The real estate purchase process overwhelms many buyers because of the large number of choices and the importance of the making the right decision. For many, buying a home will be the most expensive purchase they ever make in their life. Figuring out how to cut through the clutter to find the best deal that meets their needs can be challenging.
Starting the Real Estate Buying Process
Before calling a Realtor or looking at a house, take stock of what is important in a home. Is there a bedroom or bathroom requirement? Will there be any special needs, like wheelchair access, minimal stairs, large backyards for children, etc.? Home buyers should do their best to speak with the major users of the home to better understand what requirements might be necessary. Speaking with children in the home could also be a great way to get them excited about the move and the new environment.
Working Real Estate Open Houses
Home buyers typically call a Realtor after looking at a few open houses. They may find a Realtor through that process or they may receive a referral. It’s always a good idea to do preliminary research through open houses before contacting a Realtor.
When attending open houses buyers should come prepared. Take a camera and a notepad. Upon entering, be sure to take the flyer or any literature being offered. This will have critical information about the property and may even have comparable property information as well. The purpose of this process is to get a good understanding of what kinds of properties are being offered in what price ranges.
Don’t forget to speak with the owner or the agent at the open house. Ask questions about the neighborhood, keeping in mind the sales bent on the information. Important questions like what type of people live in the neighborhood and what local amenities are available (parks, restaurants, etc.).
Selecting the Right Realtor
Throughout this process, home buyers should be keeping very good records of the homes they visit and the types of items they really like in a property. This will be an excellent way to find the right Realtor. Home buyers should interview at least three or four agents.
With the understanding received from the open houses, buyers should have a clear picture of the property and price they want. Buyers should pick the agent with the most experience within these parameters. If a buyer’s budget is $100k, he/she should not work with an agent that traditionally buys and sells $500k homes. Additionally, a buyer that wants a ranch-style house in an adult community, they should find an agent familiar with age-restricted housing.
Buying a home can be a daunting task. Be judicious and deliberate in the search. Take meticulous notes, keep a clean file, and remember to be assertive. Using this method, buyers will avoid buying the wrong home or paying too much for the right one.