7 Tips to Finding the Best Home Quickly

1) Hire a good Realtor

A home purchase will most likely be your largest purchase ever. Don’t hire an inexperienced Realtor to represent you. Do your research and find an agent that represents both buyers and sellers. Some of the highest producing Realtors only work with sellers and don’t represent buyers that well. Your goal is to find a professional, experienced agent that has great market knowledge. This will save you plenty of time and aggravation.

2) Arrange financing before you look at homes

The worst feeling is to find your dream home and realize later that you cannot afford it. Don’t assume that you can get a mortgage. The lending industry has been turned upside down lately. Before you look at property know what you can afford.

3) Know what you want

Make a list of your needs and wants. Discuss with your Realtor what you need to have and want to have. You most likely will have to make compromises. Everyone does when purchasing a home. Your experienced Realtor who knows the market will be able to tell you if your needs and wants match your budget.

4) Narrow down your geographic areas

Make a list of areas that you like. There is no point in looking at homes in areas/neighborhoods that you hate. That is just a waste of everyone’s time. Spend a day driving around the city if you are unfamiliar with it. Your Realtor would be happy to give you an area map and highlight areas to drive through.

5) Drive by

Once you have a good Realtor, have arranged financing, know your needs and wants and have narrowed down your areas get a list of homes and drive by them. You will eliminate several homes by just driving by them. This will save you hours.

6) Know that there is no perfect home

Everyone makes compromises. There is no such thing as a perfect home. I have seen people in all prices ranges make compromises.

7) Stay on top of the market

If you do all of this and can’t find a great home then you either have to lower your standards, raise your budget or sit tight and wait for more listings to come on the market. Your Tampa Realtor can usually set you up on an automated email system. When a home comes on the market that matches your criteria you will be notified of it immediately. This is a great way to be the first one in the door. Good luck.

Marc Rasmussen
Realtor in Sarasota, Florida
Sarasota Homes For Sale

14 Replies to “7 Tips to Finding the Best Home Quickly”

  1. You should write an entry about the best ways to go about getting financing for a new home. Perhaps what creditors look for, steps to take, etc.etc. It’s especially challenging now that the economy is broken, so it’d be a good read.

  2. Nice article Mark. I think that number three is the most challenging step for home buyers. For some reason buyers have a really hard time figuring out what they want. I find that more often than not home buyers end up buying something that is completely different than what they originally wanted.

  3. Definitely agree. This biggest thing that I find myself dealing with are the buyers that have not even spoken with a mortgage broker yet. Have no idea what they can qualify for, but want to look at 20 different homes in a wide price range. I have adopted the policy of no approval letter, no looky looky…..

  4. These are great tips – I hear buyers always regretting that they didn’t do #2 and #3 – I wish I would have made sure my home meet all my needs and wants…I think I would have picked a different home if I put a lot more thought into those things.

  5. Great article! All 7 tips should be followed by everyone yet I’m still surprised at how many people look without a realtor and without knowing what they can afford!

  6. Well done, Marc…
    @Annie – can’t agree with you more. But also, the sad challenge today is finding Lenders to give you definitive price parameters. I say this partly in jest but once above conforming loan limits, it’s gets a little messy at times.

  7. There are probably few things in life that are as exciting–or as nerve- racking–as the search for a house. All the good emotions and the bad emotions seem to converge when the house hunting begins. Don’t worry, this is a normal reaction, and is found in seasoned home buyers as well as those who are looking for their first home. One of the first decisions you need to make is whether you want to do your house hunting on your own, or by using an Agent. If you decide to go it on your own, you will be able to see (and buy) those houses that are For Sale by Owner (known as FSBO’s). Depending on your area and the overall market, this will be around 20% or so of the total homes available (the other 80% are the “listed” properties–being sold through an Agent.
    All these things make you kind of sick and probably take steps back. Thanks for the good tips you mentioned here. It makes things a lot easier.

    Michael McLaughlin, Cary real estate

  8. I’m a Canadian broker who has a lot of clients down south in the Sunshine state (mainly snowbirds) — there is a tremendous desire for my fellow countrymen & women to invest and spend winters in your great State. There is, however, a general fear up here about when the “bottom” will hit… and when will we know it or see it. Our central bank forecasts a strong recover in Canada for 2010 but I tell my clients it will unfortunately likely be another year for the recovery to come in the U.S.

  9. Knowing what you want is critical. I have friends and have to say I am personally guilty of buying property and after closing had this empty feeling as to what I did. Everything turned out ok but it was a small case of buyers remorse.

  10. This is a good article, Marc. I believe you started it correctly with the urging to hire a good realtor. I sent offer sheets recently to a client who filled them out prior to our talking. He had a contingency date 30 days after the closing date on the new property. There are many things that home buyers and sellers need … and one is a good realtor.

  11. You hit the nail on the head with the early financing steps. Buyers without pre-approval just won’t be taken as seriously as those with it. I usually tell home buyers to get this out of the way first, before they even spend their time / energy with house hunting. Nice work. ~Brandon

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