The Buying Process
Finding a Home
Making an Offer
Finding a Loan
The Right Price
Getting to Settlement
Historic Real Estate
1st Time Homebuyers
Foreclosures & Short Sales
Finding a Home
If you haven’t already read “getting started”, do it now to help narrow your search. Meet with your agent to discuss your dream house (it is okay to “blue sky” at this point) and your financial situation. Tell your agent where your guidelines have some flexibility, as in “we’d like four bedrooms but can get by with three or have one of the four be in the basement”. A large part of our job is to bring these sometimes conflicting points together in the home that you love and can afford.
Once your agent has an idea of the kind of house you’d like, we’ll start by going through the MRIS listings (Metropolitan Regional Information System) together on the computer, although you can start sooner by going to the “Search for Homes” button. We’ll do at least a pre-qualification at this point to see what price range to consider. Besides identifying houses to consider, this will help your Buyer’s Best agent know what homes to bring to your attention.
Looking at homes:
As we look at homes, we will be continually re-evaluating to make sure that we’re in the right area and price range. Finding the right home is often a process of modifying your criteria and narrowing the search. While the national homebuyer average is to look at 10 homes, how many you see depends on a number of factors. At The Buyer’s Best Realtors, we find that our clients typically view more homes, but also typically make a more informed decision.
How it works:
From our initial meeting we’ll put together a starting list of homes to see.
- Many people prefer to drive around and look at the homes themselves first, giving them an opportunity to look at the outside, evaluate the neighborhoods and nearby homes, as well as judge the distance to shopping, schools, work, etc. They can then concentrate on the house itself when they visit with their agent.
- Either from our initial meeting or as follow-up to your home viewing, we’ll have a list of homes to see. Appointments need to be made at those homes, sometimes as much as 24 hours in advance, so lots of warning for your agent is helpful.
- We won’t spend a lot of time as we go through each house, but rather will be considering if the house would work and if you like it; your first impression. It is important that you don’t feel that you have to make any more of a decision than whether you would like a longer look.
- We’ll discuss each house while we’re in it and afterwards as you compare it to other homes. It often is difficult to know if your criteria are realistic until you have looked at several houses.
- Depending on what is available, it’s usually best not to concentrate too much on what can be changed, but rather on those things that can’t. As you’ve always heard, it is about location, location, location, primarily because that can’t be changed. Some rooms may be painted a nasty color but that can be fixed, the floor plan cannot.
- We’ll go back for a second look, either at the top few or the one you really like. Houses almost always look different the second time around. Your agent will be looking harder at this visit for defects to use in negotiating with the sellers. The second visit isn’t to replace a Home Inspection; your offer will be contingent on a satisfactory (to you) inspection.
Remember that you will have a home inspection and, unless there are problems that cause you
to not want that particular house, you can go forward with the protection of the home inspection
and having an “out” once you have the inspection results.
We continue this process for as long as it takes, re-evaluating and modifying as we go. Sometimes the right house isn’t on the market yet, sometimes you may decide to wait until you have more money available. We will also consider FSBOs (For Sale By Owners), as well as foreclosures and short sales. Your evaluation will take into account:
- How well it meets your criteria.
- How much you like it!
A word here about pricing – there is no magic way of knowing how sellers have priced
their house, nor can we know how much lower they will go until we try it.
See “Establishing the Right Price” and “Negotiating”.
We’ll be with you throughout this process; we know how important it is! We’ll do our best to make sure that the house you buy is the best one available, and that we have accomplished your home buying with a minimum of stress and a maximum of enjoyment!