When you’ve gotten beyond the poking around the internet stage, it’s time to get a local real estate professional who can help you navigate the process of buying your property; whether it’s your first purchase, or your 10th.
The easiest route is getting some referrals from friends, family or co-workers that you trust. It’s a good idea to talk to a few agents to get a sense of how they work, if you feel they are listening to you and to confirm that they will be a good advocate for you.
Be sure to establish a working relationship with one real estate professional most representing your needs-your success is their success.
Get the money in place. If you aren’t paying cash, you’ll need financing. You can’t do anything without knowing what you can afford. It certainly isn’t the fun part of buying, but it is the most important. Work on getting a pre-approval from a local mortgage broker or direct lender to establish a price range in which to look for property.
Work on your needs and wants. You will likely have to set priorities given your budget, preferred locations, architectural styles, and weather considerations.
Be open to looking at everything you can. By doing so, you are opening your mind to possibilities that you may not have considered.
Don’t be afraid to find a property quickly. Inventory is generally very low, so when something great come up, a similar property may not come up again for sometime. Be prepared to make yourself available on short notice to secure desirable or well priced properties.
Do your homework. Most of my clients find it helpful to go to Sunday open houses on their own at the beginning of their search in order to look at their own pace and reaffirm their priorities. Provide your feedback both good and bad to get a better sense of what you are responding to.