You’re ready to buy a home — how exciting! Your first instinct is to search the web and then tap into the multiple phone apps that help keep you updated and informed about the real estate market. This gets addicting doesn’t it? Your significant other either joins you spending countless hours looking at photos, maps, and reading property descriptions, or simply gets annoyed that every time they look your direction your phone is out, and you’re gawking over all the endless real estate data at your fingertips as you look again and again at “new” listings all over DFW double and triple checking to ensure you did not miss “THE ONE”.
While, real estate phone apps and technology have definitely made things easier for new home buyers, sometimes getting out and getting some fresh air is WHAT IS REALLY NEEDED to help home buyer’s decide WHAT they REALLY want and WHERE they REALLY want their new dream home.
With the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex covering 12 counties & a number of different reputable communities, I have found the BEST way to get the ball rolling is to spendseveral weekends visiting open houses.
Open houses allow you to see what’s out there, learn more about the neighborhood and schools nearby, and help you decide what you want in a home. You also learn what you are going to fall in love with inside and out, from the hardwood floors, custom cabinets, designer light fixtures, front door, backyard layout etc. But, in the event you find “THE ONE,” on your open house extravaganza and you feel like jumping up and down right in the middle of the living room, either call me so we can put in an offer for you/discuss, or slow down, take a breath, and remember these rules…
• Start online. Stay ahead of the game, there are many mobile apps, some of which alert you when new open houses pop up nearby. This will allow you to quickly swing by and check it out that day!
• Think of each open house as a “House Buying 101″ course. Use every home you walk into as an opportunity to learn more about the home itself, as well as the neighborhood, local amenities, and schools.
• Declare Your Independence. If you love the home and are planning to go after it call your Trophy Group agent, so we can put together your best offer. Never hire the seller’s agent to represent you in the purchase of that home. You always need a professional unbiased advocate who is working 100% in YOUR best interest to be your right hand & handle all negotiations.
• Hold Your Cards Close. Don’t reveal too much about yourself, your situation or your need to buy. It’s especially important to never reveal the top price you are willing to pay. You don’t want that information to be used against you later down the line in negotiations.
• Evaluate the Exterior. As you walk into an open house, pay close attention to the exterior paint and the state of the roof. Does the paint look fresh or is it chipping/dirty? Do the shingles look like they need replacing in the next 2-5 years? Are there large trees nearby or moss growing? What is the condition of gutters or any other key items on the exterior? This sometimes is a tell tale sign in what you’ll find inside.
• Walls and Windows. Determine the conditions of the walls. Can you see any significant damage, dents or other red flags to one of the most visible parts of the home? If these visible items are not in the best condition, it may be a red flag and possibly indicate larger issues.
• Take Pictures and Take Away the Takeaways. Take pictures and notes as you walk around a home. If you see multiple homes in one day, they’ll all start to blend together. Gather and keep the brochures or printout information sheets on the houses you see, to keep track. Save them and review them with your significant other. Be sure to share FAVORITES with your TG Realtor.
• Keep Your Interest Under Wraps. Even if this is the perfect house for you, it’s important to keep your best poker face. Get at least a block away and then call your TG realtor. Don’t jump up and down with excitement in the driveway or lobby. If the seller’s realtor sees you, you can potentially lose leverage as a buyer.
• Not the right house for you? “Buy” a specific location instead. If you decide to pass on the home, it may not have been a complete waste of time! If you haven’t selected one or two specific areas of interest-use the open house experience to help nail down where you for sure want to live and share this with your TG agent. Your TG agent, can work for you when you are at work, get you the inside scoop on homes in your area of interest, trends, and most importantly notify you the minute a home comes available for sale-so you do not miss out.