Where do you begin when looking for a home? Clients, especially first-time buyers, come to us and look for guidance.
First off, you need to decide on HOW you are going to pay for your new property. If it is CASH, then you already know what the top dollar amount can be. If it is going to be FINANCED, you need to begin by contacting a mortgage lender and getting a preapproval letter. This will give you that top dollar amount that you need to know BEFORE you begin your search. (It is a waste of time to start looking at homes and later find out you can't possibly afford that home you just fell in love with!) Most sellers do NOT want Realtors to bring in buyers who are not qualified to purchase the property. That is a waste of time for everyone involved.
Secondly, you probably have some basic idea of the geographic area you would consider living in. Here in Pinellas County, people often search in several towns, since they flow into each other and are relatively close in distance. So you can tell your Realtor that you are interested in towns x, y and z.
We now have price and approximate location. Next we need to know the BASIC MUST HAVES. Not what you would ideally love to have but what you MUST have. Minimum number of bedrooms, bathrooms, square footage, garage or not, etc.
How about short sales and bank owned properties? Should they be included in the search? Most people, but not everybody, know that short sales are anything BUT short! They can take a year or longer here in Florida. As for bank owned properties, MANY have had the owner's frustrations taken out on the property..........damaged walls, broken windows, appliances removed........Should they be included in the search or not?
What I like to do from this point on is to set up a search for my client and let them explore what is available in that price range. Rather than MY picking out which properties they are going to see, I let the client pick out the property. This is what I would want to do if I was the buyer!
Once I have a list of what my buyer wants to see, we can go out and physically begin our search. This first time out helps ME get an idea of properties I can suggest in the future. Nothing clarifies what your clients want like physically going out with them and seeing a few properties.
It is vital that you work together, as a team. If the buyer thinks they like a home or neighborhood, I always suggest that they go back and drive the neighborhood on the weekend, in the evening and during the day. THEY need to know it is a neighborhood they would like to live in and this can help make that decision.
Searching for a home can be overwhelming, so start with a Realtor who can guide you through the process!
Buying or Selling - - Call Barbara-Jo for all of your real estate needs! - - 727-512-0910
Ich Spreche Deutsch!!!
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Serving the Greater Palm Harbor Florida Area, including Crystal Beach, Dunedin & Tarpon Springs Florida
Waterfront condos & homes
Your Real Estate Specialist
If you are thinking of purchasing in the Palm Harbor, Crystal Beach, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, Tarpon Springs area or along our pristine Gulf Beaches, give me a call! With years of experience in the local real estate market, I am here to assist you in making one of the most important purchases of your life! Give me a call today! Find out for yourself why living along the Gulf Coast is indeed living in Paradise!