7 Tips for Buyers Looking at Homes

Real Estate Agent with West USA Realty Revelation sa583776000

Real estate agent in front of houseAs a real estate agent working in the Chandler, Arizona real estate market for the last 4 years, I have noticed the buyers have certain habits when they decide that now is the time to get out in the car and see the inside of homes they are considering purchasing.

While it's understandable that you are quite excited about this phase of the process, I've found it helpful to make a few suggestions to make this experience as streamlined and headache-free as possible.

Here are 7 tips for buyers looking at homes:

Tip 1 : Select more homes than you really want to see

Why would this be important? In the Arizona marketplace homes are being gobbled up left and right. With 60,000 homes on the market in Maricopa County 2 years ago and 25,000 today, demand exceeds supply.

Bottom line: the likelihood that a few (or more) of the homes you want to see are sold when you actually go out is quite probable.

Tip 2: Make darn tootin' you are prequalified for a mortgage (if financing)

Buyers tend to think they walk on water and that a high FICO will cure all ails, but they can be mistaken. Low assets in the bank, a short time with their employer or in their career field, or high debt to income ratios can derail you from being able to purchase.

Why invest hours going to look at homes when there is a chance it might not happen? It shouldn't take more than 30 minutes sitting down with a mortgage lender or over the phone to complete this initial process.

In today's lending environment it's more critical than ever with guidelines being so strict.

Tip 3: If anyone else will be involved in the decision they need to come along for the ride.

The reason for this is because you cost yourself more time to go out a 2nd time AND the home might be sold by the time you do end up going back. This is a regret you don't want to have.

Tip 4: Don't spring properties on your agent at the last minute or while you are out.

Buyers frequently point to houses while out with their real estate agent that are not scheduled on the tour. If the real estate agent did their job, and if that home fit your parameters, it would have shown up in your online home search.

If it didn't hit your search it's either under contract or outside of your specifications (price, etc)

Remember your agent has to schedule showings and confirm the home is still available, and most listing agents don't answer their phone right away, and it's best not to disturb an owner at home that isn't expecting you, as that doesn't exactly build rapport during negotiations.

Tip 5: You want to actually see no more than 6 - 8 homes (oh , a bring a note pad and camera!)

After 6-8 homes they tend to blur together and if you haven't documented & photographed each home well you'll probably end up asking your agent to take you by again, and while most agents are agreeable, it's not always the best use of time. So to see 6-8 you may need to request 8-10. If you don't get to them all, then schedule the others for the next day.

While we're at it if you are looking in a large search area try and schedule showings in one area at a time. Driving across town isn't the best use of time, and you'll find that clustering homes is more productive.

Tip 6: Come prepared

In Phoenix,Arizona and warmer states, looking at homes during the summertime can be most unpleasant. Bring water (or something to drink), dress casually, and don't bring the kids (sorry).

Although you love your kids, and I'm sure they are the very best behaved kids in the whole world, they will inevitably distract you from focusing on the elements of the home, and taking it all in.

Another good idea is also to carpool with your real estate agent. This gives you the opportunity to ask the agent lots of questions about the area, their perception of the market, etc. A real estate agent, while not the only source of valuable information, can certainly be one of the best.

Tip 7 : Rate the homes

After each home when it is fresh on your mind, rate each home from 1-5 stars, 5 being the best and 1 being the worst. No half stars. When you're done toss out anything 3 or below. This helps narrow down to the absolute best choices.

I wish you success in your home buying process, and make sure you subscribe to the blog for updates. Happy house hunting!

Chandler, AZ homes for sale http://mc.searcharizonarealestate.com/

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About the Author

Matthew Coates is a residential real estate agent in the Phoenix, AZ (Chandler, AZ) area. He specializes in first-time homebuyers, investor purchases, foreclosures, and 2nd home purchases. Matthew is very active in the social media sphere. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube

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Matthew Coates Phoenix Chandler AZ Real Estate

email mdtscoates [at] cox.net  |  tel 602-332-3321  |  twitter @realtormatthew

for Chandler, AZ real estate news, search for homes, see community information
visit my website www.livingchandler.com

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Comments (1)

Jayne Esposito
Coldwell Banker - Morgan Hill, CA

Great tips.  I especially like tip #4!!!

May 16, 2011 08:56 AM