First Time Home Buyers
First time home buyers often want to know how man homes they can look at in an afternoon or evening and how many homes they need to look at before they find the right home. The answer to both questions is it depends.
Last year I showed about 300 homes to buyers. Over the years I have developed a system. If I am showing buyers homes in the city we can usually see about three homes and hour. Buyers spend 15 to 20 minutes on average in each home, and we usually need time to travel from house to house. Generally it isn’t hard to look at 8 houses in an afternoon.
Most buyers start to get things mixed up after about 6 houses and most buyers have some kind of a limit and if we go beyond it they just stop absorbing information. Sometimes out of town buyers need to look at 25 homes on a weekend. It that case it is important to take notes.
Most home buyers need to look at ten or more homes in person before they can make an offer, and I have had several home buyers who needed to look at 30 to 50 homes. These days we don’t usually find 50 homes in a buyers price range in the area where they want to live and most buyers use the internet to screen out the homes that probably won’t work for them.
Buyers who shop in a few neighborhoods or a couple of cities have the hardest time finding a home which is why I encourage home buyers to start by choosing a neighborhood. Occasionally a buyer has a home style, price range and neighborhood combination that just don’t work. They may want a home that no more than ten years old but the want to live close to downtown. Sure there are a few but not many. Sometimes the price doesn’t go with the neighborhood which is why I encourage people to look at my Home Sales and Prices by Neighborhood reports.
That brings us right back to my answer “that depends”.
Tagged with: house
Lowertown Bike Shop – 253 E 4th street
If your bike needs a tune-up now is the time to bring it in. People tend to wait until the weather is warmer, and they all bring their bikes in at the same time. Avoid the spring rush and get your tune-up today at the Lowertown Bike Shop because they are local and they have a nice mural. Located near the downtown farmers market on E. 4th Street. If you would like to buy a condo while you are downtown just give me a call.
Lowertown Bike Shop (LBS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing sustainable transportation options using recycled bikes and parts. LBS provides educational opportunities to promote health, safety, envrionmental awareness, and connectedness within our community.
It is Friday, and Fridays are for fun and I need to drum up some business with this re-run from 2011, 2012 and 2013. I want to be the very first Realtor® to remind everyone to set their clocks ahead one hour on Sunday because first is best. Sometimes I don’t think people appreciate Realtors the way they should. If not for us you would not get these wonderful post cards and emails as friendly reminders that it is time to move the clocks ahead an hour and spend two weeks mourning the loss of that hour while enjoying a shorter morning and a longer evening.
In fact the reason we still have daylight savings time is to give Realtors and others a chance to advertise. There used to be some other reason, but that has been long forgotten.
So here it is your daylight savings reminder post card. Set your clocks ahead the recommended one hour and call me so I can sell your house if you don’t have one I can sell you one. Daylight savings time begins at 2:00 AM on Sunday March 9th. You don’t have to stay up until 2:00 AM but you can.
For Home buyers
How showings each month
it is still very cold here even though it is March. The chart above shows the number of appointments that Realtors® made to show homes each month. Showings are good, it means that buyers are looking which is something they do before they buy. As you can see we are down a little from last year. It could be the weather or the lack of inventory of homes to look at or some combination of the two.
If 2014 is a good year of even a typical year (what ever that is) we will have the greatest number of showings during the month of March and April followed by the greatest number of home sales in May and June. I just have a feeling that March and April are going to be hot.
First Time Home Buyers
If you are planning on buying a home before the year is over it is time to get started. Allow yourself six months to find and to close on a house. You don’t want to be rushed or feel pressured. Buying a home is a big deal, and you will live with your decision for many years.
The very first step is to get your financial house in order. If it isn’t in order wait until next year before buying. The second step is to meet with a lender. You really need to know what you can afford and how much you want to pay before you start the house hunt.
It will take a couple of months to find the right home an one you find it allow at least 30 days from the time you make an offer until you close and become a homeowner. You may not get the first home you make an offer on. Sometimes people let the best house get away because they are no yet pre-approved, or they decide to wait until the price drops.
When looking for home buying advice stay local. Real estate is local and is regulated at the state level. The laws and even the business practices differ by local. The rules in Minnesota are different than those in California which is the real estate advice capital of the US because they have over 158K members as compared with 16,448 Minnesota members.
For Home buyers
It helps to understand broker reciprocity even though you probably just want to see the house . .
I have been hesitant to write about broker reciprocity because reciprocity is so hard to spell but if you are a regular reader you have already noticed that not being able to spell something doesn’t stop me from writing about it.
Broker Reciprocity allows me as a Realtor® to show and sell any home listed by any real estate company. When I am working with buyers to find that perfect home I don’t look to see who’s listing it is. It doesn’t matter. Finding the perfect home is all that really matters. I am often asked if I can show homes listed through other real estate companies and have talked to buyers who believe that if a home is listed through Saint Paul Home Realty they have to work with one of our agents to see it. Not true, any agent from any real estate company can show our listings.
Find the agent you like best. There are excellent agents affiliated with each real estate company. I have written about this before. Real estate companies don’t sell real estate, licensed real estate agents and brokers who are usually independent contractors sell real estate and in real estate experience really does matter.
For real estate agents broker reciprocity means that there are thousands of agents helping us find buyers for our listings. It also means that if we are representing a buyer we will get paid through the sellers broker, in most cases the seller pays the commission as an incentive for the buyers agent. We do need to get paid and buyers need representation and our expertise as they go about making the most expensive purchase most people ever make.
Local real estate companies have homes for sale on their web sites that are listed by their agents and by agents from most other brokerages. Home buyers should find the site they like the best for research. Local sites are better than national sites because they have all of the local listings on them. There is no advantage to searching for homes in Minnesota on a site that also has homes for sale in Iowa and New Jersey.
This concludes my infomercial for buyers agency and broker reciprocity complete with a picture of a brownstone.
Also see: The Truth about Real Estate Companies