House Hunting Tips to Help You Find The One
This is a guest post by Bill Park, a Keller Williams realtor and valued partner of Ross Mortgage.
Hunting for houses is a lot like dating. Essentially, it’s a real estate agent’s job to play matchmaker and find houses that fit within homebuyers’ criteria. Every time we show a house, it’s like setting the buyer up on a date. While not every house will be love at first sight, it’s our ultimate goal to ensure you find “the one.”
Whether you are serious about settling down in the house of your dreams or simply want to play the field and see what’s available, I’ve put together some house hunting tips to make your pursuit of the perfect house a successful one.
Tip 1: Find a real estate agent
As I mentioned before, real estate agents are like matchmakers. It’s important to find an agent that will effectively represent your needs and work with you to find a house that meets your standards. Start by asking your friends and family for referrals. Once you have a list of realtors to choose from, research them online for reviews. You can also uncover potential real estate agents by calling on real estate ads.
Tip 2: Find a mortgage lender
Buying a home is one of the biggest financial decisions you will make in life. Ask your realtor to recommend at least one or two mortgage lenders to work with. Reputable lenders will be able to counsel you on the financial advantages of homeownership and help you choose a mortgage that fits within your overall financial plan.
Tip 3: Start the pre-approval process early
Real estate agents and sellers look favorably upon buyers who have a letter of pre-approval in hand. Not only does it demonstrate that you are serious about buying a home, it also puts you in a better position to negotiate on an offer and increase the chances that your offer is accepted.
For this reason, it’s best to start the pre-approval process before you begin looking for homes. By determining how much you are eligible to borrow, and thus how much house you can afford, your real estate agent will be better equipped to help you find homes that match your criteria and fit within your budget.
Tip 4: Search smarter for your dream home
To search for real estate values in your area, I highly recommend using the Market Insider tool. By simply inserting a zip code, you’ll receive a housing market analysis for that area as well as instant access to community information, local school stats and insider tips. You can even monitor houses for sale and the prices they are selling for.
In a busy market where houses are selling quickly, and usually for top bid, it is imperative to view a house as soon as it hits the market. However, finding time to go see a house can be difficult. To help homebuyers make efficient use of their time, dedicated agents will compare schedules and arrange a convenient time to view multiple homes in the same general area.
Tip 5: Make an offer
When you are ready to make an offer, clear and constant communication is a must. Once you’ve found “the one,” contact your agent as soon as possible. They will be able to counsel you on how to make an offer based upon what the home should be worth. If your offer gets countered or rejected, don’t get discouraged. You just need to get back up, dust yourself off and continue on your pursuit of the perfect home.
Much like finding your better half, pursuing the perfect home is a journey that requires patience and perseverance. Although there might be some heartbreak along the way, if you follow these simple tips, you will eventually find “the one.”
With more than 26 years of experience in real estate, Bill Park brings a wealth of knowledge to his role as an associate real estate broker at Keller Williams Realty. As a graduate of Central Michigan University, Bill is a life-long learner who has obtained multiple other degrees in real estate. He currently resides in Howell, MI and is a former board member of the Livingston County American Red Cross Chapter.