House Shopping: The Path to Finding the Perfect Home
House shopping can be simultaneously enjoyable, frustrating, and enlightening. Initially, the experience is enjoyable as you embark on the journey of house hunting. However, there may be moments of frustration if you don't immediately come across the perfect home. Nonetheless, this process provides valuable information. As you visit different houses, you begin to develop preferences, become familiar with what fits within your budget, and identify aspects you like or dislike, such as finishes, layouts, and condition. Eventually, you'll come across the perfect house, and you'll know it's perfect the moment you step through the front door—it will simply feel right.
The process of viewing homes follows a straightforward approach. You and Elke will determine which properties to see based on your saved favorites and the currently available options that meet your criteria. Initially, you may visit several homes to get familiar with areas and floor plans when you start out, but as new homes enter the market, you might focus on one or two at a time. Elke will handle the scheduling of showings, and you will receive the meeting location details through email or text if multiple homes are involved.
Showings are usually scheduled within a one-hour range to account for driving time and provide flexibility if you find a home you really like. Each house is typically allocated a 10–20-minute time slot, but if you need more time to explore a particular home, Elke will arrange a second showing later in the day or the following day. Second showings can be eye-opening as you often notice things you might have overlooked initially.
At the beginning of each excursion, Elke will provide you with printouts of the homes you'll be visiting. These printouts come in handy for taking notes on the houses you like and crossing out those that don't meet your requirements.
One advantage of this process is the opportunity to tour a greater number of homes that fit your criteria compared to waiting for open houses. Additionally, having Elke by your side provides valuable assistance. She can help you envision how your furniture will fit, discuss resale potential, point out red flags, and give you an idea of pricing.
What About If You Aren't in The Area?
No worries! With the modern technology we have now, showings can be scheduled virtually. As a matter of fact, since covid, a large portion of buyers purchase homes without seeing them in person until the home inspection or right before settlement. It's very important that you have an agent you trust and who understands your wants and needs in a home when you purchase a home virtually. If you plan to buy a home virtually, Elke strongly suggests that you become very familiar with the areas of interest and that you have seen the areas and some of the homes in that area, in person, prior to making an offer.
Navigating Open Houses and New Home Sales Models
Open houses and new home sales models (builder models) can be enticing for many buyers. Whether you're casually exploring, curious, or actively searching, they offer an excellent opportunity to familiarize yourself with homes and neighborhoods. However, there are important considerations to keep in mind.
It's crucial to understand that the agent present at the open house or new home model represents the seller's/builder’s interests. Their primary goal is to secure the highest possible price for the seller, not necessarily to ensure you get the best deal or find a property that meets your needs. Remember that anything you say to the listing agent can be relayed to the seller/builder, which can significantly impact negotiations. If you express enthusiasm or admiration for a property, the seller may be informed, potentially affecting their willingness to negotiate or accept a lower offer.
Furthermore, if you attend these open houses or builder models without your own representation, the seller’s agent may refuse to allow you to have representation later in the process. This can put you at a disadvantage.
Check out more information on new construction here
So, what should you do?
When it comes to new construction or "new builds," it's strongly advised not to go in without the presence of your agent, Elke. Contact Elke before visiting the model home, and she will try to meet you there or arrange for registration with the builder's agent. The ideal scenario is for Elke to schedule an appointment with the builder's agent, providing you with ample time to explore the community, learn about the homes, and have your questions answered. If you can't wait and decide to visit the model home on your own, make sure to inform the agent that you are working with Elke from MORE Realty and include this information on the buyer's registration form. By doing so, Elke will be assigned as your agent, ensuring she can represent your interests. Otherwise, you may find yourself without representation, having to work with the agent who was present at the model home on the day of your visit, regardless of whether you like them or not.
Open houses present a slightly different scenario. While you can tour the home, it's important to take certain precautions. Inform the agent hosting the open house that you are working with Elke from MORE Realty. However, exercise caution in discussing any details about your move, reasons for moving, your price range, preferences, or any other personal information. Be pleasant but avoid providing any information that could be used against you during negotiations. Small comments can inadvertently reveal important details that may be passed on to the seller.
By being cautious and involving your trusted agent, Elke, you can navigate open houses and new home sales models with greater confidence and protect your best interests throughout the home-buying process.