ARMSTRONG FIELD REAL ESTATE
Where Your Dreams Become Reality

Serving Massachusetts Home Buyers & Sellers Since 1944


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Searching For Your Home
and working with your buyer's agent

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, Click Here.

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 any appointments.

Another way 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 Buyer's Agents, Click Here.

NEXT STEP: MAKING AN OFFER ON A HOME

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Armstrong Field, Inc
Real Estate
An Independently Owned Family Business

Corporate Office
281 Essex Street, Unit C3
Salem, MA 01970
Call 978-740-8700

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