If you are considering a home purchase, be sure you don’t go it alone. Buying a home in today’s market requires help and guidance from a real estate professional. With multiple parties involved in most real estate transactions, pursuing a home alone, whether new or re-sale would make you feel like a goldfish in a pool of sharks.
The following are some excellent home buying tips to consider and questions to ask when selecting a real estate agent to look out for your best interests:
- First and foremost, select an agent who will represent you exclusively. This type of representation will only happen if you choose an agent who represents buyers in their business.
- The real estate agent’s experience and negotiating skills are paramount to your success. Be sure to ask how long they have been in the business. Their expertise in short sales and bank-owned properties should be mandatory, with no exceptions.
- A good real estate agent must have excellent communication skills, but should be a better listener. They should be attentive to your needs. They should explain the entire real estate transaction process to you, whether you are a first-time buyer or seasoned individual.
- After you select an agent to represent you, and before you make an offer on a home, be sure the agent provides you with the most recent documented sales in the neighborhood. Only then will you make a determination on a price to offer for the home. These documented sales, or what we call a “comparative market analysis”, must be homes within the neighborhood and have similar features as the home of interest. Remember if you are financing the home, an appraisal will be performed prior to the close of escrow. The appraisal will protect the buyer from “overpaying” for the home.
- The real estate professional should explain to you, the buyer, the entire home buying process, thereby limiting or minimizing surprises during the transaction. Be certain that your representative follows through with the Title or Escrow Company, your mortgage lender, the appraisal, and home inspection. The experienced buyer’s agent should have a list of licensed contractors, plumbers, and electricians for referral should the need arise.
These home buying tips will prepare you when first contacting a real estate professional by phone or email. Be conscious of their response time. This will be the first indication of how their communication skills, attentiveness, and punctuality will be toward all parties in the sales transaction. Remember that this will be the most important financial decision of your lifetime, so don’t compromise and let the experience become stressful.
And thank you for making me Your Orange County Real Estate Connection.
Michael Caruso, Broker ABR ABRM CLHMS CRB CRS GREEN GRI
Past President, Orange County Association of Realtors (949) 753-7900