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As soon as the agreement is signed, we go into hyper-drive on your home search plan. We've already clarified what you want and you've provided input on what's important to you. We'll talk about the realities of the market and how they might impact your options. We have a discussion of what kind of flexibility might be required on your part to get what you want. If effect, this is the "mindset" part of our search.
We review various listings on the MLS that fit your criteria. We talk about what you like and don't like about each listing. I note those thoughts as further development of our home search criteria for you. We put together a short list of homes you want to see and I arrange the details of the showings for you. We go out to the homes and I discuss them in detail with you. Each home we see becomes further refinement of your home search criteria. What do you like? What works for you? What doesn't work for you? I take all this new information and continue to search the MLS for you.
Through the MLS, REALTORS® control 95% of all real estate transactions. Listings on the MLS are real time and accurate. Yes, consumers have easy access to large websites that seem to do the same thing. What you need to know though is that those consumer-type real estate sites are not accurate. Prices are estimations and not based on actual sale prices. These sites tend to leave desirable homes on the site long after they are no longer on the market. If you rely on them, you're likely to waste a lot of time chasing listings that have expired or been withdrawn. With the MLS, I subscribe to the highest tier of service that provides real-time changes in pricing and transaction information. You won't end up wasting time.
One of the first things we do is set you up to receive real-time notices of new MLS listings as they occur. We can also set up price alerts so you're among the first to be notified of price cuts for any homes you like. What this does is keep you ahead of the crowd. You can be among the first to view a new listing or the first to make an offer when a home price has been reduced. I can immediately set up a showing for you to see these new listings.
Many clients like to spend their weekends looking at open houses to see for themselves what the market is doing. I recommend that you do this. It will provide you a broader view of the real market. It will give you more ideas of what you like and don't like. Sometimes it might show you a possibility you hadn't considered (like a different neighborhood or price point). It never hurts to educate yourself about what's available. Often, viewing open houses opens your mind to different possibilities. It's a fun and easy way to educate yourself more deeply. Just make sure that the agent holding the open house knows you have an agent (me) of your own.
We'll sit down and craft an offer on the home that you want. You get the benefit of my 30+ years of writing up offers that get accepted. We talk in depth about how to structure the offer so that it works for you. I talk to the listing agent to find out if they're expecting multiple offers. If so, I'm working for you digging for information on what the sellers really need in an offer to put your offer at the top of all offers. This is an important additional step and I've found that few agents do this. They just write up an offer without knowing what the sellers need most. I hold your hand through the whole process and keep you informed about progress of the offer.
Often buyers think that getting the offer accepted is the end of the search. In many ways, it's just the beginning—of the complicated process of completing the transaction. You will go through a number of activities such as inspections and (sometimes) negotiating who pays for fixes if defects are uncovered. I guide you through the whole transaction. You can count on my using expertise for your benefit and that I will stay in close communication, keeping you informed throughout the transaction.