For those of you who don't know me, I need to proclaim: the use of the "B" word is one of my biggest pet peeves! Isn't it funny that we always say we are too
Time To Learn How To Online Shop
What was already a vicious Spring Market with low inventory, things are about to get interesting! Now, in the midst of the pandemic and self quarantine - we need to work smarter, not harder!!
As a buyer's agent, I am finding it a little more difficult to get appointments for showing with sellers with even less homes coming on the market, and interest rates being quite volatile. But, my buyers NEED to buy. While you are staying home, but still very keen to search - I have some great advice for you!
Here are my top 6 things to consider as you online shop:
1) SQUARE FEET: You may be surprised that square footage is my number 1! But truly, I have found this is to be the number 1 criteria that can immediately turn off a buyer when we walk through the house in person - and this could have been easily found online beforehand! Be sure you are searching the size of house you want first and foremost. Even if you think the house has a great layout, the size will be hardest (and likely impossible) to change if you don't like size of bedrooms, cramped bathrooms, or the if the two story foyer is too much to heat.
2) BIRDS EYE VIEW: Again, perhaps this is another shock that I still have not mentioned photography! Birds eye view is an A-MAZING tool! Location is impossible to change! Of course you want to know where this house sits from the street, is it near major power lines, or does the highway run through the back yard? All of this can affect value and ultimately your decision to buy in a major way!
3) PHOTOS: Finally! Time to look at photos!! Photos or lack of photos for actively "for sale" listings says a lot. If there are no photos (and the listing is not a "coming soon" listing), perhaps that should tell you what you need to know? If there are photos (and gosh, there should be!), pay attention to layouts, size (or possible bubble photography effects), and lighting. Photography can be fooling, so be critical!
4) REMARKS: Read the remarks! I know it's easy to just check out the photos, but reading the remarks can tell you a lot about the house. While some remarks will be a little more fluff than content, you want to know as much about the home as possible before deciding to see it.
5) DAYS ON MARKET: Days on market indicates how long the house as been for sale/on the market. In today's market, you may want to be a little more critical of homes that have been on the market for longer than 30 days. Why? Is it overpriced? Does it need work? Does it not show well? This may give you some indication to do some additional digging into tax records, historical sales, comps, etc.
6) DISCLOSURES: Ask your buyer's agent (ME!) for a copy of the disclosures if you thing this house fits the bill on paper! Disclosures is the paperwork the seller has preemptively filled out, and to be included in the buyer's offer. Usually, they can be pretty informative and give you additional insight about the house direct from the sellers.
PRO TIP: If you have very specific, detailed questions, contact your buyer's agent for more info! It is unwise to contact the listing agent directly as they represent the seller! (NOT you, the buyer!)
Stay safe, stay healthy!
Written by Kat Royer
Welcome Home Realty Group
Kat Royer is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management and minor in Real Estate. She worked for 7 years in operations and sales for a major internat....
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