By the time you are ready to look at homes, you are probably getting a lot of advice from many sources.  It is a fortunate problem to have so many people wishing your good intentions.  However, real estate changes daily and often what worked a few years ago may not be an option now or an option for your specific situation.  Buying a home is likely the largest investment of your life and it is easy to get caught up in the emotions. The buying process can be a roller coaster.  It does not have to be, and we believe education helps buyers reduce their buying anxieties.

One of the fun things about being a Tallahassee Realtor is seeing homes. Even with similar floorplans, homes feel and live differently from owner to owner. There have even been a couple homes that I really liked and would have bought myself in other circumstances. Remember, even if the house isn’t what you hoped, few homes can’t be changed or at least improved with the right vision and resources.

What to Expect During the Home Tours

If you call an agent and they do not ask to schedule a time to discuss your unique situation before showing you houses, they may be desperate for your business.  Do you want someone desperate for the commission to be representing you?  They may worry more about their money than yours.  Quality agents will ask you many questions about yourself before seeing the first house.  The best agents will ask you to sign a representation agreement.  Those outline the duties and responsibilities of the agent to you, and this is the place you should put any information you do NOT want your agent to share on your behalf.

1.     Do not fall in love what you do not own – yet.

It can be tempting to fall in love with a home on the first date.  It is the stuff of romantic comedies too. Let us say you have written down your must-haves and your wants and then you find the house that ticks all the boxes.  Do no fall in love with this house until you have the keys at closing.

2.     Use all five senses.

Often sellers will tell you who they are if you look close enough.  Is the grout missing in the bathroom? Do they still have the Christmas lights up in April?  Are there leaves lying on the roof? Does the sunroom smell like pet pee? None of these need to be deal breakers, but they can indicate neglected maintenance. While this can be an indicator that there will be hidden damage, there is truly little in real estate that can not be fixed and/or repaired.

3.     Keep a list of questions you will need answers to before contingencies end.

You should be encouraged by your real estate agent to obtain all the inspections you need to feel comfortable laying your head in this house every night for the next several years.

4.     Sellers and listing agents love feedback. Please provide it honestly.

Even if the feedback is not particularly pleasant, telling them the truth will help sellers and listing agents in the long run.  Most buyers agents will fill these forms out based on what you mentioned during the tour.  Sometimes buyers do not want to send the seller feedback since they are considering making an offer in the future.

5.     Choose a home that does not break the bank.

One way to avoid buyer’s remorse is to stick with your budget.  It may be tempting to break the budget for that incredibly special house, but before you do think about what you will need to give up and see if it balances out for you.  It seems to us, and research seems to back this up, those that stick to their budget are happier and have less buyer’s remorse.

 

Once you have found the home you want to make an offer on, the fun of negotiations begins!