Moving to a new, unfamiliar community can be stressful and demanding. To make your transfer go smoothly, consider these suggestions:
1. Select the right real estate agent
Working with a great agent is one of the most important aspects of a successful home purchase. Key qualities to look for: experience with relocating clients, strong local market knowledge, and solid communication skills. If your agent has earned the ABR® designation, you’ll know they also have special training in representing buyers.
2. Get pre-approved (not just pre-qualified) for your mortgage
Pre-approval means your application has already been processed and final approval is only contingent upon an appraisal and other minor issues. It puts you in a more favorable negotiating position with sellers and allows you to make faster decisions.
3. Separate your needs from your wants
The difference may seem subtle, but this makes it easier to quickly narrow your options and find the right home.
4. Keep copious notes
You’ll probably see many homes in a short period of time. Detailed notes, photos and listing sheets can help you recall each property after a busy “home shopping” trip.
5. Think about selling while buying
Transferees often face future relocations, so it’s important to consider a home’s resale value. If your agent is pointing out a home’s flaws, they’re probably looking out for your future best interests.
6. Learn the market
Buyers can gather an amazing amount of information online about the markets they’re considering for their new home (although an experienced agent will always have a stronger pulse on local market prices than any website). Do your homework and rely on your agent to add key perspectives.
7. Be prepared to make fast decisions
Many markets now favor sellers or simply lack adequate home inventories, causing buyers to quickly regret momentary hesitation on a desirable home. Consider making an offer right away, even if you plan to view additional properties.
8. Before placing an offer, request a quick CMA
Agents can produce a comparable market analysis (CMA) on any home in a matter of minutes. This is also where an agent with extraordinarily local knowledge can be a real plus.
9. Be prepared for emotional ups and downs
Negotiating an offer can be a draining experience. Try to remain calm and maintain perspective as offers and counter offers are exchanged.
10. Learn from home inspectors
The level of detail in home inspections has improved dramatically. If at all possible, attend the inspection in person. You’ll also gain many valuable tips about maintaining your home in the written report. As far as renegotiating on repair items, remember that in strong markets, sellers will be unwilling to make any concessions based on the inspector’s report.