Monday, August 24, 2015 / by Deborah Argenta
Buying a home is not like buying a new couch – or even a new car. It's a lot more complicated. To do it with the least amount of stress and the least damage to your bank account, you need a buyer's agent who is dedicated to your success and will guide you through the steps and around the potholes.
With that in mind, here are a few things you should not say to your agent:
#1 - "I have perfect credit, I know what I can buy, and I'm not going to bother with getting pre-approved."
This is a mistake for 3 reasons:
Until you see your credit report and know your FICO scores, you don't know the status of your credit. Paying all your bills on time is not enough to assure a good credit score. You probably also don't know how all the little details in your financial life interact to determine your debt to income ratios – which determine how much a bank will lend.
Home sellers today want to see that pre-approval letter before accepting an offer. And why shouldn't they? No one wants to tie their house up for weeks on the hope that their buyer will be able to obtain funding.
Agents shy away from buyers who refuse to get pre-approved, and with good reason. We all get only 24 hours in each day and agents only get paid when a transaction closes. No one wants to spend hours or days with a client who simply can't purchase a home.
#2 – "I can't tell you what I'm looking for. The price, location, number of bedrooms, square footage, etc. don't really matter. I'll know the house I want when I see it."
If there were only 10 homes on the market this might be a workable plan, but since there are generally about 10,000 homes for sale here in the Indianapolis Area on a given day, it's not.
Your agent needs some guidance regarding the price, the general area, the number of bedrooms and baths, and the other "wants" that are in the back of your mind. That's why I ask my buyers to give me a "needs and wants" list, in addition to their budget requirements.
The budget information allows me to search in the right price range, so we don't waste time looking at homes that are beyond the buyer's means. The "needs" on the list help me eliminate homes that absolutely won't do for reasons of size, location, or amenities. The "wants" help me refine the search to find homes that fulfill as many wishes as possible.
#3 – "I really like this house. In fact, it's perfect. But I think we should see a few more next week-end, just to be sure."
In today's market, what you're really saying is "I've just wasted a lot of your time," because at the pace things are moving, if you wait until next week to make a decision, you'll probably be too late. When you find a home and think "This is it," the time to act is now.
Are you ready to find your new (city) home? Call me! I'll be pleased to assist.