Baby Steps (2 of 3): Seek, Discover, Meet and Shop

In our first article went over some preliminary steps in deciding whether or not proceed. Now that the preliminary work is done, it’s time to take just a few more baby steps. Here’s what to do next:

Seek out an area where you’d like to live. Start by just driving around. There’s no substitute for first-hand observation. A real-life survey of an area will reveal aspects that don’t come through in a photo. Pay attention to the little things. For example, are houses in the area well-maintained? How are the roads? Is here convenient access to shopping and other needs? These are just a few things to look for.

Discover homes you’d like to buy. Take a pad of paper and something to write with, and jot down the addresses of homes that interest you. Also note other pertinent information to help you remember at a later point what it was that sparked your interest in a particular home–for example, “Has beautiful backyard” or “Love the stucco exterior”. Make a note of essential information, like the price, if displayed, and the MLS number. Another excellent source of real estate listings is the internet. There are several advantages to using the internet to find a home. For starters, you’ll save money on gas by not having to drive all around town. Secondly, you be able to conduct smarter searches, filtering out listings that don’t meet the criteria you specify in the search tool you’re using. But regardless of whether you find homes for sale on or offline, it is a good idea to try to see what they all have in common. Knowing what common characteristics they all share will help you convey to your real estate agent what you’re looking for. This will help you agent be more effective and efficient in finding other homes for you. Which brings us to our next baby step…

Meet with a real estate broker or real estate agent. The best way to find a real estate agent is by asking friends and family for referrals. There’s no substitute for personal experience when it comes to finding the right person to help you. If you can’t get referrals from friends and family then it’s probably time to turn to the trusty old internet. Regardless of how you find potential agents, it is helpful to prepare a list (written or mental) of questions that are important to you. This will help your interviews be more focused and efficient. Ultimately, deciding on an agent has as much to do with what your gut tells you as much as your head.

Shop for homes. Once you’ve found and agent, the fun part beings—shopping!!! By now, your agent should have a good idea of what types of homes interest you. This is because you’ve already taken the baby step of driving around and/or searching the internet to find homes that share certain common characteristics—e.g., a certain price range, certain number of bedrooms, certain architectural styles, etc. If you’ve found some good candidates for your future home it’s time to actually see them up-close and inside. Your agent will map the most efficient route from one home to the next, and schedule showings that coincide with your travel itinerary. Once you’ve found a home you want to make an offer on, then it’s time for to take you next baby steps…

Click here to view article 3 of 3, or click on a link below.

Preliminary Work | Seek, Discover, Meet and Shop | Negotiate, Inspect and Close

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