Once those preparations are out of the way, it is time to find the right property for you.
Take a long drive
Ask your Realtor for a “get to know the neighborhoods” tour. This is often called a “dashboard” tour. Identify areas, style of housing, and neighborhoods that interest you. Drive around and get a feel for what it would be like to own a property in the area. Start getting a sense of the properties available in those areas, and the way folks who live there go about their day.
Patterns in your living are important. The choice of being close to amenities, or seclusion, and what combination of the two you feel are correct for you, is often the key to making an informed decision. Once you identify the general goals for your search, try to lock down a list of items you are looking for, and at what price. This process is called “prioritization.”
Now take a shorter drive……
Select a few properties that interest you the most and have your Realtor make appointments to visit them. Ask your Realtor to “bracket” them with similar matches, or alternative options, so that you can understand how your list of desires matches up, or doesn’t match up with the available properties. Use your newly created “priority” list to inform your tour.
Sometimes, after a day of touring, you’ll have to adjust your list of priorities to fit the available inventory. Sometimes…….You just may not be in the market at the right time…..Having a list of priorities that have been “pressure tested” out in the real market is essential to making an informed decision. Some times that decision is to wait, and sometimes that decision is to hurry up, but having a list that is (roughly) consistent throughout your search, gives you the best chance of making the best decision.
In any home you are seriously considering, confirm with your Realtor the current condition of the home (better than normal? Worse than normal?) and potential long term resale value of the properties you are considering….. After looking at a few, and conferring with your Realtor about the best options…………
Let’s make an offer!
Once you have picked out the property you want to purchase, your Realtor can help you make an offer that the seller will accept. A good agent will investigate the potential costs and expenses associated with the new property. An agent can also help you draft your offer in a way that gives you the advantage over another offer.