House Hunting Tips from the Experts

Posted by Mary Ann Castro on Friday, April 17th, 2015 at 2:34pm.

house-hunting-tipsThe Central Texas housing market has been on fire in recent years, making for a highly competitive arena for new homebuyers. In a situation like this, a little bit of insider info can go a long way. It can mean the difference between scoring the home of your dreams, or missing out on a potential winner.

We're here to help

We scoured the web for the best house hunting tips we could find from industry leaders. Armed with these tips, you'll have a competitive edge on your house hunt in a sellers market.

Build Your Dream Team Before You Start Viewing

It's a proven fact that the first home offer is typically the most successful offer, which is why it's important for buyers to have a team of professionals behind them before they start viewing homes. On top of a knowledgeable real estate agent, you'll need to secure a qualified lender, an experienced attorney, and a certified home inspector. Success in a sellers market is all about speed. The sooner you can have the home inspected, your financing approved, and your legal paperwork filed, the better your odds in beating your competitors to the punch.
-David Yocum, agent with Redfin (Chicago)

Hit the Ground Running

When house hunting, don't rely on online listings sites. While they are a great resource, online listings are only telling you part of the story. Although it may seem old fashioned, attending an open house is the best way to gauge a home's potential. Seeing a house in person reveals potential issues that may not be very apparent or disclosed in the listing details. It also gives you a chance to connect with the seller, which can give you a huge advantage over the competition.
-Richard Seaton, Vice President of TTR Sotherby's International Realty (Washington D.C)

Get Insider Neighborhood Info

A home is only as valuable as the neighborhood it belongs to. That's why it's critical to do your research before putting in an offer. Neighbors are a wealth of information, but how do you approach them for it? Kate Shields of MORe (real estate company based in Illinois) suggests doing some stealth research by attending a garage sale in the area. Casually ask the homeowner about the community as you shop. If there are no garage sales scheduled, look for neighbors watering their lawns. More often than not, they are happy to gush (or rant) about their neighborhood. Another great house hunting tip? Visit your potential property at night to gauge noise pollution and street safety.

Be a Likable Buyer

Sellers are more likely to accept an offer by someone he/she likes. Ryan J. Halset, a Seattle agent recommends looking for a shared area of interest. When you are viewing the home, take cues from personal belongings to find a connection with the seller. Then, when you are placing an offer, include a personalized cover letter stating how the home will be perfect for you. Be genuine, and you'll increase the odds in your favor, if there are multiple offers on the table. 

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