Buying A Home In Cleveland - The Complete Guide Part 3 of 7 - Selecting and Viewing Homes
In an effort to help educate those buying a home in Cleveland, we have put together a 7 part series that will explain the entire home buying process in detail. Although our focus will be on the Cleveland market, many of the ideas discussed can be applied to other areas of the country as well. We recommend that you read the first 2 articles in the series at some point, preferably prior to reading this.
Our first article, Step 1, was on "The Initial Consultation - Formulating A Game plan" .
Our second article, Step 2, was on "The Pre-approval Process".
This article focuses on "Step 3 - Selecting and Previewing Homes."
Now that you have had your initial consultation with a qualified agent and gotten pre-approved for a loan, you can now start what many people feel is the fun part of the process, looking at homes.
The popularity of the internet has made the selection process much easier as every home on the market can be viewed on line in the comfort of your home or office. The best thing to do at this point is to have specific parameters set for your home search in terms of area, price range, style of home, and other details such as year built, number of bedrooms and baths, basement type, and lot size.
Additionally, your agent can take your parameters and put you on an automated home search through the Multiple Listing Service ( MLS ). Here in the Cleveland area, our MLS is called NEOREX, the Northeast Ohio Real Estate Exchange. This automated search will enable you to get a list of homes that fit your preferred specifications emailed to you as they come on the market. You will also get notified if a home has a price reduction. This will ensure that you get to see everything available and won't miss any great opportunities.
When viewing homes on line, there are a few things to look for. First, see how many photos each home has. Ones with a lot of pictures will give you a better feel for the home than ones that do not. Additionally, we advise our clients who are buying a home in Cleveland to be leery of listings that have no or few photos. Also, some listings offer special notes highlighting special features of the home. These notes may indicate if the home is bank owned, a short sell, or if the seller is motivated.
One thing to remember when looking at homes on line is that the job of a listing agent is to make their listing look as attractive as possible. A house that looks great on line may have power lines in the back yard not noticeable from the pictures. There may also be a highway or railroad track located behind the property. A good buyer's agent will preview homes in advance so you don't end up wasting your valuable time looking at homes that just aren't a good match.
Once you have a list of homes that you would like to see, please allow 48 hours to schedule showings as it can take some time to communicate with the seller. Additionally, most sellers would like an opportunity to have the home properly prepared for a showing. This may include getting children or dogs out of the home.
Here are a few things we recommend when going out with your agent to look at homes:
1. Only see 5-6 homes at one time. Seeing more than that can be confusing as they all begin to blend together after a while.
2. Pay attention to homes in the neighborhood so you can get a good feel for overall pride of ownership.
3. Take notes of each home so you can remember them. You may also want to bring a camera as well as a tape measure with you to make sure specific pieces of furniture will fit in certain rooms.
4. After viewing each home, give your agent specific feedback about what you liked or didn't like.
5. If you like a particular home, put it on the "A" list and make plans to see it again.
The process of going out and looking at homes will continue until you find the right home. How long that takes really depends. Some buyers find the right home on the first time out and others take 6-12 months to find a home.
Overall, a motivated buyer should be able to find a home in 60-90 days, especially after reading this Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland.
If you would like to continue reading the Complete Guide To Buying A Home In Cleveland, click the link below to get to Step 4:
About The Authors:
This information is provided compliments of Amy and Dan Schuman, The Schuman Team Keller Williams Realty. The Schumans have worked with numerous professional athletes, business owners, and those relocating to Cleveland from out of the area.
If you are considering buying a home in Cleveland or surrounding suburbs,please contact the Schuman Team at 216-346-3235.
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Buying A Home In Cleveland Part 3, Selecting and Viewing homes is the property of The Schuman Team and may not be duplicated or used without their written consent. ©Aug 2009