Buying or selling a home is ranked as one of the most stressful events in life. The local real estate market is hot; inventory is at an historic low and multiple offers on almost every property is the norm. Market conditions are putting buyers under pressure to buy a home before home prices and interest rates go higher.
The stress that buyers experience can be alleviated with careful planning. There is more to home buying than finding the right house. The process is complex with a myriad of issues that surface and need to be addressed promptly.
Therefore once the decision to buy a house is made, you should soon after get the help of an experienced local real estate agent that can offer an insider’s advice. Experienced local agents have a strong sense of the precise actions that should be taken in different situations. When faced with decisions ask your agent for advice (including the rationale behind their advice), and ask for data before making your final decision. If you are unsatisfied by the answers and truly feel that you cannot trust your agent, you have not found the right agent.
A qualified agent will help you understand the process, explain the timeline, answer your questions and navigate through the complex process to avoid costly pitfalls or mistakes. A reputable local agent can also assist by suggesting different neighborhoods or properties that you may not have considered and by helping you prepare and negotiate the terms of offers and counteroffers.
Finally, be pro-active and do your own research. Go to the city building department to learn more about how the house has been modified over time. Talk to the neighbors about their experiences in the neighborhood. The more you know, the better off you are and the less likely you are to encounter bad surprises.