We met with our exclusive buyer’s agent for the first time last night, and I have to tell you, it was better than I expected. Besides the fact that our agent didn’t mind that my two month old had a lot of input during the meeting (little one came along, she’s a part of the family too!), I learned a lot about real estate in Colorado and feel like I am going into this the way a Responsible Adult would: prepared.
Our Buyer’s Agent wanted to know more about us than our budget.
First, our potential buyer’s agent asked us things that we hadn’t even thought about before, and realized that we should have.
Where do you work? How long has the company been there? Is there any chance that the company will move or that you will change jobs? What do you consider a comfortable commute?
What can you afford? Not what can you qualify for, but what will be a comfortable house payment for you?
What are you looking for in a home? What are requirements and what are bonuses?
What are you scared about? What are you excited about? How long do you imagine you will live in your first home? Do you like to do home maintenance? And so on.
It was probably an hour long interview. I told him things I haven’t even told my mother. (Just kidding Mom, I tell you everything).
Only then, when I felt like he really understood our mission, did he start creating a search for us.
Our Buyer’s Agent was more like a professor than a sales person.
I am proud to say that I now understand the difference between a full and three quarters bath, the year builders stopped using lead paint, the difference between an FHA loan and a conventional loan, and what it means to go “ In to Contract.”
Any time we had a question, he explained it thoroughly and in plain English. I was not afraid that asking him what covenants are would reveal that I am a novice and I can be taken advantage of. (That’s right; I even know what covenants are).
It turns out there’s not “an app for that.”
My husband and I had done hundreds of searches at home online. You can specify the city you want to live, how many rooms, bathrooms, year built, etc. It’s pretty thorough and quite fun. But, we don’t know Colorado very well, so every house we liked had to be researched to see where it is, how good the schools are, and how safe it is.
Going through the search results with our buyer’s agent was completely different.
Now, we have some one that can translate “needs a little TLC” to “this house is falling apart.” Our buyer’s agent knows almost every street in Colorado. When he didn’t, he could find it on a map faster than I could Google it, I’m not kidding. He could look at the address and know that it was in a safe neighborhood with a great school, and was a good possibility, or that it was right off of a major road and would be too noisy, so we should skip it.
We left the meeting with a list of potential homes in Denver, Arvada and Littleton, a list of trusted lenders and confidence in our step.
We know that each of the houses meets our criteria, are in our budget, and that we are taking the right steps. Instead of feeling scared, I now feel confident.
Tomorrow, we will go see the houses.
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