HGTV’s “House Hunters” makes it look easy. Eager buyers look at three perfect homes for sale and choose one, making a quick decision.
In real life, home buying takes time and effort. According to a recent article in Forbes, the average buyer spends about 17 weeksshopping for a home. When they do find a home they’re excited about, 54% of buyers are unsuccessful with the first purchase attempt.
We must point out that the statistics used by Forbes were based on buyers who worked with typical real estate agencies – notExclusive Buyer Agents! There is a significant difference in representation when working with an EBA, which improves the entire home buying process.
Yet it’s true that buyers should allow plenty of time for their home search, especially in markets with a low inventory of homes for sale. Successful home buying requires a commitment to the process! This includes giving up some nights and weekends to look at homes for sale, and being prepared to take action when you find a suitable property.
If you’re planning on buying a home in the near future, take these steps now:
Find an Exclusive Buyer Agent in your area. Your EBA will help you define your home search criteria and provide you with local market information. He or she will also refer you to trustworthy mortgage lenders who will explain your financing options.
Obtain a mortgage pre-approval. Your lender will examine your income, debts, employment data, credit score and down payment funds, and calculate mortgage scenarios for you to choose from. This process will tell you how much home you can afford.
Decide what your priorities are in a home. Your “must-have” list should be based on the realities of your home buying budget, as shown in your pre-approval.
Set aside time for your home search. Your EBA will screen for homes that meet your criteria. You can also sign up for automated e-mail alerts, which will notify you when a home matching your criteria comes on the market. Of course, you can conduct an online home search yourself, but public-access listings lack the internal detail that your EBA can obtain.
Set aside time to tour the properties that interest you. Your EBA will schedule appointments around your availability, but don’t delay too long – homes that are in good condition, and priced correctly for the market, will go under contract quickly.
Remember that your Exclusive Buyer Agent can show you any home for sale, including homes on the Multiple Listing Service, homes For Sale by Owner, and homes for sale directly by home builders. Your EBA will represent you throughout the entire home buying process!