Tips for Buyers

Like you, the vast majority of buyers start their home search on the internet.  It is a great tool and the very reason we have this website to offer to you. How you use the internet for your home search should depend on how familiar you are with the area you are moving to.  This will determine how much homework you can do on your own and how much you need a Realtor to help you find a home.

If you know the area well you can spend hours online looking for your dream home, give your Realtor a quick call to check location and drive by on your own.

If you are moving to a new area, you REALLY need a Realtor to help you. The marketing area of most offices will consist of homes covering a large radius and may be over an hour away from your targeted area.  A Realtor can send you homes that specifically suit your needs and best match your criteria.

Get Pre-Qualified on your Loan

Contact your favorite lender or ask your Realtor for the name of a good lender.  In today’s market the lending guidelines are changing daily.  If you contact a loan officer before you start looking, he/she may help you avoid the frustration of finding the perfect home only to find out you don’t qualify or the process takes too long and you miss out and someone else buys your dream home.

You may already have a lender in a different city than the area you are looking.  This is often the case with buyers of second homes and condos. However, I believe it is important to use a local lender in these instances because the local lenders know the market, their appraisers are used to appraising lake properties and condos.  Most out of town lenders don’t know the criteria for condo financing as they don’t have a lot of condos in their market.  They are not familiar with the intricacies of POA’s, boat dock permits and underwriting policies on these properties.  Their lack of knowledge in these areas could severely slow the process down or cost you the deal altogether.

Need to sell before you buy?

If you have to sell a home before you can buy, contact a Realtor and get that process going.  You will more than likely find a home you want to buy before you sell your current home. Get started.  Go to FAQ’s for Tips on Selling you home on this website. Most Sellers are not at all interested in negotiating a contract that is contingent upon the sale of a property that is not even for sale yet.

How to get the best service from your Realtor

Choose a Realtor you like.  Buying a home is not a one day process.  It may take several trips out looking, and it makes for a very long day if you don’t have a good rapport with the person your with.

If you call and work with several Realtors they will figure it out and may be happy to show you a home occasionally when it is convenient for them, but they will not work as hard for this type of customer as they will for one that is loyal.

Pick one Realtor and stick with them. All Realtors have access to the same MLS system.  As your Realtor gets to know you and your likes and dislikes, they have a better understanding of what you are looking for.  They will call you as soon as something hits the market and you will have the first shot at it.

Select a Realtor with knowledge in their marketplace.  A Realtor may have a great personality, but if they don’t know the area or the pricing in their market, you may not get the best deal you could have.

Respect your Realtors time.  If you know you want to go look at a home on Saturday or Sunday or any given evening for that matter, call them ahead of time.  You make appointment with your Doctor, your hairdresser and your child’s teacher.  If you will make an appointment with your Realtor they will greatly appreciate it!  They have to schedule appointments with the listing company and have time to get a response back from the sellers.  Most properties are occupied and the owner will need additional time to prepare their home for you.  Everyone will appreciate advance notice.   The sooner you schedule an appointment the smoother the day will go.

However, do not be afraid to call your Realtor if you have a question or find the perfect house in the right neighborhood.  If every call isn’t last minute your Realtor won’t mind working you in and showing you that perfect home!

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