Looking for a house is way more fun than buying a house. We were looking for houses for about two years before we decided to buy. We met our agent at an open house about a year before we purchased. She was very nice, with a bubbly personality and we ate it up. That was where the fun stopped.
Buying is a slippery slope if you don’t have a plan
Looking at homes online leads to visiting homes. Visiting homes leads to getting an agent. Getting an agent leads to falling in love with homes. Falling in love with homes leads to offers. Offers lead to inspections. Before you know it you got your house. This is obviously a bit of hyperbole, but the point remains that it can happen faster than most expect. It is imperative that you have a plan, timeline included or the process can get away from you.
Interview potential real estate agents first
Do not be shy about this. It makes a huge difference in your success through the process. Look at different real estate companies and ask for their top salesperson. Interview them and find someone who is a rock star that you are also compatible with. You have all of the leverage at this point do not be afraid to use it. We just found someone who was nice which burned us in the end. You want your real estate agent to be your advocate and to stop at no costs to make sure you get the best home possible at the best price.
Don’t be afraid to be the squeaky wheel
We didn’t want to put our agent in a place of discomfort and that burned us. She was nice, but was in way over her head during negotiations. She only sold about six houses per year and did it on the side. Her inexperience ended up burning us a bit in the end. We did not get a pricing analysis or the data support that we needed through the process. My wife and I are both very analytical, so we may have desired that more than most. We were not vocal enough and didn’t want to put too much pressure on her. In the end we just went with the flow due to inexperience. Don’t be afraid to speak up and be the squeaky wheel, you might just get the grease.
In the end, we found our dream home. The regret comes into play when we realize that our agent didn’t really help find us the house or offer us any specific expertise that we desired. We went with an agent that was nice and comfortable because it was easy. We bought and sold our houses with her so she made 3% commission on both, even more reason to push for your needs. You do not want to take advantage of your agent, but don’t be afraid to put your agent in a place of discomfort and require the attention you deserve. Now go find that dream house!
Fresh BREW recommendation for reading: Bell’s Hopslam Ale