Finding A Place You'll Call "Home"!
I know that your time is valuable and the last thing you want is to spend countless hours, week after week, on the computer or in the car searching for just the right home. I respect your time and work hard to make the most of it.
"7 Myths About Online Shopping For A Home"
You can view properties for weeks or months on the Internet - hoping that the "perfect home" will finally pop up. But here are 7 myths about that approach.
A listing agent’s job is to represent the seller. But depending on what website you are using, the inquiry may not likely be routed even to the listing agent at all. In fact, there is a very good chance that it will be sent to agents who are not even the listing agent.
Your inquiry is likely getting routed to several agents at once, none of whom are the listing agent. This is why you will likely be contacted by multiple agents in response to the one property you simply wanted more information about.
That’s right — there may not be a listing agent on the receiving end of your email. Leads are not free. There are agents paying big dollars to subscribe to particular ZIP codes in order to receive leads. Agents are continually cycling in and out of buying subscriptions to these ZIP codes as this is quite pricey. The costs involved for an agent to receive these leads often equate to a monthly rent or mortgage payment — just to receive leads that may or may not work out.
If you have a buyer agent, you need to work through your agent for all showings. Agent communities are small worlds in that word will get out very quickly about the buyers contacting every listing agent in certain areas to see homes on their own.
You should expect to be contacted multiple times by text, email and phone by an agent or their designee. These "follow-ups" might be in the form of auto-responders if not an actual person trying to reach out to you. The best way to get these multiple inquiries to stop is to simply respond.
If you are already working with an agent, please let the person who has contacted you know that. If it was an accidental inquiry, let the agent know that too. If you are dreaming about buying a certain kind of home and simply curious, be upfront about that so the agent can appropriately manage the communication with you. You are not obligating yourself to anyone or anything simply because you "clicked here for more information," but you need to understand what goes on behind the scenes of the process to minimize confusion in an already confusing situation.
You might think requesting a showing is as simple as "point, click and show," but if you are working with an agent, or if your agent is not available, please do not mislead the other agent who responds to your internet inquiry by letting him or her show you properties. You already know you have no intention of writing an offer with that agent.
Although getting familiar with inventory in the marketplace in advance of buying is acceptable, you are better to engage with one agent who'll assist you upfront versus randomly inquiring about properties here and there.
There are many agents eager to jump into action, arrange to show you property and incubate you as a lead for weeks, months or even years; but doing so when you have other intentions will only lead to disappointment, confusion and frustration for all involved.
Trying to see a house is not quite as instant as ordering an Uber. The agents contacting you will probably be asking the following questions:
- Do you have an agent?
- Have you been prequalified or preapproved by a lender?
- What is bringing you into the market?
- What is your time frame for finding a home?
- Do you rent or own?
- If you rent, when is your lease up?
- If you own, do you have to sell a property first in order to buy?
And that might just be the tip of the iceberg.
Why do agents have to ask all of those questions, you ask? Well, agents are trained to "prequalify" all prospects. Their job involves so much more than simply unlocking a door. They have an obligation to themselves and all involved in the real estate process to ensure would-be buyers are following the right process and are qualified to purchase what they are looking at. Not to mention the safety factor involved.
Most people do not buy the property that they inquire about. In fact, most times it is often everything but what they are looking for. An online listing is a surface level look at something that often does not tell the whole story. How much are the association dues and taxes — and what about that hidden assessment? Is there a busy highway near the home or community? Has the neighborhood been overrun by renters?
If you are casually thinking about buying a property in a particular area and are not committed to anyone, consider engaging with an agent who reached out to you to better start the process so you can get some advice and guidance about what you can get for your money in your desired area.
Otherwise, searching online and sending random inquiries on various properties is a lot like throwing a dart. You have no idea what you are looking at, nor do you have any sense of the property, neighborhood, area or factors that could affect value. You will grow weary of multiple agents continually contacting you.
Despite what the proliferation of technology may have you believe, there is never a substitute for in-the-trenches insight, advice and guidance imparted by a highly-knowledgeable and skilled real estate agent. Contrary to what you might think, an agent can actually save you from making an expensive mistake, overpaying for a property and not fully exploring your options.
An agent might be able to suggest the ideal area for you — one that checks all your boxes and has available properties in your price range — which you would not have found randomly searching online. Agents know what you should know (but don't) and it is their job to fill in those gaps.
A little online knowledge can be a dangerous thing when it leads buyers to believe they’ve covered all their bases. An agent's knowledge is a highly valuable thing that far exceeds the price of any property you buy — it's designed to help you make wise decisions about what is likely the single largest transaction you'll make in your entire life.
Guess what? The agent only gets paid at the end of the transaction through a commission or brokerage fee. Meanwhile, the best agents will work their tails off to get buyers their dream houses.
That usually entails at least 20 trips back and forth to show buyers homes, finding out answers to the buyers’ questions, triangulating between the listing agent, homeowners association, county and city, researching public records, making phone calls to the mortgage lender with continually revised closing cost spreadsheets prepared with different down payment scenarios and interest rates.
We must then spend the time explaining how all this works to the buyers, write offer after offer and cancelling or rearranging personal plans so that we can show the buyer a house so they don’t miss out.
All of that is done without a paycheck the day the agent starts working with the buyer. If the buyer decides to purchase and purchase through that agent, and only if that transaction goes to closing - then and only then - will the agent get paid.
I listen closely to your wants and needs. I ask you the right questions to further help you focus in on exactly what it is you're looking for in your next home. This saves you a tremendous amount of time and frustration. I then take this knowledge and get to work carefully researching and selecting the properties that best match your criteria.
I also have a vast knowledge of the area that come both from living here for almost 3 decades and my community and civic involvement. This keeps me current on what's going on in the towns and neighborhoods throughout the greater Washington DC area.
When you've selected the right home you want to purchase, I will then prepare a Comparative Market Analysis, gather information on that home and advise you on the best offer price and strategy. You want to be sure you've done your homework so that when you make a decision on that home, you can proceed with confidence and peace of mind.
But it doesn't stop there. I'll be there with you every step of the way, helping to navigate this process: from finding the right home, to obtaining a loan, through the contract negotiation process, and home inspection - all the way to the settlement table and beyond. My clients know I'm here to service them not only during the home buying process, but long after they've moved into their home as well.
Call or email me today to arrange a consultation on how I can best assist you with realizing your real estate goals!
Bike Realty Services
I have been a big bike commuter for years. It has never failed me as the most invigorating and quickest way to get to work, run errands, or visit friends in the neighborhood. I am building on my strong biking and environmental ethic and background, by offering clients the opportunity to join me on biking tours while searching for new homes or investment properties. There is nothing like biking to get to know an area where you are considering purchasing a property. It is a great way to get up to speed quickly in a most delightful way! I can tailor bike tour to meet your individual needs and comfort level.
Call me today for an exhilarating Bike House Hunting Tour today!
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