First, do you know that my services area FREE to buyers?
My services include;
- Help you find and qualify for a home loan
- Consult with you to determine your search strategy
- Enable your search by providing you with FREE access to my search engine
- Take you to physically view the homes that you are interested in
- Place an offer for the home you want
- Negotiate the offer in your best interest
- Help secure inspections of your chosen home
- Set up an appraisal of the your chosen property
- Offer professional consultation to help you in your decision
- Negotiate some more if you have issues with the appraisal or the inspections
- Help you coordinate with the chosen Title company
- Help you close and get the keys to your new home
Read this if you want to avoid anxiety, frustration and anger.
One way to search for a home is to drive around subdivisions expecting to see “For Sale” signs and then inquiring about the price and then after you get the 411 on the home it is not in your price range or it was already “SOLD”. You may have missed the opportunity to purchase your dream home because your search was not focused.
Did you know that many home owners DO NOT WANT A SIGN in their front yard? I refused to put one up because I did not want my neighbors to know that I was leaving. There are many reasons why clients refuse to put up a sign including the fact that some subdivisions prohibit for sale signs of any kind. The important factor here is that not every home listed will have a sign.
Many agents immediately start selling neighborhoods, subdivisions in some cases their own listings without interviewing you to find out what you needs and desires are. Imagine going into a shoe store and the salesperson is trying to sell you black boots and you came in to buy red and white sandals. Why would you attempt to buy your largest investment that way? Consultants ask a lot of questions, sales people try to sell you stuff that they like or think is important. They assume that they know what you need and that method causes clients anxiety and frustration.
What Is The Solution?
1-My solution is to ask a lot of questions and try to truly understand your potential motivation. If I can understand what you want, I can immediately find the right mixture of potential properties.
2- I ask important questions such as what is your budget. Do you want to live near the city center? Do you want to live in the suburbs or rural area? Why are you moving? Where are you moving? What type of neighborhood are you looking for? The more questions I ask you, the better and faster you will find the right home.
3- As your consultant I enter this information into my very expensive professional software and we begin the search. I will then send that search to you for approval. Based on your choices I begin to understand what you like and desire and then each search get more and more focused on your criteria.
4- Once you pick out the properties that you seem to like we set up appointments. NOTICE! Some properties look betters on your phone that in real life. My main objective is to view and understand your reaction the properties that I am showing you. Sometimes we write an offer on the first run. Sometimes we go out 2 times before we write an offer and that is because each time when we go out, I will notice that you loved the bigger closets or the extra-large kitchens and I will tweak my search engine to focus on what you really want.
Once we find the right property I turn into Becky the negotiator. When we enter negotiations, I will use my many years of experience and knowledge to get that home for you at the best possible price.
Hopefully your experience will be amazing because you worked with a Real Estate Consultant and not just a sales agent.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
How to find the right home is an important quest that needs to be solved before attempting my decision matrix. First consider these questions; how much time do you have? How much patience do you have? Are you willing to be at war with your partner over this. If you are single, are you willing to buy a home that you will regret or hate? So my blog “how to find the right home” can make your life easier and less stressful. My decision matrix examines the three most important aspects of purchasing a home in any market anywhere in the world. The three aspects are 1) budget, 2) location and
3) Amenities. My many years of helping clients sell or buy homes, has taught me that every client needs to solve this puzzle. Think about it, when sellers decide to sell their home, they have come to a conclusion that they need more room or less room, be closer to work, downsize, upgrade, retire to the country…I’ve always wanted a fireplace or I want to lower my payment… The buyers have the same exact driving forces that compel them to buy a home. My favorite one is- it’s cheaper to buy a home than to rent one. I could go on but I think you got the picture. The triangle below shows three points and they determine what home you’ll purchase.
How To Find The Right Home
How to find the right home using this decision matrix?
A) Budget- This part of the triangle should be viewed as
1) Comfortable- Most clients qualify for more than they actually end up purchasing. An example of this is a client that qualifies for $250,000 and at 5 percent that translates to $1,342.05 a month principle and interest (P&I) only, no insurance or taxes included) The client feels more comfortable at $195,000 which translates to $1,046.80 a month (P & I). Although the client can buy more she wants more cash flow to go on vacations, buy appliances and just do things. She is driven by price point and everything else is negotiable.
2) Dream house- This client is looking for the perfect dream home that will fulfill all of his needs. For example 3 car garage, near work, 5 bedrooms 5 baths, pool, fireplace… If the home is near their budget, he wants that home. Both of these views are fine as long as the bank will lend you the funds and you can sleep at night.
B) Location- The famous saying about real estate is “location, location, location”. Obviously the most popular locations sell for the most money because home valuations are based on supply and demand. The desire for a location is proportional to the homes available. While this is not an exhaustive list, the locations below represent many of the location potentials expressed by my clients.
1) Close to work
2) Close to school
3) Close to city center
4) Away from congested city
C) Amenities- Certain amenities are critical to some clients for example: a family of six might need a home with the minimum of 5 bedrooms 3 bathrooms because they need the space and they would be miserable in a home with 2 bedrooms and 1 bath, or a musician may need a studio office and 3 bedrooms to accommodate her family needs.
1) 3 Bedrooms and 2 Baths
6) Horse Stables
My Solution to This Dilemma Using Simple Math
Look at my triangle- A is your budget needs, B is your location wants and C is your amenities desired;
Print or write the three categories and apply a numerical value (1-10) for each side. 10 means very important, 5 is important 1 is I don’t care. Assign the values and if there are two or more people involved in this decision each person should assign their numerical value alone and without discussion. In order for this to work you need to be honest with yourself first and I know this may sound strange but, be selfish during this evaluation. Don’t think about what the other person wants. Instead focus and write what you want. It is my belief that most arguments or disagreements that occur between couples concerning real estate choices comes from unspoken or unshared goals or as I like to call it “goal confusion”.
So if you are a couple for instance, you each make a personal evaluation of what is important. Let’s look at a common disconnect that I see in my practice.
Example: 1st Partner rates 10 for budget, 6 for location and a 3 for amenities (just 3 beds 2 bath).
2nd partner rates 4 for budget, 10 for location and 3 for amenities.
The results immediately show a conflict. There has to be a compromise before you start your search because searches reflect these three points and you have goal confusion. One partner is influenced by the price and the other is influenced by the location.
Here are the options;
1) You end up searching for a home for months or I’ve seen some couple that searched for years.
2) The 1st partner has to increase how much they are willing to spend on a monthly basis
3) The 2nd partner has to readjust their desired location to a less expensive area farther away from the city center.
Finding a home that meets both criterion takes longer because you may want a home in an area that is priced at $400,000 but you can only afford $250,000. We might look at short sales, bank owned sales, homes needing major repairs but these are hard to find and there are hundreds of customers looking for the same property. Some of these homes are money pits which are why the original owner walked away.
In either case, one can see that understanding this decision matrix won’t solve all of your problems but it will focus you on what is truly important and it will identify your differences. Once this is accomplished, and you have pre-approval from a lending institution you may start your search for the right home.
The operating word here is find out what you individually need, prioritize the needs by order of real importance and learn the art of compromise. Once you decide call me at (615) 995-6322
If you already have a relationship with any lending institution, I recommend that you contact them first. If you don’t have a contact at any lending institution, please fell free to click on the “Lenders” button left of this page. I am not recommending anybody specifically, but I know that the companies on the left of this page are presently in business and I stay in touch with them.
There are many programs that are available to buyers that can help you get loans that require little or no down payments. I strongly recommend that you explore the possibility of a VA Loan if you are a veteran and possess or can obtain a DD214 (the people below can help with more details) Another potential program is Rural Development (RD) Loan. The RD loan allows people with low or borderline credit scores an opportunity to obtain a loan, again ask the experts below. Finally, a fantastic opportunity for First Time Buyers the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)
This agency has grant programs for qualified first time home buyers to help them with their down payment. Grants are funds that do not have to be repaid. For more information, click on the T.H.D.A.