Quick honest real estate facts for beginners (in Central Oregon)
There is a lot of nonsense out there when it comes to real estate.
There are too many people out there telling you what you should be doing, offering to help you with things that you don’t need help on and putting anxiety into your real estate plans.
This simple guide is meant to help you understand the basics when it comes to buying a house and dealing with Real Estate Brokers.
Simple facts about real estate:
- Everyone wants you to buy a home — lenders, brokers, sellers. They are all on your team as a buyer.
- You won’t pay extra on your purchase if people help you. You don’t have to do it all yourself
- There are plenty of homes: You might feel like there aren’t enough homes out there and that you should act super fast to snatch something up. The reality is that there are homes out there for you and taking your time to find the right one is key.
- The “perfect” home might be right in front of you: When shopping for a home, you will find that you will have to make compromises, everyone does. The house of your dreams involves your love put into it over the years. Try to see beyond what is presented and instead see the potential.
Things to know about real estate brokers (also known as real estate agents):
- A broker is an agent that will represent your best interests — that you don’t have to pay for
- Agents want you to buy a home, but it is more important for an agent to establish a long term relationship with you
- Any broker can show you any house. You don’t have to work specifically with Century 21 just because Century 21 listed the house.
- You should only work with one broker at a time: You can always change if you don’t like the results you are getting.
- You should never feel rushed by your broker: if you do, that is not a good sign
- Agents should be knowledgeable, available and reliable: If they don’t return calls promptly, you should probably find a new one.
- Brokers will help you write up an offer: Unless you are super financially and legally savvy, it is very nice to have a broker on your side.
Things to do as you start looking for homes:
- Find out what you can afford: talk to a lender — it won’t cost you a thing. There is nothing worse than looking at $500,000 houses when you are only approved for $375,00
- Know your “must haves” and your “nice to haves” — views, schools, land, garage size, etc. — communicate these to your broker
- Use Zillow and Trulia: Despite what most realtors will tell you, Zillow and Trulia are amazing resources and simple to use
- Understand that Zillow and Trulia don’t have everything: There is more information, and up to date info, that your broker can gain access to
- Find a broker you trust: a good broker’s value to you will be obvious upon your first phone call. They should be ready to do research, have several places that will interest you and get you on a home tour as soon as you are ready
Things you shouldn’t stress about:
- The definition of every little thing: Your agent should be able to walk you through the process of buying a home and explains things as the come up. Don’t stress about escrow, earnest money, liens, easements and other words that you might not know
- How many other offers are on the table: You should just do your bidding based on your own criteria. Don’t get caught up in the hype of an bid war/auction. It is a sure way to overpay
- How long it takes to close on a house: You will be glad for the time it takes, there are lots of steps and contingencies, for good reason. If you really want the house, you can work it out