Part 3: Meet with your Realtor® and lay the groundwork for the search.
Ideally, your Realtor® is your personal real estate insider, a trusted advisor and skilled negotiator you can count on to have your back for the entire process from beginning to end.
There's a lot involved in finding and then purchasing a home. I have found that the process feels less overwhelming if we spent some time laying the groundwork.
First of all, I like to meet in a quiet place for 90 minutes or so to talk through the entire process, big-picture - I recommend my office but am open to other locations.
During this conversation, we will, among other things:
determine the basic parameters of your search including price range and area,
set up your personalized access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) so that you properties that meet your criteria are delivered directly to your inbox as they come to market,
go over how to read between the lines on any listing,
go over the current state of the market in the neighborhoods and price range you are interested in,
discuss the process for performing our due diligence in the purchase of a house when we aren't in competition and when we are, and
answer all of the questions you have at this point.
The second thing I like to do is have you choose a property that interests you and then tour it together, going through the home inspection protocol that we will use to assess all properties on our search.
If time permits, we can do this right after our meeting, or we can save it for another day, whatever is most appropriate.
Four costly mistakes Buyers commonly make that you won't:
1. Failure to assess the exterior envelope and what it’s going to cost in time and money to maintain. The vast majority of the homes I see are already in a state of deferred maintenance. (Wood is usually the culprit.)
2. Failure to assess the state of water management on the property. In one way or another, water is the culprit when your foundation shifts and/or springs a leak.
3. Failure to discover deficits in electrical systems. The number one purchase-plus-improvement service my clients undertake is electrical upgrading and every time we have been the ones to discover the problem. Knob and tube and old ungrounded wiring are the two biggest culprits.
4. Not understanding what creates and sustains market value, in particular as it pertains to the kitchen and dining area.