You know what type of home you want, now let's start
talking about the things that make up that property. First start with
the basics - What towns would you like to live in? Your budget may have
something to do with this (unless you currently own a home in Weston, MA).
Also the availability of transportation or distance to your work may have
some influence. How many bedrooms & baths do you need, do you want an
eat-in kitchen, what size yard would you like, is a formal dining room a
must, how about central air
conditioning, etc? Make a list of the things that you would like in a
home, but keep in mind that you may not find everything you want. Decide
which items are the most important. (you need to be close to the
train, but maybe, just maybe, you could do without the hot tub and
the wine cellar.) For a checklist of different features you may want,
Once you decide what you are
looking for, it's time to start searching for the properties that match
your criteria. The most efficient and easiest way to achieve this is to
sign up to receive an email whenever a new property listing comes on the market
that meets your requirements. Most Realtors have this service available.
Some are better than others. The best ones give you the full MLS
information and allow you to do a map search. They will also give you
community info, allow you to save searches and properties, let you email
your favorites to someone, schedule appointments online. etc. We believe
Armstrong Field Real Estate has the best application out there for
finding your home. We were one of the first to offer it almost 10 years
ago, and keep making improvements on it.
See more info on our MLS
home search here.
Most listings now have multiple photos
that you can view online, along with a map, school information, and the
ability to compare the property to other similar properties. When you
see something you like, you just contact your buyer agent and he/she
will set up an appointment at a day and time that is convenient for you.
You can expect to view at least a few homes before you you find
something you really like. It is unlikely that you are going to find the
exact home you are looking for, but keep your mind open to a home that
make not be immediately perfect, but could be with a few changes. You
may want a home with 2 baths, but there may be one out there that is
exactly what you want but it only has one bathroom. For less money than
you think, if there is room enough you can put another bath in that
home (and you can finance it with a 203K or rehab loan). Keep your options open.
One of the best ways to get a
handle on what is out there for properties in your price range is to go
to a few
open houses. You can wander about the homes usually without any
pressure from the real estate agent. Remember that the agent at the open
house is most likely representing the seller, so don't give them any
information that could jeopardize your negotiations should you decide to
place an offer on the property. In any case, you should tell the open
house agent that you are working with a buyer's agent, and write your
agents name in the guest register.
If you were
to drive by a property that you liked, and then called the phone number
on the sign, most likely the agent you speak to is representing the
seller of the property (seller agent), and as such has a duty to get the
highest price and best terms for the seller. This is probably not what
you want. What you should do is to call your buyer agent (hopefully you
have one before you reach this point), and have him/her answer any
questions and/or set up
you can (try) find a home is through newspapers and special "homes"
magazines. Pretty much every home that is advertised in print media is
also listed with the MLS. This means you can find out more information
on a home by going online than you can by reading any of these
publications. That is why most home buyers use the internet to search
for their home, and why there has been a dramatic drop in homes
advertised in print media. The only reason real estate companies
advertise in print media any more is to appease their home sellers who
think that print is the way to sell their property. It's basically a
very inefficient way to look for a home.
Let's take a moment to talk
about working with your buyer agent. A buyer's agent (preferably a
Realtor®) can show you any
home on the market. A buyer's agent represents you, the buyer, and has a
responsibility to place your interests above all others.
The buyer agent can also
do a number of other things for you that the agent representing the
seller may not or cannot reveal:
Tell you the reason for
selling the property.
Tell you about any personal
issues the seller that could indicate a seller's willingness to
accept a reduced price (impending divorce, bankruptcy, etc.)
Tell you about any
concessions the seller may be willing to offer.
Show you some other
properties that compare to this one to help estimate market value.
Help you with deciding what
to offer on the property.
Provide you any information
that could be detrimental to the seller and put you, the buyer at an
advantage when it comes to negotiating an offer.
Give you information about
trends in property values in the neighborhood.
For more information about
Agents, Click Here.
MAKING AN OFFER ON A HOME