Buying real estate in New York is not a coveted privilege for only celebrities, investment bankers and other white collar suspects with unspeakable amounts of cash on hand. It is, contrary to popular belief, accessible to, for a lack of a better term: "normal" people--no matter what country you live in. This is true, even given the challenging cost rising factors of gentrification, New York's tight zoning regulations, timing, commercial developments and price per square foot.
The ebb and flow of market strength as it relates to purchasing property will always exist and oftentimes waiting for "the right moment" opportunity to buy, might easily pass by like a blink of an eye--when it's too late. That being said, timing can make or break your future but not necessarily so! The best advice for eager, sensible buyers would be to do the best they can while researching their financing options, while searching the most affordable (within their budgets) districts and while finding a real estate agent they like and with whom they can develop a solidly honest tried-and-true relationship. No easy feat, but certainly possible.
Diligent selection of a New York real estate agent is part of the key to making the best of your money, to finding a place you love and feeling confident that you've made the right housing choice. After all, your new home is a place you spend most of your time. This is plenty to think about! So, what's next?
How To Find a Real Estate Agent in New York
1. Develop a list of questions for prospective real estate agents. This will help you understand how an agent works, what they do and how receptive they are to your needs. You can get an overall feel of whether you will get along, and more importantly, if you can trust them. It will also help if you like them, too! Take your time while going through this process and formulate your questions carefully. Sometimes, you will meet individuals with "smoke and mirrors" tactics. Thorough questioning can help detect a personality that is good fit for you.
2. Research the possible agents you're interested in, then make appointments to meet with them. Put your list of questions to work! Also, during this time, make sure you know what you want. It will help tremendously to prepare your criteria for your desired housing.
3. Meet with the Agents! Do your homework and your decision will be a cinch. Let your questions and your instincts help your decision. Make your educated decision. Good Luck!
A Hidden Gem Alternative
Although the above steps may seem very clear cut, sometimes the great agents are hidden in online search results that you simply did not access because they weren't listed on the first page of Google, Bing, etc. That, obviously, is one of the unfortunate aspects of the internet; it can often be a deluge of information and misinformation where you can barely stay afloat. Some real estate websites are easy to find with basic search queries on Google, but that doesn't mean there aren't better agents that you just did not find! Those "findable" agents most likely have SEO (search engine optimization) experts that helped their sites get listed once people typed in "real estate agent in New York" (in my case "immobilier à New York" since i target french citizens) on search engines. How can we tackle this issue?
Let's take an example. You are a French national living in Paris, and you are interested in purchasing real estate in New York. How will you proceed? If you conduct your search queries from France, you will undoubtedly get different search results than if you are from the United States. This will be true for other countries, as well. In this example, you would need to explore SEO in France despite the fact that your end results need to be in the U.S.
An unorthodox method of finding a real estate agent, in our opinion, would be to first contact your SEO expert. Normally, SEO specialists are hired because people have an online presence in the form of a company website and they want these SEO agents to help get their sites listed favorably. However, another way, which is rare but enormously resourceful, would be to take advantage of the vast amount of tech savvy and search engine knowledge of SEO experts. Who better to ask for a list of the "gold standard" of real estate agents on the internet than from people who know how the internet works? This select group of experts know how to find incredibly detailed information and they will help you locate the best person for what you need. You do not necessarily need a website; they can perform your request and furnish a list of likely candidates.
No matter which direction you choose to steer you toward your New York housing purchase, one thing is clear: you must proceed carefully, mindfully and meticulously (versus jumping in blindly) and the pay off will certainly result in very positive ways.