Cincinnati Real Estate

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Kathy S. Koops GRI

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First Time Home Buyers in Greater Cincinnati-3

filed under: For Buyers posted on August 24th, 2009

 

First time home buyers often deal with tons of issues and unknowns when purchasing real estate.  Part 1 covered questions buyers need to ask before starting the process.  Part 2 started to answer dealt with the basics and today’s article is zeroing on the buyers and the buying sphere of influence. 

Many years ago when I started in the business a “mature agent” told me…..the decision maker sits in the front seat of your car- so pay attention.  Well you can understand my doubts about the veracity of the statement when a twelve year  jumped in to rode shot gun.   Fortunatley (or unfortunately) he tended to be the final decision maker for that particular purchase. 

So you are thinking about buying house or condo- who will be sitting in the front seat?

  • The actual buyer(s)- if there are 2 or 3 of you- decide who has the final say.  House hunting can be very frustrating and if no one can make a purchase decision- well you get the picture
  • Parents or grandparents- I am all for parental support -if it is support and not a distraction.  Family members are great at helping new buyers visualize decorating and many are good at figuring out what if any of the repairs or upgrades might cost.  Family members who instill fear, jealousy and genrally display a total  lack of knowledge about the housing market are not much help to anybody.
  • Your friends and coworkers mean well- and you need to take their comments under consideration- but remember who is buying the house or condo (you). 

Choosing a realtor (unless you are buying a For Sale by Owner) is the final part of the equation

  • Recommendations are common in our industry and it’s a great way to find a realtor with  a known track record.  Friends, family, coworkers and bosses are great sources for suggestions.  Thank them for their recommendations- but investigate on your own.  There are a lot of great agents-you don’t need to work with somebody if you are not totally comfortable with their business practices and communication skills.
  • Lots of buyers meet their agent while roaming through open houses.  Open houses provide an easy way to gauge the agent’s personality, follow up skills and overall market knowledge.
  • Listing agents often end up representing buyers- because the buyer met them at an open house or called them about the property.  This is known as dual agency- where the agent has a fiduciary responsibility to both the seller and the buyer.  Make sure you understand and are comfortable with dual agency before committing to work with the agent.
  • Since 80%+ of the buying public begins the process online-many agents are found through web sites or blogs.  (For obvious reasons I am OK with bloggers) The agent selection process may begin via email and continue for some time before you actually meet face-to-face.  Once again, you (the buyer) need to feel confident about your selection.

Honesty is always the best policy for buyers and agents- if you are uncomfortable working with me (or any agent) tell them.  If the problem cannot be resolved, shake hands, part friends and move on.  All Realtors have access to the same Multiple Listing Service databases but some buyers think there is an advantage to using several Realtors at the same time to shop for homes in the same area…..this often leads to confusion and questions about who is really representing the buyer.

Bottom line – buying a piece of real estate requires decision making.  First time home buyers need to decide who is, the decision maker, the impact of their “buying sphere of influence”  and which agent will represent them.  If those decisions are made before you start serious house hunting- the whole process will be much easier.

Still not sure about buying now or buying later- call or email.

Related Articles: What Buyers and Sellers Should Know; FHA-Common Questions; About.com; Tax Credit

  1. Erin

    Good Points about the time crunch. I wonder if reading the info on this new site might help streamline the process for some folks. http://www.firsthomeexperience.com/main/ has tips for buyers, some great info for realtors and several easy to enter contests.

    If you have a minute, could you check it out and tell me what you think?