When deciding to buy your first house, or even your fifth house, the first you should decide is what real estate professional to work with for assistance.
I can hear the outcry already of people who disagree. They’re saying things like, “I know how to research neighborhoods and prices,” “I can look at houses without any help,” and even, “The seller has a real estate agent so why do I need one?”
And I have the answers to all those comments.
I know how to research neighborhoods and prices.
It’s true that it is easier than ever before to use your favorite search engine to investigate the selling prices for houses and even the neighborhoods where they are, but… and I know this is hard to believe…the internet does not know everything.
When my spouse and I moved to Houston, an employer set us up in an apartment that looked, on the surface and from the internet, like a decent place to live. It seemed close to work and close to all the things we wanted to be near in the city. But what the web didn’t tell us was that it was also very popular among burglars.
The first day we were in our new apartment, another apartment in our complex was robbed. The next, we got notice that it had happened again. My spouse works weird shifts and could have been home at the time of any of those break-ins. My children, though adults, could have been there visiting. My worries for their safety became so intense that we moved in with friends until we were more familiar with the city and could choose a neighborhood that was safe for us.
By all internet accounts, it should have been a great neighborhood, but my family didn’t feel safe there. And I certainly don’t want any other family to go through that!
Real estate professionals are talking to people every day. We hear the information about crime trends, up and coming neighborhoods and great schools for you children. Our expertise is better than what the web offers.
I can look at houses without any help.
Yes, you can.
But do you know what questions to ask the seller or the seller’s agent about the house? Do you understand insulation ratings, home owners’ associations and title restrictions? If the owner tells you they had the air conditioning replaced two years ago, do you know enough to be able to check that the AC unit is the right size for the house and to verify when precisely it was installed?
Home owners will usually not deliberately lie to you, but they may misremember things. Just like the mechanic chides at me when I think it’s been three months since my last oil change and it’s really been six, your real estate professional can double check the facts for you. We can ask the seller for a home inspection where you might be uncomfortable doing so, especially if you’re buying from a friend or family member.
And, we can help you remember to ask things that might not necessarily think about like copies of the equalized assessed valuation and the property tax records.
Your real estate professional can also help you narrow down the listing to ones that fit your requirements and your price range, instead of having you look through the thousands of listings in the Houston area.
The seller has a real estate agent, so why do I need one?
Sometimes buyers try to save money by sharing one real estate professional with the seller. This can save you money, but it comes with a huge risk. After all, the agent has a contractual duty to look out for the seller’s best interest, so how can he also look out for yours?
If the professional is working for the seller, he’s not likely to tell you that the seller was thinking of lowering the price and might accept a lower offer or that another home two blocks away is exactly what you’re looking for and $10,000 cheaper.
Hiring your own real estate professional means that you are his top priority.
When you work with me or any of the agents here at Fanticular, you can rest assured that we will make your home-buying process as painless as possible. We want to see you in your dream home almost as much as you do!