Five Tips for Buying the Perfect Home

One of the biggest problems with the selling your house housing market right now is a glut of inventory. This provides more choice and a better bargaining position for buyers, but there’s a hazard too: Home Hunting Burnout. You spend 8 hours driving all over your county checking out the best bargains, but found a lot of high priced, gorgeous houses that fit your dreams to a T, but have non-negotiable prices outside your range or …uhmm…unique fixer-upper opportunities. At the end of the day, your tired, bored, frustrated and very mad at your agent for taking you on this hours-long rollercoaster ride of elation and disappointment. Not to mention about $65.00 of gas. Enjoy some good targeted house hunting with these five tips.

1. Design your perfect home
Build your own personal home inspection sheet. Make a list of features you like in a home and features that are an absolute must-have. How close is it too the highway? Where are the schools? How many baths? Does it have a pool? What about storage? How many square feet of living space? The idea is to come up with a list that guides you and your agent so that the homes you line up on a tour will all be relevant homes within your price range. Below that have a couple of clear lines where you can jot down notes at each property. What did you like, what needs to be changed, needed repairs, interior condition, curb appeal, etc. As you fill out each sheet, staple it to the listing form your agent will have emailed or printed for you before visiting the property.

As an aside, ask your agent how an offer is made well before your ready to place one. Ask what options you can add in to sweeten your deal, if you need to, or conditions you need to include in your offer to better make it fit your needs.

2. Be organized!
That brings us to paperwork. Your agent will provide you with as much information as you can handle for each property you see. Be ready for that stack of data to get overwhelming quickly. Get yourself a file folder or binder and sort them by town. This is easier to locate a specific house than if you used date of visit. Keep your data sheets from your agent and your personal inspection sheet together in your file. Save everything too, even info on homes you didn’t like. You never know when you’ll want to remember something specific that you did like about the home. When you do place an offer keep the paperwork together. Offers aren’t always accepted. Frequently a volley of offers and counteroffers goes back and forth between buyer and seller’s agents. Label each one, because they’ll look very much alike, and stick it in your file.

3. Use the internet – Educate Yourself.
There’s a large quantity of useful tools out there to move your search along. Check out MLS, Zillow or Trulia to see specific houses, perform searches, get information on the sales process, market conditions or agent referrals. These tools will help you pick houses to look at to helping you find your position in the marketplace and so much more. Remember to make your searches flexible. A little above and below your desired range, looking for bargains on the low end and flexible motivated sellers on the upper end. You can, also, check out ratings for neighborhoods on schools, shopping, crime and many other nice-to-know stats. Download a QR app for your Smartphone. When passing by a home you like, Turn on the app and point your Smartphone at the sign. If there’s an odd black and white sign that looks like a pixilated cloud, point your phone’s camera lense at it. It’s like a UPC code at the grocery store. The difference is this one will direct you to a website that has the vital statistics of the house and contact information on the seller or his agent. No more frantically writing down numbers while you steer with your knees.

4. What can you afford?
Prior to house hunting, get pre-approved for a mortgage. This gives a solid idea what you can afford, provides an early warning for credit issues(like credit scores) and lends you more credibility when placing an offer. A lender bases pre-approval on your actual income, debt, and credit history. If you haven’t already, make yourself up a budget of what you typically spend in a month and how much you can afford for a down payment or monthly payment. If you need to consider low or no down payment loans, ask a mortgage officer about FHA, USDA, VA and other loan options.

5. Make sure you partner with your real estate agent
You and your agent need to be on the same wavelength on a variety of issues. Your agent needs to know your price range, desired features and really, everything you can tell them. A good agent will take the risk of angering a shy client by asking a load of questions. As an agent, I’ll tell you: It’s uncomfortable for everybody when you have to do that. It’s even more uncomfortable when an agent doesn’t do that and you embark on a 6 hour tour of houses the client is just not interested in. Lastly, Both you and your agent need to exchange Cell #, Office #, emails, etc. Add your agent to your contact list, so you’ll see his name pop up on your phone when he calls. Fast communication is sometimes key to getting a deal through.

Thinking of selling your home? I have a passion for Real Estate and love to share my marketing expertise! Contact me today for a market analysis of your house!

Lew McConkey

I service the following towns in South Shore MA: Whitman, Hanson, Brockton, Rockland, Abington, Pembroke, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Easton, Weymouth, Braintree and Quincy MA. Rosen Realty

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