Why do I need to speak to a mortgage banker and get preapproved first?
Because for one, we don’t want to take you out shopping for homes you can’t afford. We don’t want your significant other to get all geeked up about a home only to find out two days later it’s not in your realm of possibility. That scenario sets us all up for failure. And two, with all due respect, we don’t want to waste time, yours or ours. We hear all the time that “I can get pre-approved quickly, as soon as I find a home”. Well maybe, but many times we have spent hours viewing homes only to find the buyer doesn’t have the credit or income to qualify for a mortgage. So with the utmost respect, we only take out folks that we know are qualified to buy.
Why do I need to pick a school district or neighborhood before we search, can’t we look at them while we are viewing homes?
Again, we don’t want to waste your time any more than ours. There are online resources out there like www.greatschools.org that can help you decide what school district you desire. And before we go out we always recommend you take a drive through your potential neighborhoods at different times of the day to see how it feels to you. We always recommend you visit the spots you may live at rush hour, even going so far as to take the train or drive the commute once or twice to see if you can bear it.
For me personally, I don’t mind looking in two or three separate neighborhoods, even 20 or 30 miles apart if that’s what you are deciding between. But let’s narrow it down to just those two or three. Because if you have a whole county in your search area, or five, six, seven towns, you will be getting dozens of homes that might fit your criteria in your search results. It will be information overload and it will be tough to narrow that down.
Why do I need to leave my parents, grandparents, uncle who’s a contractor, brother who’s a plumber, and sister who’s a kitchen designer home when I am viewing homes?
We only want the decision makers with us when we are initially viewing a home. We promise you, the folks you love that only want the best for you will pick apart every home you see until your head is spinning. And since they don’t know us, your Realtor, they often think we are trying to sell you on a home to generate a commission. We aren’t; our goal is to find what you need, within your budget. Yes, these people that you trust should view the home if you feel you want another opinion. But let’s do that on the second viewing when you are serious about putting an offer on the home.
Why don’t you know everything about this home that we are seeing?
Well, because I don’t yet. I don’t know if you will walk in and walk out hating it. We may be seeing five or six homes today. And honestly, I haven’t asked the listing agent yet why the electrical panel is in the bedroom closet and not in the basement. I don’t know yet if there is a gas line in the street, and I may not know if that’s a settling crack or something more serious in the structure. Our process is to bring you to a home to see if the features and benefits of the home fit within your wants and your budget. We will then delve deeper into the home to find out all the information you need. But we don’t find this stuff out before we see the home. And honestly, we probably don’t need to know unless you are making an offer on the house. Please don’t look at us like we haven’t done our job when you ask us a question and we say “I don’t know but I will be sure to find out if you need to know”.
We want your home search to be fun for you. If your children have an hour of home searching in them then let’s schedule only two or three homes today. If your time is limited and you need to look at a lot of homes all at once, we can work that out but let us know in advance. Please don’t call us Friday and say I would like to see these nine homes tomorrow between one and four. We usually need 24 hours notice to schedule home viewings. And we need a day or two to set things up. If you want to see homes Saturday, please let us know by Wednesday what homes are on your list.
I for one love taking first time homebuyers out to help educate them on the process; what to look for and what to avoid. Find a Realtor that you trust, that gets you and your significant other, and let them into your life. Let them know what you need and don’t want. We suggest you actually go into the office and speak with your Realtor before choosing him or her; find out what their process is. You will be happy you did, and they will save you tons of time.