Reader Question: Monty, I read your 10 Myths article. Do you have a list of top 10 tips for homebuyers? Mason T. – Nashville, TN
Monty’s Answer: Hello Mason, that is a good question. Here is a Top 10 list I created as a response. I have linked each tip to additional information for you. By heeding these tips and acting them out as you progress through the real estate process the chances of experiencing a positive outcome magnify exponentially. I hope you find it helpful. Thanks for asking. Monty
1. Invest Time In This Project – Accept this purchase as a project that requires a time commitment to educate you. This is the largest single financial transaction of your life. Many people see it as simple, but research suggests home buyers know little about the real estate transaction. My experience suggests buyers often pick real estate agents for the wrong reasons.
2. Take The Steps Of The Real Estate Process In Order – There are many decisions made in the process. Buying a home is not a single act. By understanding the logical order of the process, you may save time, effort and money being able to anticipate and give thought to the next step before you are required to make a decision.
3. Interview Three Lenders – Whether you are buying your first or third home, interview three lenders before choosing one. Every lender and every originator is different, and those differences directly affect you financially.
4. Decide What Is Important To You Before You Look – What do you want to achieve? You have seen a lender so you know your spending limitations, how about lifestyle? Do you want to invest to the maximum or be more conservative? Everyone has different influencers on what is important. A predetermined plan is a solid step to have in place when you start looking.
5. Learn How Real Estate Works – You should know the rules when buying a home, and there are rules of the game in real estate. What are agents supposed to do for you? What is the best way to evaluate a home? There are many myths, theories, practices and perceptions in real estate. If you know the differences, you will be ahead of the game.
6. Interview Three Pre-screened Agents – There is a high likelihood you will not interview multiple agents. Agents prefer that decision. After all, they all have the same license. They all have MLS access. Right? While both points are true, that does not make them equal. Interviewing three agents with specific questions to make a confident decision on which agent to use.
7. Find Your Neighborhood First – You know your price range. You have decided what features and conveniences are important to you. You will find there are multiple neighborhoods that offer those attributes. Check each of them out. Narrow the neighborhoods down to three or four that appear to be what you want.
8. Start With Area Tours – Ask your agent to set appointments to view a representative sample of a home for sale in each of the neighborhoods you selected. Ask the agent for their opinion on what you have learned with your research. This task assists you to rank the neighborhoods. Keep your notes on each home data sheet about your impressions and your questions.
9. Gather The Right Data – Ask your agent for specific MLS information. To establish a good sense of what is happening in each neighborhood you need facts, not generalized statements. This database of property information will be very useful in helping you understand the value of homes and neighborhoods you become interested in during your search.
10. Keep A Property Binder – Organize this data in a fashion that is comfortable for you to access it easily and often. After leaving a home you viewed, use the information in your binder to do the fact checking and analyzing.