Being a real estate agent is often compared to being a therapist, and for good reason. Throughout the transaction, both homebuyers and home sellers navigate a complex mix of emotions. Homebuyers want a good deal, and to find a place where they see themselves living and raising a family. Home sellers either want the quickest transaction, or the highest offer depending on their situation. It is the role of the Realtor to guide their clients, providing direction and education on the process to empower them in making informed decisions. In this article, I strive to achieve this same objective, but in a much shorter time frame.
The most important thing for keeping a level head is to put everything into perspective. This might be the first or second time you are buying a house, but it’s not the first time anyone’s ever done so. Because of this, you should feel a sense of relief that if something comes up out of the blue, there is a precedent to deal with such a scenario. For example, a common concern with homebuyers is the high interest rates. Well, it might provide a sense of comfort to know that the highest interest rates reached was 16.63% in 1981, more than double where they are currently.
Another piece of advice is to trust your initial decision. Countless times in this business, Realtors see their clients change their mind. We expect this to some extent, but there are times where clients do a complete 180. If this occurs, it is important to remember why you decided to buy or sell your home in the first place. If your initial goal as a homeowner was to provide a place to raise your kids, then do not push off buying a home for a year just because “the market is bad right now.” If you make decisions based around this mentality, then you will never buy a home. There will always be something that makes you hesitant or concerned to buy right now. Instead, think about the positives of buying and why you chose to do this over renting for your entire life. When you rent, you’re paying for your landlord’s mortgage. When you buy, you’re paying off your own mortgage, and building equity in the home.
Additionally, consider what a dream home means to you. There’s a saying in real estate called “analysis paralysis.” This is when homebuyers get obsessed with running the numbers and considering buying the property, they never actually make a move. Therefore, if you know more specifically what you’re looking for, then when you’re hunting for a place to live, you can remove the options that don’t align with your needs. I usually recommend for my clients to write down what is a “need” and what is a “want”. That way, when going through the house, as long as that particular home checks all of the “need” boxes, then I highly recommend my clients to consider putting an offer in.
Furthermore, in a similar vein, find out what “deal-breakers” are for you. When I say deal-breakers in this context, I do not mean things that can be easily changed (take painting a room for example). I am more bringing up fundamental aspects of the home that you are not looking for in a home. Whether that is the layout of the home, the materials used to build the home, the fact that there isn’t enough garage space, etc. Doing this exercise makes it a lot easier for the Realtor to find a property that aligns with your needs, but it also relieves some stress for you, as you are able to narrow down your search, and only put offers in for homes that you would actually consider.
By refining your needs and wants, you can confidently progress to the next crucial steps. Firstly, obtaining a pre-approval from a bank enables you to have a clear financial plan for your purchase. This leads directly to the second aspect of this advice, which is establishing and adhering to a well-defined budget. Without a pre-approval, it would be challenging to determine the amount the bank is willing to loan you. Consequently, creating a budget becomes impossible if you are unaware of the required down payment. Regarding the budget, make sure you determine your maximum price (while also being aware of closing costs and other expenses associated with buying a home.) This way when submitting an offer, you can more strategically determine how much to negotiate with the seller and buyer. The final piece of advice is a mental shift. Understand that in this market, there is a lot of competition and negotiating. You need to be prepared and acknowledge the possibility of losing out on a house, even if you have done everything right.
In conclusion, navigating a real estate transaction can be an emotional and complex journey, hence why it’s recommended to work with an experienced, knowledgeable Realtor. A Realtor can tackle your situation more individually, and provide additional information about the market as a whole. Additionally, a Realtor will be able to provide stories and experiences with similar occurrences that they have dealt with, again tying into the first point about perspective. Whatever occurs during your homebuying or home-selling experience, I hope this advice added some needed perspective.
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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.