As you look for your dream home, you may think that you only need to share the basics with your new real estate agent. You know… number of bedrooms and bathrooms, pool or no pool, your favorite neighborhoods or maybe the school district you want to be in. This is a common misconception and may keep you from getting exactly what you want or need in your new digs.
- Your deal breakers. Maybe you don’t have the funds to pay for a new roof any time soon. Perhaps you absolutely need a three car garage as one of your kids is moving back into the nest. Let’s say a knee injury makes stairs difficult for you. Whatever it may be, these details (sometimes private or embarrassing) often come out once the client is walking through a house that has one of these deal breakers. You will save yourself and your agent a lot of heartache and wasted time by looking at homes that ultimately have a deal breaker that you just won’t be able to look past. No one wants to fall in love with that house that just won’t work for them!
- Your lifestyle. What does a weekend look like for you? Are you an avid runner that would benefit from living near some scenic running trails? What if you are a movie buff that needs to be within a few miles of a cinema? Maybe you’re the neighborhood cat lady and shouldn’t live near a busy highway in case Fluffy makes a run for it. However silly or quirky your interests may seem, your agent is the expert! You’re working with them because they know these neighborhoods like the back of their hand. Let their expertise work for you and Fluffy!
- Your long-term plans. Not everyone is looking for their forever home. Maybe you have a short term work assignment and need to be able sell a property pretty quickly after purchasing it while turning a profit. Perhaps you know your way around a tool belt and don’t mind investing in a little fixer upper. Whatever your long term plans may be, they are important for picking just the right property and letting your agent in on those little secrets may make all the difference to maximize your investment!
- Your real budget. You know the story. Girl meets house. Girl falls in love with house. Girl ups her budget to purchase said house. It happens all the time. Often clients will give their agents their “preferred” budget which is often a little optimistic for their needs and wants (see: deal breakers, see: lifestyle, see: long-term plans) or higher than what they are comfortable spending. Do your homework! Go in knowing what you can get financing for and exactly what you’re comfortable spending, and share that number with your agent so they can only show you homes that are real options for you.
- Your dream. This may sound silly but so much of home buying is an emotional process. Everyone has their “dream home” in mind when going into their search. Perhaps you’ve always imagined yourself in a craftsman style home or you hope to one day build a barn filled with a family of fainting goats. Dreams are important and your agent can help you plan for these dreams! Share those little dream sequences you’ve had while cruising the listings and your agent can narrow in on that house that will give you butterflies… or goats.
To get the most out of your home buying experience and to ultimately find that perfect home you’ve been dreaming of, you need to open up a little to your agent. They want this process to be as quick and easy as you do and while some of this may feel like an overshare, it can all help your agent pin point the perfect property. Because these secrets are so important, you need to seek out and work with an agent you really like and trust. Happy hunting!