Real Estate Agent
So your finances are in order, you know what you want in a home and you’ve found a great agent. Congratulations, you’re ready to get started with your home search! Now it’s time to sit down with your agent to go over everything that you’ve compiled.
This initial buyer consultation will help your Realtor understand exactly what you’re looking for, and what you hope to accomplish in this process, so they can better tailor their service to your needs. Your Realtor will help guide you through each step moving forward, but here’s a quick timeline of what to do and expect:
1. Take a Drive
Sometimes, especially for buyers unfamiliar with our area, it’s a good idea to drive around the neighborhoods that you’re considering for your new home. This will give you a good idea of what to expect, it will help narrow your focus and ultimately save you time. If you’re not sure where to start, your agent can help suggest some areas that match your needs and are within your price range.
2. Setup Your Home Search
Technology is a wonderful thing! Our Realtors use the multiple listing service (MLS) to help you weed out the thousands of homes that don’t match your criteria or finances. This will narrow down the search to just those homes that might be a good fit so you don’t spend time and energy on ones that don’t meet your needs.
Your agent will take the list of criteria for your new home, along with your budget, and create a Custom Home Search in the system. This will generate a list of homes that are worth further consideration.
3. Adjust and Refine Your Search
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 just fine and totally expected. Communicating effectively with your agent is critical during this phase in the process. The more info they have, the better they can help guide you towards homes that best suit you and save frustration by eliminating options that aren’t a good match.
Remember, your Realtor is not a salesperson but rather a consultant that will guide you through this process and work on your behalf, and your best interests throughout. 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.
4. Making an Offer
So the day has finally come; 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 all of the crucial details involved.
Your offer price is only one part of the negotiation. Other critical details include contingencies (such as home inspection, appraisal, financing, etc.), seller concessions (closing cost help), settlement date and all of the other various timelines outlined in the contract. A lot of paperwork is involved but it’s our job to simplify the process and explain every step along the way.
5. Negotiating the Offer
Once you’ve completed your offer to purchase a property, your Realtor will send it 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 over three complete market cycles and have seen everything over their 35 years in the real estate business. The experience available in our office, on a team that sells hundreds of homes per year, is an essential benefit in this part of the process!
6. Contract Ratification
Congratulations! You and the seller have come to an agreement on price and terms and the contract is now ratified! You’re well on your way to purchasing your new home, but there are still a number of items to take care of before you start moving in.