Here are four major things you should let a realtor know before they look for a home for you
1. What type of home you want to buy:
There may be a specific type of house you want to buy, such as a brownstone, or a ranch style home. Let the realtor know your family needs. Maybe, you want a master bedroom on the first floor, or you would like a basement to turn into a play area for the children. Let the realtor know how many bedrooms you need, what type of kitchen you would like, etc. Be specific!
2. How much you can afford:
You don’t want your realtor showing you a mansion when you may be looking for a starter home. Get a pre-qualification letter from your lender or loan officer so that you can determine how much you can afford and how much you will need as a down payment. This helps the realtor in finding you the right home that will fit your budget.
3. Purpose of buying home:
Distinguish whether or not you are buying a house to live in, which is called owner-occupied housing; investing in rental property; or buying a vacation home. The realtor can then determine the type of house you will need. It will also, let the realtor know what type of neighborhood to locate your home. Some areas are great for rental property, and you do not want to pay for a home where you cannot make a profit on your rental. You might want a vacation home by the beach or a lake.
4. Where do you want to live:
It is very key to let your realtor know where you want to live. I saved this for last because this is the most important question. You may want to live in a specific school district that is tops in education for your kids. You may want your home to be located convenient to your work easy commute, and you don’t have to be in traffic. You may want to be close to your church or relatives. It is difficult to move once you are in a home and you are not happy with where you are located.
Your realtor should have access to the Multiple Listing Systems. The MLS is a service that realtors subscribe to that enables them to have access to all properties for sale in the area. Based on your buying criteria, your realtor can dwindle down to the best five to ten properties that will fit your needs. Your realtor should also have access to the local county tax records so that they can get you those very important comps to show you what the houses were being sold for in the area you are looking for. The tax records can also show you relevant information like square footage, improvements done to the property, and of course how much is the annual tax.
Carl Agard is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of Boss XL Magazine and the Author of the new Book "Financially Surviving COVID19 (Finding Gems in the Real Estate Market)"