you and email or text these properties to your REALTOR to get more information. Your REALTOR can check to be sure they meet your requirements and fall in the right price point, and they can see if the property is still available (Many houses with signs in the yards may already be under contract.
- Your REALTOR can show you ANY house available on the Market, so don’t go calling other agents from signs and ads because those agents represent the SELLERS not you.
- This includes “For Sale By Owner” properties – Let your REALTOR call those folks and arrange showings and get more information
- Let “Uncle Joe” give you all the advice he wants to give but don’t listen to him (or anyone else) about Real Estate matters. Everyone has opinions and when it comes to Real Estate matters, your best bet is to rely on the REALTOR who represents you to advise you.
- New construction? YES – Regardless of what you might have heard from “Uncle Joe,” you DO need your REALTOR to represent you when buying a new house. If you’re going to visit any Model Homes, do so with a pocket full of your REALTOR’s business cards and make sure the on-site agent registers your name with your REALTOR’S name so you can be fully represented. Not all builders play fair, and your REALTOR is savvy at navigating the construction process and keeping you out of hot water.
- Searching Listings on the internet? DON”T rely on Zillow, Trulia, or most other random real estate sites for accurate information – ESPECIALLY regarding property values. These search “engines” are often inaccurate and less than timely, so many of the properties they display may already be sold. Instead, rely on your REALTOR’s website (Ours is http://ParetoRealty.com) for your searches . . . or find a direct “Public Site” from your local Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
The Art of the Home Search Tour
The most efficient way to optimize your home searching time is to schedule a not more than 3 hour block of time for a property tour with your REALTOR. That 3 hour threshold is for a reason . . . After 3 hours of looking at houses, y’all might start not liking each other as much 🙂 If you are in a crunch with few days to look, look for 3 hours in the morning – break for an hour and 1/2 and then look 3 hours in the afternoon (You and your REALTOR will thank me for this advice later).
Selecting which houses to see should be a collaborative effort between you and your REALTOR and is best done at least 24 hours before the scheduled tour, so your REALTOR will have time to print appropriate materials and schedule the showings.
Wear comfortable clothes (No need to get all gussied up) and bring along bottled water, a snack or 2 just in case, and a clipboard or notebook for taking notes about the houses you see. Without good notes, they’ll start blending together in your mind.
Generally while you are looking at the space and features of each house, your REALTOR will be looking at condition and observing your comments and body language.
The more feedback you provide the better, so your REALTOR can listen and “hone-in” on your perfect house.
As you go, name each house as a memory peg – “Pink Room House” – “Turtle House” – “Smelly House” – and prioritize by picking a favorite as a “yardstick”
It often happens that a Buyer LOVES the house but not the lot . . . or wants THIS kitchen in THAT house . . . or this house in that neighborhood etc . . . Those are the times when you REALLY learn your priorities.
How do you know when it’s the “RIGHT” house?
Follow your heart and trust the process and your REALTOR!
Remember that you’ve laid a great foundation in Steps 1-3 and can move forward with confidence when you find the right house.
Concluding with that reference to “Patience” in the title . . . In many markets, inventory of available houses is very low, so your perfect house may not (yet) be on the market. Of course, you can’t know that until you’ve seen the ones that ARE on the market.
If it’s not out there now, your REALTOR will network with other agents to find houses that will be coming on the market soon and keep an eagle eye on the market for new listings . . . When you Identify a good one, go IMMEDIATELY to see it and be prepared to write an offer FAST.
Step 5 comes when you’ve found that “Right House” . . . It’s time for some “Analysis” so you can build a strategy for Step 6 (A Successful Negotiation).
Stay tuned for Step 5 coming soon to this Blog-site soon 🙂
If you’re in Middle Tennessee and feel ready to launch into this process of Buying a home, connect with us NOW and let’s get this thing moving.
With love and respect,
Real Estate Strategist