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How To Be Better Prepared Today When You Buy A Home

I was debating with a colleague the other day about whether or not people were getting any "smarter" when they started the process to buy a home.

By smarter, I mean whether or not they go about buying a home in a better manner than they have in the past due to technology and the abundance of real estate information on the internet.

Ultimately, we decided that the ability to be smart when you buy a home has been vastly improved over the past ten years, but most people are just not taking advantage of the opportunities that are out there.

The Normal Way People Buy A Home

When we first produced the Home Buying For Smart People e-series a few years ago, we felt that if more people understood the benefits of some great modern tools, they would use them to their advantage and save money when they chose to buy a home.

But the reality is that people are busy. Modern life is chaotic, and most people have too much on their plates to dedicate hours and hours of study before they buy a home.

Instead of putting together a logical plan to buy a home, they "back into" a process that usually goes something like this:

How Most People Buy A Home

9 months out - Subconsciously, homes become interesting. Something draws people to a website or a magazine to look at houses. It is likely they will end up on a real estate mega-site like realtor.com, trulia.com, zillow.com, etc. They just want to see houses, they have no plan to buy a home.

6 months out - With no real agenda in mind, people who want to buy a home will have visited real estate sites several times over the past few months. But lately, they are more interested in a specific market and the benefits of buying a specific property type. At this point in the process, they are venturing away from the mega real estate sites and are being drawn to regional websites that have content relating to those specific markets.

3 months out - At this point in time, there is nothing "subconscious" about the desire to buy a home. This homebuyer knows what area, what school zones, and what price range is most appealing, and has found a favorite property search tool that they use almost daily.

2 months out - They are ready to buy a home. They are using saved searches on the property search tool, and they are now asking to see inside the homes. They meet with agents and view the properties they have selected online.

1 month out - Primed and ready to go. These homebuyers are just waiting for the right property to hit the market in the Tallahassee neighborhood that they have selected. They are probably working with one agent that they met along the way that they like, and they will make an offer when that right property shows up.

This process is convenient in that no prior planning is required to buy a home, but it leaves a lot to chance. Why not bundle the convenience of the internet with the protection of a better step by step process?

Believe it or not, there are some hidden flaws in the process identified above, and those flaws can cost people tens of thousands of dollars extra when they finally buy a home.

A Smarter Way To Buy A Home

Smart Way To Buy A HomeThere really is a better way to buy a home. The time frames are almost identical to what you see above, as is the process.

But there are a few intermediate steps that should be included.

First and foremost, interview agents for the job of helping you buy a home. You should do this (around six months out) once you are fairly confident in choosing the market in which you want to live.

The flaw of the plan above is that most people back-in to agent selection purely based upon their inquiries about a certain home. This is like playing Russian Roulette. 95% of the agents that you could contact are far less qualified than the other 5% to assist you, but they all are good enough to get you access to the home.

So think about it ... because all you want (early in the process) is access to the home, you let Property Access be the most significant qualifier for how you choose the agent who will negotiate your several-hundred-thousand-dollar deal! Do you really think having a lockbox key is the best "qualification" to help you and your family buy a home?

There are some super highly qualified real estate agents to help you buy a home, and they typically will not charge you anything (they are paid by the seller). Why not take the time to interview and hire the best one for you and your family?

Is this making sense?

We have so much free information available about how to buy a home on the Tallahassee Real Estate Website, all you have to do is take the time to read it.

Of course, if you are too busy to take the time to really prepare to buy a home, you can always drop me a note and ask me for a qualified buyer agent recommendation for your specific market area (and I'll make sure you get the type of agent who really knows his or her job).


*Joe Manausa Real Estate is a brokerage company headquartered in Tallahassee, Florida. Its unique business model provides specialists to both home sellers and home buyers, and the results speak for themselves. JMRE has significantly more 5-star reviews on google than any other local competitor. Joe Manausa Real Estate is a leader in internet marketing and utilizes search engine optimization, email marketing, social media and data analytics to get their clients’ home sold faster and for more money than any other Tallahassee brokerage firm. For more information, visit www.manausa.com or call us at (850) 366-8917.

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