Everyone can picture their ideal home. If you haven’t thoroughly prepared yourself prior to viewing houses, chances are that you will find what you think is your ideal home, but will wind up paying too much for it. It is essential to treat the buying process in a slightly detached manner. Those who fall in love with houses usually pay too much. That’s why it’s recommended that you develop a list of needs and one of wants. When looking at houses, make sure that they cover all of your needs – things like adequate space, a good neighborhood, perhaps a garage – and then have fun with items on your wants list. Treating the process in a regimented manner will help you to make a rational, informed decision.
Visit your lending institution prior to shopping. Be sure to get a mortgage commitment in writing. Being pre-approved gives you a solid price range, and lets me as your real estate agent and potential sellers know that you are serious and not just a looky loo.
Buying a home is a complicated process, it involves many people, and having the right people on your side can make a big difference. An experienced, dedicated, and knowledgeable real estate professional I can put a team of advocates, including lenders, lawyers, home inspectors and movers, on your side immediately.
The more you share with me as your real estate agent, the better I will be able to represent you. Letting your representative know exactly what you’re looking for, in terms of needs/wants, price range, and location, can eliminate unnecessary trips to unsuitable homes and that focus can help ensure that you wind up in the right home.
It’s still true...The desirability and resale value of your home depend on location more than any other factor. People want a desirable community that includes character, quality of schools, access to work, major transportation arteries, recreational facilities, etc. On your viewing trips, take a careful look and ask the following questions: How does this home compare to others in the neighborhood? Are yards fenced? Are there many children playing in the streets? Are the front and back yards and the exteriors of the homes properly maintained? The less expensive houses in a better area tend to appreciate faster than the most expensive houses in a less desirable area. Additional factors that affect the property value of a home include traffic, sounds, smells, zoning bylaws, and many others. Be objective. Be sure you are completely satisfied with the neighborhood. If you choose a neighborhood with problems, you likely won’t get as much as you hoped with it comes time to sell.
As a Realtor®, I uphold NAR's Code of Ethics, I am trained in all aspects of real estate, including understanding supply and demand, economics, and the neighborhoods of the county in which I practice. As a subscriber to the Multiple Listing Service of Southern Arizona, I can do much of the work for you when finding a property, by reviewing your needs I can find available properties, and make an informed match. A comprehensive knowledge of the available homes in neighborhood is one of my strongest assets. With the aid of computerized systems, I can notify you within minutes when a home becomes available.
When evaluating a home, be sure you know the difference between acceptable and unacceptable problems. Cosmetic items like peeling paint, worn carpeting, or unattractive wallpaper can be easily remedied, and can be used as negotiation items, as there will be costs involved in updating the home. Major problems, however are clearly red flags...Look for items such as major foundation cracks, water damage, outdated electrical systems, and inadequate plumbing. These items could be too expensive to remedy to make the home a worthwhile investment.
A home inspection is an inexpensive way to gain peace of mind, and guard your pocket book. A proper inspection will cover all areas of the house including foundation, electrical, heating, plumbing, floors, walls, ceilings, attic, roof, siding and trim, porches, patios, decks, garage and drainage. A professional inspector can give you an objective view of the property, with a written report, indicating the present condition and items that will need repair.
Sometimes, a fixer-upper can be purchased below market value, and once sufficient repairs are made, can be sold at a significant profit. However, not all fixer-uppers will bring in the profits you might expect. Consumers often overestimate their level of dedication to doing extensive renovation work, and underestimate the costs associated with such work. A wall that needs to be replaced can often lead to the discovery of faulty plumbing, electrical, or other major undertakings. Home inspectors will be your best allies when it comes to cost-benefit analysis.
A move can be a major undertaking. Take a good look at your current lifestyle and consider the future. Will you need extra space for a home office, a child, or perhaps a child moving back home? Perhaps it may be easier and less expensive if you purchase a home that can meet these needs now, rather than moving up to a larger home a few years down the road.
When you’re ready to buy, ACT. Good properties sell, and this is especially true given the current state of most real estate markets. Technology works to your advantage, I have a client portal which allows you to sign on as a client, and receive notification of new listings via email. You save time and effort, and you view only those homes that come closest to meeting your needs.
In any real estate transaction, be very clear about who is working for whom, and what the relationship represents. Unless otherwise stated, an agent represents the seller in transactions for the sale of a home. This agent, as part of his or her fiduciary duty, must ensure that the seller’s (and not your) position is represented throughout the entire process. Get a buyer’s agent on your side, or ensure that someone is acting in your best interests.
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is an analysis of comparable homes in a given neighborhood. It shows you the sale prices of comparable homes in the neighborhood, along with asking prices of other homes in the area currently on the market. I also have resources to generate historical reports for any home and neighborhood. With this valuable documents, you’ll have solid and reliable information about how fairly a home is priced compared to its real market value.
Understanding a seller’s reasons for moving could work to your advantage during negotiations. For instance, a seller who has been transferred to another city may be more motivated to sell than someone who is still shopping for a new home. A vacant house, or a house that has been on the market for several months and has been reduced in price, could also provide the opportunity for lucrative negotiations.
Conversely, information could be used to your detriment. Information about your mortgage, size of down payment, move-in deadline, or circumstances for buying could be used to the seller’s benefit in negotiations. While you want me to know these details, maintain your poker face and keep your cards hidden with the sellers and their agents.
While you definitely want to move quickly once you’ve made the decision to purchase, you don’t want to cave in to pressure for a quick close. Someone who is trying to pressure you into buying a home is likely doing so for a reason. Make sure the reasons for you to buy a home are your reasons and not theirs.
Even if you prefer not to haggle, it’s worth it, especially when it’s your home and one of your biggest investments. Most people expect to haggle over the price. There is always room for negotiation, and as your representative I will be a professional negotiator.
In some cases, the seller’s representative may use scare tactics to rush the sale or increase the price. Falling for this trap could cost you money. If there is another buyer, or some other reason this pressure is being applied, whoever wins also loses because they tend to overpay. Let reason be your guide, not passion.
Legally, sellers must disclose all known material defects of a property. Ask for this in writing. Also be sure to consider the ramifications of these defects. Will they be costly down the road? Are they “serious” defects?