Buying a property is a significant and exciting decision. This section provides professional real estate advice from The Local Realty™ including helpful property buying tips.
1st Step | Understanding Real Estate on the Internet
The Internet and real estate professionals are the top two resources most buyers turn to when searching for a property. For Commercial Real Estate, finding a property must start with finding the right commercial real estate professional. Information for commercial properties is limited online and until you work with a Local Commercial Real Estate professional, your time will be wasted. Residential Real Estate has changed drastically since 2005 and the majority of residential homes for sale can now be found through online websites.
Types of Online Website Portals
The Multiple Listing Service (MLS)
The MLS or multiple listing service is the main system that real estate professionals input their listing information on. This is the hub of real estate property listings which all agents who subscribe to the MLS are usually required to input their information. The MLS is the most accurate source of information and must be sent to you by a real estate professional.
e.g. Zillow.com, Trulia.com, etc.
These websites claim to offer the largest number of properties for sale, however, the accuracy of information and creditable data information on these websites is extremely low. The majority of these sites allow anyone to Add, Edit, Delete information creating a high chance of scams and misinformation. These websites are NOT REGULATED BY THE STATE DEPARTMENTS OF REAL ESTATE, meaning that they don’t have to abide by any real estate laws, unlike any real estate brokers or agents website.
MLS Powered IDX/RETS Websites
Real Estate IDX powered websites are what the majority of real estate agents have on their websites. The information from the MLS is sent to a technology service provider which contains limited MLS property information. The information may be limited because when an agent lists a property on their local mls, they usually will have an option allowing them to send the property through an IDX feed or not.
2nd Step | Preparing Your Finances
Keep Your Money Where It Is
It’s not wise to make any huge purchases or move your money around three to six months before buying a new property. You don’t want to take any big chances with your credit profile. Lenders need to see that you’re reliable and they want a complete paper trail so that they can get you the best loan possible. If you open new credit cards, amass too much debt or buy a lot of big-ticket items, you’re going to have a hard time getting a loan. Yes, this means whatever you do – BUY THE NEW CAR, AFTER YOU BUY YOUR PROPERTY!
Get Pre-Approved for a Loan or Have Bank Statements Ready
Using A Loan
There’s a big difference between a buyer being pre-qualified and a buyer who has a pre-approved mortgage. Anybody can get pre-qualified for a loan. Getting pre-approved means a lender has looked at all of your financial information and they’ve let you know how much you can afford and how much they will lend you. Being pre-approved will save you a lot of time and energy so you are not running around looking at houses you can’t afford. It also gives you the opportunity to shop around for the best deal and the best interest rates. Do your research: Learn about junk fees, processing fees or points and make sure there aren’t any hidden costs in the loan.
Make sure that you have your cash in liquid accounts and be prepared to provide a bank statement (with all pages) matching the name that you will be using to purchase the property. This will usually be required by the seller instead of a pre-approval letter.
3rd Step | Find the Right Neighborhood
Many buyers have become completely distraught because they thought they found the perfect home, only to find out the neighborhood wasn’t for them. Finding the right property, starts with finding the perfect community fit for your lifestyle. The majority of property owners who end up wanting to sell their property, without a real need, is do to them living in a community not right for them.
Before you buy, get the lay of the land and understand everything about the communities you are looking in – drop by morning noon and night. Once you have found the right neighborhood and property, drive by the house at all hours of the day to see what’s happening in the neighborhood. Do your regular commute from the house to make sure it is something you can deal with on a daily basis. Find out how far it is to the nearest grocery store and other services. Even if you don’t have kids, research the schools because it affects the value of your home in a very big way. If you buy a house in a good school district versus bad school district even in the same town, the value can be affected as much as 20 percent.
4th Step | Don’t Try to Time the Market
Don’t obsess with trying to time the market and figure out when is the best time to buy. Trying to anticipate the real estate market is impossible. The best time to buy is when you find your perfect house and you can afford it. Real estate is cyclical, it goes up and it goes down and it goes back up again. So, if you try to wait for the perfect time, you’re probably going to miss out.
5th Step | Finding the Right Local Expert
When someone decides to sell a property, they will usually interview several REALTORS from different companies to determine which one is best for them. They want someone who will represent you and someone they feel will do an effective job to save them time and money. However, when someone decides to buy a property, they will usually end up with a REALTOR through sheer accident. But, why don’t buyers search for a REALTOR the same way that home sellers do?
Instead, buyers usually end up with a real estate agent as a result of answering an advertisement. The advertisement will give a brief summary of a property available for sale along with the price, but it says nothing at all about the Real Estate Agent. Agents can deal with both buyers and sellers, but the majority tend to focus their efforts on one or the other. Some even exclusively handle either buyers or sellers.
So what should you do?
We simply recommend that you take as much care to hire a real estate agent as you would for any other professional. Ask questions. Ask about education, experience, and focus.
What is unique about The Local Realty™, is that our Associates take in-depth training and surveys which we use to help match you with a real estate professional that matches your needs. Rather than just contacting us and having any agent call you back, we will first have you speak with our customer service team who is trained in matching our clients with the appropriate professional. To get started just call 866-538-6057 and ask for a REALTOR Referral!
The Local Realty™ has Associates across the world! To Find An Associate Call 866.538.6057 or Search, Rate and Review our Associates & Partners on LocalRealtors.com!