Over the past year, I’ve been privileged to be a part of the stories of my friends, family, and clients as they’ve bought and sold homes. While no two stories or situations are the same, there are a few principles I try to talk through each time we step into the process. I’ll talk specifically about buying process here, and maybe I’ll jump in to add some home selling tips in the near future.
A little disclaimer: these may seem basic or simple, but I promise whether it’s your first or tenth time to walk down this road, the simplest reminders can have the most profound effect on the experience.
Start Early: Because 2018 stands to be a very competitive market, especially in the 350k and under price range, start dialoguing with an agent and mortgage broker early, even if you’re just considering the possibility of buying. There’s no down side to talking to an agent and lender about what price ranges make sense for you and beginning to understand the current market values in areas you’re interested in. It really helps provide a foundation for the process and allows you and your agent to be on the same page. This preparation lets you jump on the perfect house when it comes up rather than frantically putting in numbers in an online mortgage calculator to see if you can make it work!
Communicate Often: Our job as agents is to serve our clients and represent your values throughout the process, and as with any good relationship, communication is key. There will be new questions, big and small, and you should feel the freedom to ask any and all of them. Everything from, “do the TV mounts stay?”, to larger issues on HVAC, foundation, electrical, etc. I’ve found much of the stress in the process is attributed to the “unknown” – “how serious is this issue on the inspection report?” to “what’s reasonable to ask for during the negotiation?” You’re agent is here to help and give you the best information, in time sensitive manner, so that you can feel comfortable during every stage.
Remember to breathe!
The home buying process is certainly a significant financial investment, but you don’t walk into the house with a calculator, you buy a home based on how it feels and how well you see yourself, and your family, living there. With that in mind, it’s impossible for emotions to not be pulled into the equation – for better or worse. Remember to take a deep breath and know that the process will work itself out with the help of an agent who’s deeply committed to serve you throughout the process. I often say that being an agent is 50% counselor and 50% advisor, because an agents job isn’t to “sell” you anything, it’s too help you navigate the best value and fit for your family based on your priorities…it’s to serve.
I hope these help give a good primer for you if you’re thinking through a home purchase…we’re here to serve you however we can, no matter where you are in the process!