An experienced real estate agent is an expert in their area, but we aren't mind readers. Here are some things you should tell your real estate agent before you start the house buying process:
Budget. You should be open an honest to yourself and your real estate agent about what you can reasonably afford. Give clear a clear price range from the very beginning so no one wastes time hunting for homes outside of what you can afford. Speak with a lender first and get preapproved for a mortgage and you will have a better handle on the price range you should be targeting.
Expectations. From the start, let your agent know your must-haves for a home. What are some things you can budge on? What are some things that are deal breakers for you? You may be willing to buy a home in a different school district but unwilling to buy a home without an open-concept layout.
Concerns. Everyone has some concerns about beginning to buy a home. Maybe you're worried about finding a home within a certain timeline. Maybe you are nervous about making that leap to buy a home. Whatever your concerns are, you should always be open about them with your agent. An experienced agent will know how to address your worries and make you feel more comfortable about the entire process. Buying a home can be both exciting and stressful, and we understand that. Being a real estate agent can be a little like being a therapist -- we understand the importance of listening carefully, and we are used to addressing the unique concerns of home buyers.
Intentions. Are you buying the home to live there or do you want to rent it out? Are you planning on renting out just the basement to make the mortgage more affordable? Do you plan on flipping the house to make a profit? Whatever you plan to do with the home, let your agent know. A real estate investor is looking for something completely different than someone who plans to live in the home for years. Also, an experienced agent will be familiar with different zoning restrictions and area regulations to keep you from being shocked down the road.
Schedule and Timeline. Your agent needs to know if you are looking to buy a home urgently or are simply browsing to see your options. If you need to find a home as quickly as possible, but you have a busy schedule, your agent will need to put a different plan into action to help you find a home. If you have an open schedule and wider timeline, the home search process will be different. Always be open about if you are serious about buying a home soon or if you are just casually browsing.