Shopping for a Home? Do These 3 Things First
You’re beginning to look for a new home. Where do you start?
Taking these three actions at the beginning of your search can help you find and move into your dream home faster.
Visit Open Houses
Start “shopping” by visiting open houses in and around the towns where you want to live. I can set you up in MLS (which is where the master sheet for the listing resides). You can also find listings for open houses online on sites like Zillow, Redfin, Realtor.com and more.
Seeing what’s available can help you get a good sense of where you feel most at home and the price points of homes in different neighborhoods.
Choose a Buyer’s Agent
Having an agent who you can communicate and feel comfortable with is crucial. Remember, you choose a buyer’s agent—you don’t hire one. Your buyer’s agent is paid by the seller when you purchase your home.
Once you choose the right agent for you, ask them to send you listings from Multiple Listing Service (MLS) based on your criteria. You’ll already be doing your own online search, but the information on MLS will always be the most accurate.
Focus Your Search
Make the most of your time by having a clear idea of what you’re looking for in a home. It can help to:
- Talk to your agent to figure out your budget. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage may also give you an idea of how much home you should look for. Keep in mind, you don’t have to necessarily spend what you are pre-approved for. You can also go lower than that number depending on what your requirements are.
- Narrow down your options to include no more than three towns. Having more than three generally makes it hard for buyers to make a decision. Each town’s market is different, so choose three where you’d like to live and where the homes match your price point.
- Consider what’s important to you. Do you commute a long way to work? Are you looking for a dependable school system? Maybe you really want a yard or a pool? Think about what you need and want in your home.
Once you have all of this in place, it’s time to get serious about your search!