There are so many tips and tricks to finding a home, selling your home, and moving seamlessly throughout the process! Since most folks take 5-20 yrs between making those moves, it’s easy to forget or not keep up with how it all works.
That’s where Team Morales comes in! Here we’ve compiled a list of some of the “MUST-KNOWS” for homebuyers in Greater Cincinnati, Hamilton, Butler, Warren, Clermont, & surrounding counties. We hope this helps. Remember you always get #MoreWithMorales!
14 TIPS FOR NEW HOMEBUYERS
BUYERS DON'T PAY THEIR AGENT
When you're buying a house, you don't pay your realtor. The sellers do, based on a percentage of sale price. So you're getting the service for free and they get paid either way by the sellers. Given these facts, there is no good reason not to use a realtor!
EVERYONE KNOWS A REALTOR
Your parents have a friend. Your great aunt is licensed and sells ~3 houses a year. Your old elementary school friend is one, etc. But getting good service from someone you really click with should supersede any obligations of loyalty you might feel. It's a huge investment, one of the biggest purchases you will ever make, and takes weeks or even months! You don't want to risk thousands of dollars and tons of time on someone you aren't 100% confident in. Every realtor has someone they know use another agent eventually - they all get over it. So choose wisely!
GET ALERTS ON NEW LISTINGS
Your realtor should send you houses you might like via the Multiple Listing Service (it's like an encyclopedia of homes for sale - many aren't on Zillow, or take days to update on Zillow after going pending, but the MLS alerts you right away). You shouldn't have to look on Zillow alone and just come to your realtor when you find one. Often this ends up in disappointment when you find the home isn't available anymore. You also may never see some homes get listed at all, as everything doesn't make it to Zillow (or other home search engines).
REALTORS HAVE EXCLUSIVE ACCESS
Many homes get sold in real estate offices before ever getting listed. Realtors talk in meetings, private Facebook groups, they go around their office giving others the scoop. When an agent hears of a home their buyers might like, they'll arrange to be the first ones in, often presenting an offer before other people might have even gotten the notification that the home is for sale. Having an agent can make all the difference in being the first or last to know.
DON'T WASTE TIME, SIGN ONLINE
These days, there are many systems available to allow you to sign documents online, from anywhere, even your phone. Make sure you’re working with a realtor who values and respects your time, and streamlines the process with these easy tools.
GET AN AGENT WHO TEXTS & COMMUNICATES
Seems like a no brainer but some folks just don’t do it. Searching for homes is 1000x easier when you can shoot a text to your realtor at 10pm asking to see something tomorrow. If an agent makes you wait for them to check their emails or for a phone call back, you can expect that through the whole process, and those delays can lose people houses at worst and be very frustrating at best.
GET A FULL TIME AGENT
You want to make sure that real estate is your agent’s #1 professional priority. While there are lots of great agents out there who work part time, there are many challenges to operating that way and we can say confidently that a full time agent is more likely to perform to the standards our clients have come to expect.
YOUR AGENT SHOULD BE TENACIOUS
You want an agent who will fight for you like you're their family. Confidence and assertiveness are key. I see so many agents roll over on issues, not press hard enough, not be strategic and tactful enough. And that can be the difference between thousands of dollars in price, huge repairs being done before you buy it, etc.
YOUR AGENT SHOULD “GET” YOU
You want to feel like your agent understands your situation, your life, your interests, your future goals, your wants and needs. They will be able to help you infinitely better once they know and respect these things.
TRUST YOUR GUT, BUT THINK LOGICALLY
You’ll make a lot of decisions throughout the homebuying process. What to see, what to make an offer on, what to offer, what repairs to make during inspections, etc. It’s easy to get emotional, especially when going back and forth during negotiations. It’s important to keep a cool head, to have a level-headed agent, and work productively towards a solution where everyone feels they’ve been treated fairly. We always remind ourselves of “The Golden Rule” in these scenarios.
PRICE SHOULDN'T MATTER
A good agent will treat you the same whether you're buying a house for half a million dollars or for 10,000. You also want an agent who negotiates in your best interests, even if it means they make a lower commission. A good agent doesn't care one bit about that. At the end of the day they don't want say they made a few hundred more (by negotiating a higher price), they want to say they saved you thousands (by negotiating you a lower one).
HONESTY IS A MUST
You don't want an agent who sugarcoats things. When you go to see a house you'll have stars in your eyes over the excitement. You want to walk into a house with them and have them give their totally honest opinions and ground you. A good agent will point out concerning smells, they'll look for cracks, imperfections, design flaws and make sure you know. They'll tell you if the home is overpriced. They'll tell you what it is like compared to similar homes, and ask questions to help you figure out if it's right for you and your future needs.
There are many different ways to save money when buying a home, you just have to look and ask! Ask your loan officer if they have any downpayment grant programs available - these often help new homebuyers put thousands extra down so they have lower payments, or just more cash to spend on their new home. Some neighborhoods have redevelopment grants available. And there are programs like “Grants for Grads” or “Homes for Heroes” that allow qualified buyers assistance with interest rates and other financials.
ASK FOR A WARRANTY IN YOUR OFFER
If you’d like some extra peace of mind when purchasing your new home, you should get a home warranty. The seller OR buyer can pay, and you can get one for as little as $400 for 1 year. Despite everyone's best efforts, unexpected things can go wrong in that first year in a new home, and a warranty is a good safety net to have just in case. All home warranties are different, so be sure to read the fine print to make sure your concerns are covered.
Got a question we didn’t cover? Text us! 513-802-2533