There is no escaping the digital world
Believe me I have tried. I live in a household with two teenagers; the digital world is everywhere I look from iwatches that are synced to iphones and ipads everything is ringing and vibrating ALL AT ONCE. Social media lets you know where friends and family are eating lunch and where they are vacationing and how they feel today in general… feeling anxious?
So where should you start your online home search? (Hint: Not Craigslist)!
First things first
Many buyers get ahead of themselves and forget to establish their own home buying guidelines. I recommend that you start by writing down your must-haves, your non-negotiables for what your next home MUST have. This will help keep you grounded when hard decisions come along. And yes write them down with good old fashion pen and paper OR if you must, take notes in your favorite hand held device 🙂
You should also outline the motivation for buying or selling. Being able to answer this question honestly will allow your agent to see everything from your eyes and lead you to the best opportunity for your family.
Start The Search
1. Find a “local” website.
One that serves the community that you are looking into and is easy to use.
Why not use some of the nationwide sites? The biggest complaint we get about national sites is outdated information and a lack of community specific info. A local site with direct MLS access solves these issues.
2. Get to know the area
If you are a family looking to stay within a neighborhood or school boundary. Make sure that the website you are using has the ability to allow you to easily determine if an available home is within your preferred area. I know mine does (shameless plug).
3. Know your budget
Now the part most of us like to skip the dreaded question “how much can I afford?”. If you are like me, I am married to the accountant type so this question has been embedded in my brain every time I swipe my debit card. So yes having a lender on your search team is important, they are the ones talking to the bank on your behalf to get you the money you need to finance your dream home. No one likes going through the process of having your finances scrutinized, but remember why you started this search; for you and your family.
4. Connect with an Agent
I think that it goes without saying that adding a Realtor to a part of your search is important. Your agent is your negotiator and your guide. You choose your agent (it does not have to be the agent who listed the home you found). They should be committed to gaining and keeping your trust, with expert knowledge and candid advice. A Realtor working on your behalf will bring peace of mind to the process.
I hope you find this guide helpful, Checkout our outstanding agents here and good luck with your house hunting!