You just left the bank with a crisp pre-approval letter and you feel you’re officially ready to buy a house. Yeehaw!
Hint: You call your Realtor … that could be me, if you like.
Why use a Realtor to find you a property?
A Realtor that is representing you as a buyer and is not representing the seller also, is working strictly on your behalf.
That means that if you call the person from the sign or the advertisement, that person is most likely representing the seller.
Is that bad? Well, no, but that Realtor has more “issues” to juggle and could skimp on their devotion to you, as a buyer.
But truly, it’s whomever you’re comfortable with.
This article is about finding a house, not a Realtor … but the soapbox presented itself.
Back to houses and your dream property.
Things to consider about your future abode:
- Price Range. Stay at or below you’re pre-approved mortgage amount.
- Type of house: Single Family, Condo, Townhouse, Manufacture, Tee Pee? (kidding on that last one)
- Age of home. Do you want brand-spanking new, or would you be okay with an older home?
- Size of the house – is there a minimum and maximum square footage that you wish to pursue?
- Number of bedrooms and bathrooms and garage spaces
- Neighborhood. What do you want to be near? A freeway, shopping, schools, your job, the hospital?
- Features: Fence, Pool, Carpet or Tile, Construction (CBS or Wood Frame), Shed, Granite Counters, Theatre Room (Ahhhhh).
Once you have the basics of your dream home, your Realtor will search the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for available property.
The nifty thing about the MLS is that it’s generally up-to-date on the “status” of the property. As an example, I had a buyer who sent me a long list of properties that she found on Realtor.com and TCPalm. I searched all 40 of them and found that 22 were Contingent or Pending. That means that those properties have an accepted offer and they will most likely be sold within the next 30 days to the person who made the offer.
Because the MLS shows “Active, Contingent, and Pending” and other search sites do not, that is another [soapbox] benefit of using a Realtor to help with your search.
After weeding through all the listings that match your criteria, you’re now ready to go on tour!
Tip: If it’s you and another person that will be buying together, it may be a good idea to schedule a tour for when you both can attend. That way if your companion hates the color of the walls you can hash it out then and there instead of waiting and wondering.
Touring is fun because you get to snoop through other people’s homes and make fun of their decorations (did I just write that?).
If you’ve been through quite a few homes and you haven’t turned one up, keep the faith, you’ll find one. Be positive.
Sign up for the auto-email with your Realtor and have properties sent to you that were just listed or dropped in price and now match your criteria. That way while you’re at work you can search listings that are new or recently reduced and put those together for a new tour on your next free weekend.
You may find your dream home quickly or it may take a few weeks.
You’ll know when you find it.
You’ll feel like this:
I encourage those that have gone through the home-search phase to write their comments below and share with our soon-to-be buyers. Did it take long to find your home? Any funny or odd experiences you went through during your search?
And last but not least, if you’re a buyer and you’re ready to start on the home-buying journey, visit my Contact Section to get in touch and talk about your needs and wants and dreams.