Monday, October 3, 2011

Is it a reliable source?

These notes are a follow up from my BLOG about first time Buyers from a couple of weeks ago and the many, many questions consumers can have when looking for and buying real estate.

While the internet is a useful tool for prospective home buyers, sometimes people forget about other aspects of the home searching process when looking for a home.
As useful as the internet is, and as much information as REALTORS(R) have placed online, buying a home is still a complex process, especially for those with little experience. 

Many studies show that people shopping for a home sometimes assume they can do everything themselves. Depriving themselves of the assistance of a real estate agent can make it harder for home buyers to find an appropriate property and leave them unprepared for what's next if they locate one.

Using narrow searches

One pitfall many home buyers fall into is relying on a single search engine to find possible homes. REALTORS® do not necessarily use every site available to them when they market a property so this may eliminate a lot of available prospects from the search.

While narrowing down your search criteria is a necessary step, focusing on one resource can remove good choices from consideration as easily as poor ones.

MSN Real Estate suggests selecting several search tools and using them in tandem. This can fill in gaps and allow home buyers to compare results. That way, the home buyer has a better overall picture.

Missing out on resources

Real Estate search engines consistently report that one major time-waster among home buyers is looking at homes they cannot afford. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is one way to determine what price range to shop within and avoid wasting time on properties over the budget. My previous BLOG addresses the huge benefits of working with a Mortgage Broker – one Broker that knows all your information – rather than shopping it out through many.  Refer back to that BLOG to remind yourself of the benefits a preapproval from a trusted Mortgage Broker can bring to the success of a transaction.

Another resource home buyers may be unaware of is real estate auto search feeds or email alerts. They can help fill in knowledge gaps about the market and provide current information.

A good Real Estate Agent can have years of experience in a locality, and may know what neighbourhoods to look in just from a description and price range of what the home buyer wants. In addition to finding more listings and their ability to narrow things down more efficiently, agents stay informed about current developments in an area, which may be difficult for home buyers not from the area.

Communicate clearly and concisely with your REALTOR® – they are in the best position to weed out the bad and highlight the good – they will look at your options with a more open mind and help you to consider possible properties or areas you may not know exist.  After all, that’s what they are there for!  The Multiple Listing Service® provides much more detail to the professional REALTOR® than it does to the public. While you shop on your own - you could be making decisions based on incomplete information. 
Personally, I am extremely grateful that I am associated with what is considered to be the strongest and most reliable MLS® available to the public; it makes my job as Broker/Manager easier, and simply put, without their innovation, talent, and dedication to the partnership REALTORS ® would be dead in the water and your search for your next home would be much more frustrating.

When the going gets "Tough"...just call me.

Susan Tough