The Pre-Home Search, Home Search

So, you know you’re ready to buy a home and will be purchasing a new home soon. You’re excited that you finally have the down payment and are itching to start your home search. While you’re meeting with real estate agents and interviewing candidates to help you find your home, you can’t help but get started on your own. Everyone goes through this, you see yourself starting to look online and browse around. You may have an idea about your budget and financial and special requirements. That’s good! Just remember that it’s easy to stray outside your guidelines when you’re browsing online. Your real estate agent will ultimately guide you to properties that fit your requirements, but while you’re browsing around you may want to consider setting some boundaries or search guidelines for yourself. 

First, know that browsing current listings online can help you create a productive list of features, preferences for your real estate agent to work with. You should feel encouraged to browse around, just remember to think about some basic direction you should consider before you start. This mostly pertains to your mental state when browsing, but know that your browsing will influence your actual buying strategy in the end. 

Looking for homes online allows you to look at every price level, area and feature imaginable, or at least available within a range of your current city. It actually isn’t a bad thing to look at home out of your price range, but you should focus on homes within your price range. This can help you understand what your money can get you. You can see what features and locations are available in your price range, as well as above, so you can hone in on the significant areas and features you want to discuss with your real estate agent. 

While looking at homes online, you should remind yourself to look at features, price, and location generally, and not focus in on a single home. The house you’re looking at online may or may not be available when you ask your agent. Furthermore, the home you’re looking at may or not be real. Even if you see something awesome online, you should always ask the advice of a trusted agent. They can verify the listing against the official MLS listing and contact the homeowner or their listing agent before you become too invested in the home. 

Bottom line, feel free to search online while you select a real estate agent to facilitate your home search. Just remember to be smart, keep yourself from becoming overly obsessed with a single house and always ask the agent you choose to contact sellers on your behalf. With the help of your agent’s guidance, you’ll be well on your way to finding your new home.

What to Expect When You Search for a House

Searching for a house should be a fun, exciting experience. It represents an opportunity to discover a residence that you can transform into your very own home. As such, conducting an effective home search may require both hard work and patience to ensure that you can achieve the best-possible results.

Ultimately, there are many factors to consider as you search for your ideal house, and these factors include:

1. Location

A home’s location can have far-flung effects on a homeowner’s day-to-day activities, and perhaps it is easy to understand why.

For example, a city home may provide quick, easy access to a wide range of attractions. On the other hand, this home may be located near major highways, which could create traffic problems for those who need to commute to school or work regularly.

As you search for your dream house, consider where you want to live both now and in the future. If you enjoy the hustle and bustle of city life, you may want to pursue houses in big cities. Or, if you prefer the serenity of small town living, you can search for a top-notch home in the suburbs.

2. Home Condition

It is paramount to assess a house’s condition. Otherwise, you risk making an offer on a home that may have many “hidden” problems that probably will need to be corrected in the foreseeable future.

A home requires maintenance over time, and an older house may be more susceptible than others to costly, time-intensive structural problems. Thus, depending on a home’s age, you may need to account for many potential upgrades sooner rather than later.

It also may be worthwhile to find out which home upgrades that a home seller has already completed. If a seller recently replaced a house’s roof or heating and cooling system or performed other major home upgrades, you may be able to reap the benefits of these house updates for years to come.

3. A Home’s Price

The initial asking price of a home rarely, if ever, is set in stone. Therefore, if you find a house that is priced above your budget, you may be able to negotiate the house’s price with the seller.

If you find a house that you want to buy, it helps to submit a competitive offer right away. This offer should account for the age and condition of a house, as well as the current housing market’s conditions. And if the offer meets a seller’s expectations, he or she should have no trouble accepting the proposal.

Lastly, if you need help searching for a house, you may want to hire a real estate agent as well. This housing market professional can keep you up to date about new houses that become available, provide plenty of homebuying tips and suggestions and help you submit an offer on your dream house. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent is happy to respond to your homebuying questions, guaranteeing that you can make informed decisions at each stage of the homebuying journey.

Buyer Beware; Don’t Buy on Emotion

There is a saying often used in the real estate industry to refer to buyers, it says buyers are liars. That is in fact not case. The perception comes from the fact that buyers often buy on emotion rather than their needs. Buying on emotions often leaves buyers passing over a potential good deal or fit and instead overpaying for their dream home.

Here are some common buyer errors and how to avoid making them.

1: Not using the right agent

Choose an agent that works in the local market and never go it alone. An agent has the skills to negotiate the best deal for one of the biggest purchases of your life. A local agent has the lay of land and knows the area well and will be able to find you the right fit.

2: There usually isn’t a better deal

When buyers keep waiting for a better deal they often miss out. When you find a house that fits your needs go for it. Don’t wait because there is no guarantee that a better deal will come on the market.

3: Overpaying for cosmetics

Look at the structure and the function of the home. Paint colors or décor don’t matter in how much the house is ultimately worth. Often buyers will pay for cosmetics and staging in a home and ignore a better deal that isn’t perfectly decorated or match their taste.

4: Not negotiating realistically

Who doesn’t want to get the lowest possible price when buying a home? Buyers need to understand there is a big difference between negotiating and lowballing. If a buyer truly wants a chance at a sale it is best to make a fair offer. Lowball offers often immediately get rejected or cause the seller to become agitated which often ends negotiations. Buyers must understand a lowball offer comes with a risk of losing the property.