If you are on the market for a new home, your relationship with your real estate agent will be an important one. While real estate services are there to guide you through the process, there are a few things you can do to meet your real estate agent halfway. Here are four ways you can maximize your house-hunting process and the time spent with your real estate agent.
1. Do Your Own Online Research
While realty services will have more access to disclosures and MLS listings, you can still get a good idea of the housing market by doing your own research online. You’ll be able to see how many homes are for sale in the area you are looking and get a general idea on pricing. This will help guide you when beginning your search. Keep in mind, only your real estate agent has access to the property details that are provided only broker to broker. Also, many of the sites online will also show you properties that are under contract already and you may not realize it. Your real estate agent will be sure to remove all contracted properties for you in their set up so you only view ACTIVE listings.
2. Understand Your Financial Picture
Your real estate agent won’t be able to really hone in your search if you are unsure what your maximum budget is when buying a home. If you need financial advice, your agent will have contacts within banks and brokerages, who can review your situation and help to get you pre-approved.
3. Go to Open Houses
While there might be homes on the market that you will need to visit with your real estate agent, you can do your own homework as well. If you can designate your weekends to viewing open homes, you’ll get a much clearer pictures of what neighborhoods are like and what you can realistically afford in your area. It also will help your agent determine what you like, if they know what homes you have viewed firsthand.
4. Be Available for Quick Communication
Your real estate agent might be privy to properties that are about to go for sale or homes that are likely to sell quickly. Once you are in the stages of making an offer, there will be a lot of go-between and things will move fast. Make sure you or your spouse can be on call while you are in the middle of the home buying process. If employers know your situation, they might be more understanding with urgent calls or texts, as well as your need to take off early for house-related efforts.
Your real estate agent is there to help you find the perfect fit when among homes on the market. While their expertise and inside knowledge can help guide your search, you cannot expect your real estate agent to do all of the work for you. You will be the one making the final decision, so make sure you actively participate in the process.