If you are like most buyers you are doing most of your home searching online, whether you are still in the dreaming stage or already working with a Realtor. There is a good chance that in your online searching you will find a home that you get excited about... it looks perfect for you! So, when you do... what comes next?
It depends to some extent where you are in your buying process, but if you are smitten by a property you need to get in to see it. Seasoned buyers will tell you how many times they have been surprised once they actually get inside a property... either positively or negatively!
Our job as Realtors representing sellers is to make their home look good online so potential buyers come to see it... although it never ceases to amaze me how some Realtors seem to think a photo of a toilet or an outlet will help sell a property! But that is precisely why it is so important to get into a property to personally see it... the beautiful photos could mask a non-functional house... and the outlet could be part of a very nice home.
Assuming that price and basic space needs are met, ask yourself two questions to determine whether you need to get in to see a particular home ASAP...
- Is the home in the location where you want to be? If so, don't wait. Good properties sell regardless of market conditions. You can change things about the home itself but location is the one thing you can't change. If it fits your basic criteria and is in your perfect location you should see it.
- How would you feel if you decided to look at the property in a couple weeks and it was gone? If you find yourself dreaming about it and having a pit in your stomach if it's gone, you should take a look if only so you can let it go if it isn't the right home for you. If it is the right home... congratulations! You can make decisions on how to move forward.
If you are already working with a Realtor, call YOUR agent...not the phone number you found online or on a sign or flyer. As licensed Realtors, we can show ALL properties listed in the MLS so it doesn't matter where you find a listing... always contact YOUR agent!
If there is an open house coming up that is another option, especially if you aren't ready to buy right away. People often shop neighborhoods and housing styles by going to open houses of interest. That is also a good way to shop for Realtors... you may find one you would like to represent you if you don't have a buyer's agent already.
If you are in the very first stages of preparing to buy two key steps at the beginning of the process are getting your financing pre-approved and choosing a Realtor to represent you. It is important that you find someone who is not only knowledgeable, but also someone you feel comfortable working with and feel you can trust. The trust part is why people so often start with recommendations from friends and family, but more and more you can also get a feel for people online, including recommendations from other clients.
Check out the links to related posts and articles below for lots of helpful information for wherever you are in your homebuying process... whether or not you are buying your first home. And of course, don't hesitate to ask me questions. I know lots of stuff (and know how to find out about what I don't know) ...and am here to help!