There are lots of choices out there in Windsor real estate. With the many homes available for sale and the large amount of real estate agents in the area, buyers have lots of decisions to make. It can truly get overwhelming, especially if this is your first experience buying a home. What is the difference though between a good agent and a bad one? A good one will listen to you on what it is you desire in a home within your budget. Once this property is found, he or she will then work closely with you throughout the negotiation process and then when the home is in escrow. Real estate agents should truly be there with you from the very beginning of your search until the day you have your key in your hand.
A real estate agent understands that your schedule may be difficult and the last thing you want to do is look at homes that don’t fit your criteria. Therefore, when you hire an agent, make a “must have” list and discuss fully what you are looking for in a home. This list must include what you simply need to have. It’s not a “wish list,” but rather what is mandatory. For example, if you know you cannot live with anything less than four bedrooms, make it clear. If you require a large fenced in back yard, let your agent know that you will not look at anything that doesn’t have this feature.
Because serious home buyers don’t have lots of time to spend looking at unsuitable homes, ask your agent to preview any home that looks interesting. A good agent will take additional pictures from what is online and email them to you immediately. For example, if you insist on that large fenced in backyard, the agent can show you the property’s outdoors. The agent may show you that it’s not a large backyard, yet it’s a good, average size that is fenced in. Get your realtor’s opinion and then see if it’s worth making another appointment.
Good agents are always aware of what homes are for sale and what homes just popped up on the market. Agents will spend a few mornings a week previewing new homes so they can be prepared and informed of what is currently listed. If an agent hasn’t seen a property, then it’s difficult to sell. It’s not a bad question to ask when interviewing a real estate agent how many times they preview properties. If they say rarely, then you may want to look elsewhere. If an agent doesn’t have a decent knowledge of the neighbourhood you are considering, and seem unaware of the housing inventory or what homes recently sold, then you may want to hire a more experienced agent.
A good agent also keeps your budget in mind. This is particularly important for first time home buyers as it is easy to get caught up in buying a home that has more bells and whistles but has a larger price tag. It is important though for a buyer to discuss if their “must have” list is in line with their budget. A real estate agent can and should suggest alternative areas or locations if a buyer is unwilling to compromise, say on that fourth bedroom or large fenced in yard. For example, one buyer needed a four bedroom house with a separate home office, away from the noise of the living area. It simply couldn’t be done in the neighbourhood he wanted with his budget. After showing him several similar properties in different neighbourhoods that were will within his price range, he moved to a nearby community. So compromise at times must be necessary. Weigh the benefits of your desired amenities and wants over location. Which carries the most weight? Are you willing to move into a smaller home in the neighbourhood of your choice? Or would you rather get everything you want in another area?
It’s also not a bad idea to put a list together that describes what types of homes you will not look at: such as fixer uppers, or homes on busy roads. Be clear about this to your agent and as they preview new homes that come up on the market, they will disregard any that they know you don’t tour.
Again, it’s the job of the agent to value a client’s time and schedule. No one wants to waste hours of a busy day viewing properties that don’t interest them in the least. That’s why it is important to hire a real estate agent that not only knows the area and neighbourhood well, but also will preview a home to see if it fills your requirements.