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House-Hunting 101: How to Know What You Want

Posted by Amanda Hicks on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018 at 3:32pm.


Realtors know all too well that buyers often start searching for a home with everything on their list of preferences and end up purchasing one that looks different from what they originally said they wanted. Buyers aren't deliberately misleading their agents, they just havent seriously considered what their preferences are and end up relying on conventional thinking. Here are some tips for buyers: 

1. Begin with a preliminary visit to a mortgage broker.

Meet with a lender to set a ceiling on what you can afford. Sometimes budgeting and planning on your own doesn't take into consideration all the finer details. Get the truth from a lender before you waste your time looking in a price range you can't afford. 

2. Truly consider your personal preferences before physically searching.

Once you know what you can afford, you can really think about your wants and needs for your future home. If you're buying a house with your spouse, have a discussion in a quiet place and ask questions like: Would you rather have a pool or an extra bedroom? Would you rather be in the subdivision you want or the house you want? Even if you end up purchasing something different from your initial decisions, you'll be less likely to make a big mistake if you think things through from the beginning.

3. Don't hide your true reactions to the homes you visit.

Some buyers are fearful of offending their agents and don't truly express how they feel about a property. While agents can read body language, they can't read your mind, and they need to know what you like and dislike. 

4. Trust your agent and give them some liberty to pre-screen properties for you. 

Give your realtor some freedom to search for a "wild card" guided by your preferences. Sometimes they find things you'd like even if it isn't on your list of criteria. An agent who understands your want and needs can come up with a property you'll like even if it doesn't sound exactly so on paper. 

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