According to the 2018 Profile of Buyers and Sellers, 52% of buyers want help to find the right home to purchase. Physically locating the home is certainly part of what buyers want from their agent but finding the right home at the right price and terms is also crucial.
87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent or broker. Slightly more than half of buyers were referred to their real estate professional by a friend or relative or had used the agent previously to buy or sell a home.
There are tech tools that can be used together with the expertise and experience of your real estate professional to make the home buying process efficient and effective.
Listing Alert … while this service is called by other names, the buyer identifies the specifics about the home they want, and it will notify them directly when a new listing comes on the market that matches their needs. This service is commonly available from consumer real estate sites, but your agent can set this up to feed directly to you from the source that feeds the consumer sites, the local MLS system itself, giving you the swiftest and most accurate alert system for the edge needed in today’s fast-moving market conditions.
Real estate smartphone apps … imagine driving a neighborhood, seeing a sign and immediately being able to know the price and specifics about the home; very convenient. There are a variety of different apps available. You may want to ask your agent for a recommendation before installing one.
Digital documents … electronic signature programs have revolutionized real estate negotiations by doing everything digitally and dramatically streamlining and expediting the process of the gathering of signatures and initials from buyers and sellers. It’s safe and secure and your agent will handle this end of it for you.
ColorSnap Visualizer … this Sherwin Williams app for iPad allows you to paint walls on a picture, match photos to find paint colors and other things before you commit to a color.
Google maps … plug in an address on Google Maps and you see street view of the home, satellite view, surrounding businesses, traffic speed and other things.
Sex Offender Registry … NSOPW, the National Sex Offender Public Website is a safety resource that provides the public with access to sex offender data nationwide.
Financial Calculators … fill in the blank applications that can illustrate the benefits of Renting vs. Owning, Equity Accelerator, Adjustable Rate Comparison, Cost of Waiting to Buy and many other homeowner and prospective homeowner situations.
Free Public Records Directory – OnlineSearches provide access to public record sources like deeds and assessor and property tax records. While this service is free, some state and county agencies may charge fees for accessing public records.
Virtual open house … an alternative to physically viewing a home is to look at the multiple photos online. If the property is interesting, you can schedule a physical showing with your agent. It may be worth noting that there is still no real substitute for physically driving through the surrounding neighborhood and seeing the evidence (or lack of evidence) of “pride of ownership” there, how near or far are retail/commercial/recreational/entertainment amenities, and simply how it would feel to come and go routinely from the place you’d call home.
Check your credit … Order free credit reports from Equifax, Experian and TransUnion each once a year at www.AnnualCreditReport.com.
The final recommendation is regarding the use of your phone. When you have a question, contact your agent. Contacting another agent may seem like an expedient way to get an answer, especially when you’d like information very quickly, but it could cause unintended issues. Establishing what your communication preferences and habits are early in the process of working with your agent, and what are reasonable expectations of communication from your agent may help at a juncture when there is urgency to a question you have.
Your real estate professional can assist you with these and other tools to help you find the right home. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at <phone>.