Every week, I receive calls from buyers driving by my listings. I gladly answer their questions and always ask if I can assist them in finding what they are looking for (if the home they called about is not "it"). The answer I get the most is: "Oh, I'm just looking... I'm not ready to do anything right now." And then most seem in a hurry to hang up. Sometimes, they do hang up right then and there.
To all of you "just looking" folks, I have a question: if you find the home of your dream today while you are "just looking" and it is in a price range you can afford, are you going to want to buy it, or will you just keep looking?
If you answered that you are going to want to buy the home, what are you going to do next? Call the agent on the sign or send an email to whomever from a website and hope that all goes well? Or will you wish at that point that you had an agent you could call and that you were ready and able to make an offer on the house before another buyer snatches it?
You don't have to be ready to buy tomorrow or even next month to enter into a relationship with a Realtor. If you are thinking about buying a home, and no matter what your timeline or situation may be, your Realtor can help you get there.
Here are 5 of the benefits of working with an agent from the start:
1. You'll never have to talk to another Realtor again. Every time you see a property you like or that you have questions about, you can call your Realtor. Because we all cooperate with one another in selling the inventory, your Realtor can show any home that is listed with any real estate company. Once you find the right home, your Realtor will be ready to act quickly and to negotiate on your behalf.
2. Your Realtor will find the time, early in the process, to assess your needs and to go over the home buying process with you so that you know what to expect between now and the time you find a home and take possession of it. If he/she doesn't, and you feel like you are flying blind, find a Realtor that will. There are several steps to buying a home today and knowing what comes next throughout the process will take some of the stress away. Moving is stressful enough in itself.
3. Your Realtor will help you get your financing in order so that you can get pre-approved and be ready to make an offer the minute you find your dream home. And there is no shame in having credit issues to take care of before obtaining financing, your Realtor can put you in touch with people who can help with this, too, while you keep looking.
4. We can set up a search for you so that you receive notifications every time a listing matching your criteria hits the market. No more finding the perfect home a week after it was listed and it's already gone. As Realtors, we also see lots of homes and sometimes, we even find homes for our clients before they hit the market. What if your Realtor could do that for you, too?
5. You Realtor will help you make the right decision for you at this time in your life. People buy homes for different reasons: first home, move-up home, investments, secondary residence, etc. and each involve a set of criteria. For example, if you are a first-time home buyer, you need to be thinking resale value in 5 to 7 years. If you are looking for an investment property, you need to be thinking in terms of cash flow. Buying a home may be the largest purchase you'll ever make. If you had the same amount of money to invest in the stock market, would you seek professional guidance or would you just pick stocks and hope for the best?
As you keep "just looking" for a home, take a few minutes to also start looking for a Realtor, ask your friends if they know of someone, Google their name, and once you find someone you like, make contact. Having a professional Realtor by your side will save you time, money, and lots of headaches.
Originally Posted at: Lafayette Real Estate News