If we were working together, I would want you to see me as a guide, a consultant, a set of experienced eyes, a financial adviser, an advocate and a watchdog.
When you think about buying your first home, think about your first love. Remember how all consuming it was, and how difficult it was trying to concentrate on anything else? It was bliss…wonderful, obsessive bliss. But, if your experience was similar to mine, the people who cared about you cautioned against moving too fast. “Date more people,” they advised, and they were probably right. Not to say that your first love couldn’t have resulted in a lifetime of happiness, but experience is a very capable teacher.
So it is with your search for your first home. Don’t fall in love too fast. Really think it through and don’t hesitate to ask for the advice of friends and family and, of course, your REALTOR. But most importantly, look at a sufficient number of houses so that you can feel comfortable with your selection. And remember, the choice of a house also includes the choice of a block, a neighborhood, a town and an area.
Now, were you to ask me how many houses you should look at, I would say that only you can answer that question. In other words, you’ll know when you have seen enough houses. That said, I would caution against allowing external factors to play too much of a role in your decision-making. For example, suppose a good buy comes on the market…one that’s likely to sell fast. Your realtor will most likely tell you that, but there are two ways that the message can be delivered.
1. The High Pressure Way: This is a great house. If you don’t act now you are going to lose it.
2. The Supportive Way: This is a great house and it should sell fast. If you think it’s the right house for you, consider making an offer.
Which style of communication works best for you?
That brings me around to the role that a REALTOR should play in your search for a first home. If we were working together, I would want you to see me as a guide, a consultant, a set of experienced eyes, a financial adviser, an advocate and a watchdog. While that may seem like a lot of hats to wear, it’s really only one hat: the hat of someone who will do what’s necessary to make the purchase of your first home a memorable and joyful experience.
So, as you engage the process of buying your first home, be in the moment. It’s an experience that you will only have once.