Buying a home can be a stressful experience because of all the “moving parts” involved, but it doesn’t have to be that way. It can also be a fun experience. After all, it’s exciting to move into a new place, and you might as well enjoy it, right?
Here are some tips to help take the stress out of it so you can actually enjoy the experience, not dread it.
Interview agents to find the best one for you
The best agent for someone else is not necessarily the best one for you, particularly when it comes to buying a home vs. selling it. When you are selling a home, you need a certain set of traits, like marketing ability and hard work to get buyers into your home. But a buyer’s agent needs to click with how you think. They should be able to listen to your feedback on a listing they suggested, and come right back with a better one when you find something you don’t like about it. For this reason, it’s good to interview a few agents over the phone, then pick one to have coffee with.
Work closely with only your agent
You want your agent to communicate well and work hard to find that perfect dream home for you, but it’s a two-way street. You also need to communicate with them and feed them plenty of information about your family’s needs and preferences in a home. Just like you want them to be persistent in finding the perfect Wellington Florida real estate listings (or whatever part of the country you’re looking in), you should be persistent in working with them until it gets done. Real estate agents work on commission and invest hundreds of hours of work into showing properties. Unless you are have a really horrible relationship with your REALTOR®, don’t randomly contact other agents to look at listings. Invest in a good relationship with one, respect his or her time and commitment to you, and let that relationship drive the agent to get you into your dream home.
Consolidate house shopping into longer chunks of time
It’s generally most productive to communicate back and forth for awhile in a coffee shop, by email, or by screen share meetings to give your agent the best feel for the kinds of properties you might want to look at. This is an information gathering exercise. But the next step is crucial. Schedule a longer period of time to good at properties and tour neighborhoods. This longer time together giving and getting feedback on actual properties (not listings on a screen or a printed piece of paper) is invaluable in honing your house selection process down to find the perfect one.
Take notes on the printout as you visit listings
When you look at a lot of listings in a row, they can all start blending together in your mind. At the time, you think you’ll remember that one comment you made to your spouse or your agent about the kitchen, but when you get home, you draw a blank. The best way to avoid this is to keep your printouts of the listings you viewed in the order you viewed them. Mark a big X through the ones you have ruled out, with a note as to why. Listings that remain in the running at the end of the day are the ones you need to talk through further, and perhaps visit another time to think them through a little closer.
Being disorganized about the home buying process can add a lot of stress and uncertainty to your decision-making. On the other hand, being organized and following these tips thoroughly takes a little bit of prep-work, but it pays off in reduced stress during the transaction. Problems always come up somewhere along the way, but if you and your agent approach each one with good problem-solving skills and try to remove emotions from the process, you can save your emotions up for the most exciting ones when you sign your final closing documents in escrow and get the keys handed to you!