Buying a house – the 22
Buying a house is not like buying a pair of pants or a package vacation to a resort in Mazatlan or even a brand new car. Those things are easy. There is not a lot at stake.
Buying a home is also something that most people don’t do more that two or three times in their lifetimes. It is understandable that home buyers may not be adept and knowing the ropes of buying a home.
But luckily, their agent should be. A good agent will help guide a home buyer through the process.
Finding the right focus
The first thing you should do is talk to your lender and find out just how much you can afford. You may be richer than you think or you may be brought back down to an earthy reality. Either way, you should know what you can afford so you can narrow down your search to finding the best house for your budget.
(If you don’t want to talk with a lender, at least take advantage of an online calculator).
Do not call the listing agent
Buyer Agency isn’t a new thing anymore, but many buyers still don’t know that they should find an agent to work with.
Here are 15 reasons why you need a buyers agent:
- Cost of buyers agent is FREE
- Expert on local market
- List of preferred lenders
- Access to all MLS listings
- Find comparable properties
- Research neighbourhoods
- Negotiate sales price
- Gather appropriate documents
- Attend inspections and walk-thrus
- Write repair requests
- Constant communication
- Meet contractual deadlines
- Emotionally detached advisor
- Request invoices and warranties
- Schedule closing date
The listing agent has a relationship already established with the seller. Sure he or she will help you buy the place, but why as a buyer would you put yourself in a disadvantageous situation? Why wouldn’t you take advantage of the 16 points above?
Loose lips sink ships
Visiting open houses, talking with the home sellers, contacting listing agents directly all have the potential to sink a real estate deal. You never know what you might say that will give away your thoughts and feelings about a house. You never know what the seller’s agent or seller might say (that might or might not be true) that will influence you. You have an agent – let your agent do the talking.
You don’t have to see every single house on the market
If your agent is truly working for you, he or she should be able to narrow things down based on neighbourhood and your lifestyle needs.
The neighbourhood is the most important thing
You can change almost everything about your home but you can’t change the neighbourhood it is in.
The school is the most important thing about the neighbourhood
Even if you don’t have kids and don’t plan on having any the school is the most important thing about the neighbourhood. Living in a great school zone will guarantee your property’s value.
Knocking out walls is for dreamers
When I’m out house shopping with clients, I’ve noticed that if the floor plan isn’t perfect, if the potential buyers have to knock out a wall or two to make the house work for them, then chances are that the house does not work for them.
Consider the commute
If living on one side of town adds 30 minutes to your morning and afternoon commute time and there is a similar house in a similar neighbourhood closer, take the closer option — you need that hour!