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5 Things You Should Know Before Starting Your Home Search

I get it. You’ve been thinking about buying a home for the past couple of months, but you really don’t want to move forward with the process because there aren’t a lot of houses to choose from! You are driving down the street and notice a For Sale sign standing in front of the perfect house! You hop on Zillow, look at your estimated mortgage and find out it has a huge walk in closet & those granite counter tops you love! You go through the process of obtaining your pre-qualification letter, call your realtor, and BAM! The house is gone!

We hate when this happens to our clients! So, we compiled a list that we think will benefit you before starting your home search! Here are the top 5 things our realtors at Anderson & Associates wish you knew before you spotted that dream home and lost out on it! We want you prepared!

1. The information you found online through real estate search engines… odds are it’s not accurate!
Listings shown on those real estate websites are usually automatically fed from local Multiple Listing Services around the U.S. From our experience of listing over 60 homes in the past year, the accurate information (double checked by the county & owners) we put on GA MLS is sometimes not transferred over correctly. It may say there’s an extra bathroom, it has a detached garage when it doesn’t, or that the neighborhood has some amenity that isn’t really there (like those granite countertops and walk in closet you spotted on!) This inaccurate information usually leads to disappointment in the people searching for a home with those particular features. Always have your Realtor double check that the information posted on those websites is accurate! Or better yet, have your Realtor set you up on a search in MLS with your criteria!

2. You must get preapproved with a lender before you’re qualified to put an offer in on a property!
We’ve had many calls that come to us from people in the area who’ve just spotted the house they love and want to submit an offer ASAP! Not wasting time is smart, but have you gotten preapproved for a loan for the house? Most Realtors have a preferred lender you can get a recommendation from or you can just research awesome lenders in your area! They can give you an accurate amount of the loan you’d be approved for and an estimated monthly payment for your house! You HAVE to have this before you can put an offer on the property you want. Local lenders typically have quicker response times and know the market you’re looking in better than a national company! Contact one today to go ahead and get preapproved for a loan so that when you do find the right one, it can be yours for the taking! : Anderson & Associate’s preferred lender can be found here.

3. It’s a competitive market! Waiting too long could mean that the house you love is gone!
Remember earlier when we said not wasting time is smart? Here’s why! Our economy is currently in what we call a “Seller’s Market,” (at least in our area it is!) That means we have an influx of buyers in the area, but not that many sellers. This causes home owners to be able to list for higher prices and sometimes even create a bidding war over a property! It’s best to not linger too long over making a decision about the home you want to purchase, because odds are someone has already put an offer on the property while you were thinking on it! This is not to push you to make a rash decision, we just want to make sure when you get that “gut” feeling that this is the right house, you don’t spend too much time overthinking it! It’s best to be pre approved so that after you tour a home and fall in love with it, you are ready to put in an offer! Hopefully, before anyone else! 🙂

4. Buyer representation is free! You don’t have to go directly to the Listing Agent!
In my previous research trying to figure out the horrifying statistics on the innacuracies of the real estate search engines, I came across a few blogs that suggested going directly to the Listing Agent because they are familiar with the property and might cut their commission for you. Sure, they MIGHT! BUT, before I came onto Anderson & Associates, I knew nothing of the home buying process, not even that you COULD have representation for your side of the deal. Having previously worked at a law firm, I couldn’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want representation for themselves in negotiating ANYTHING! To add to the confusion, I found out that it is typical for the clients listing the house to pay the Listing Agent a set commission percentage and that agent then splits it with the Buyer’s Agent who is representing you, meaning YOU HAVE FREE REPRESENTATION! I am not sure you’ll ever get that great of a deal in your lifetime and it’s probably one of the biggest purchases of your life! Make sure that you are getting represented and have someone negotiating on YOUR behalf and in your best interest!

5. Call us BEFORE you think you’re “ready” to start your home search!

Many of our past and current clients came to us in frustration after trying to do their home search alone! When we asked them why they didn’t come to us sooner, we heard responses like, “We didn’t think we were ready! We didn’t know when to contact you!” Well, here is us telling you… call us whenever the thought of buying a home POPS into your head! Whether you’re just married, divorced, downsizing, have rented your whole life up to this point, it doesn’t matter! Apart from being mentally and emotionally ready to take that step in your life (which is something only YOU can decide), JUST. CALL. US! Whether you’ll be ready in a year or you’re financially ready now, we will be with you through the entire process and helping you figure out how to get ready!

So, those are just a few of the things we’ve picked up over the years! If you have any questions or just want to know if you’re ready to start the process or would like to know what steps you need to take to start your home search, click here. We will get you set up with a search and let you know the steps you need to take to get there!

As always, thank you for reading!

Yours truly,

Chelsea Knox
Marketing Director at Anderson & Associates with Keller Williams Realty Atlanta Partners

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