So your finances are in order, you’ve found a great agent and you’re ready to get started. Good job! It’s time to sit down with your agent and go over everything that you’ve compiled so you can begin searching for your new home. An initial consultation will help your Realtor understand exactly what you’re looking for and what you hope to accomplish in this process.
Take a Drive
Sometimes, especially for buyers unfamiliar with some areas, it is a good idea to drive around the neighborhoods that you are considering buying in. This will give you a good idea of what to expect and also help you narrow your focus and save time. If you don’t know where to start, your Realtor can help suggest some areas that match your needs and are within your price range.
Setup Your Home Search
Technology is a wonderful thing! Our Realtors use the multiple listing service (MLS) to help you narrow down your search and weed out the thousands of homes that don’t match your needs or finances. This will help you narrow down your focus to just those homes that you might want to buy so you don’t spend time and energy looking at ones that don’t fit your goals.
Your agent will sit down with you and put in the criteria that you have determined you need in a home. This will generate a list of homes to look at that may fit the bill. Not all of these will meet your needs so it can be trimmed down and refined as needed. Our office is equipped with widescreen LCD TVs that make looking at homes and virtual tours a snap. This research will help save you a lot of time that you would have spent driving to and looking at homes that don’t match your needs.
As you begin looking at homes on this list, your needs and wants may change over time as you become more familiar with the market and what is available to you. This is fine and is usually expected. Communicating effectively with your agent is critical during this phase in the process so they can help guide you towards homes that best suit you and will help you reach your goals. We are not salespeople but rather consultants that will guide you through this process. Don’t be afraid to tell your agent about your fears, concerns and opinions, our job is to listen and adapt so that we can best serve you.
So you’ve done it; you’ve found your new home! Great! Now it’s time to write up an offer to purchase the property. Your agent will walk you through the necessary steps and explain the various details involved. Your offer price is only one part of the negotiation. Other critical details include contingencies (home inspection, financing, etc.), seller concessions and timelines. A lot of paperwork is involved but it is our job to simplify the process and explain every step along the way.
Once you have put in an offer to purchase a property it will be sent to the seller’s agent to review and present. Many times the seller will come back with a counteroffer that has changes to your original contract. This is where having a seasoned and savvy Realtor as your partner is critical! Of course you want the home you’ve selected but you also want to get it at the price and terms that are most in your favor.
All of our agents are rigorously trained in pricing and negotiating. They have the skills to get you the best deal possible in any market. Tom and Cindy have personally been through two and a half complete market cycles and have seen everything over their 25 years in the real estate business. The experience available in our office, on a team that sells almost 300 homes per year, is an essential benefit in this part of the process!
Congratulations! You and the seller have come to an agreement on price and terms and the contract is now ratified! You’re now ready to move forward in purchasing your new home but there are still a number of items to take care of first.