Real Life House Hunting

According to my Pinterest, I need a house with 14 bedrooms, 20 bathrooms, 11 kitchens, 5 bonus rooms, 6 garden areas, 32 screened porches, 100 closets …

~  ~  ~

My husband and I enjoy watching the home shows on television such as Beach Front Bargain Hunting and International House Hunting.  If you are not familiar with these shows, I’ll explain. A couple or family decides to move overseas or to the coast. A Realtor shows them 3 options, some within the budget and almost always there is one above the budget.  After seeing 3 homes, the couple makes a decision. Meanwhile, they critique the home’s livability, outdoor space, bathrooms and need for repair.  One home definitely gets the “X” and they pick between the 2 left over. Rarely do they have to wait and find something unscripted, which ends up on the “update” at the end of the show.

While it is fun to see what they picked, also it is fun to see what is available around the world. However, this type of home-buying experience is not the real world.

When shopping for a home your Realtor should have a great selection in your budget to show you.  It should not be unusual for him or her to show you a house that is more than your budget; remember, you can always make an offer lower than the asking price.  However, if the inventory in the area is low, you may only have 3 choices.  If none fit your needs, wait if you can because there is always tomorrow and something to your liking will pop up.  Ask your Realtor to investigate FSBO homeowners that will work with Realtors.  But beware: if you are working with a Realtor and have signed State-required papers that essentially exclusively hire that Realtor, do not go to a For Sale By Owner home seller on your own. You may end up having to pay the broker’s commission if you purchase the house.

The rules may differ from state to state but they are made to protect the consumer, so pay attention to what you sign and let your Realtor do your work for you. Remember this, the seller always pays the commission, unless you go behind your Realtor’s back and find something on your own.  Then in most cases you will pay it.

Working with a Realtor benefits  you in the following way:

As the buyer:

  • Realtors can save you time by searching for your specifications and making the appointments for you to view houses
  • Realtors are professional negotiators
  • Realtors have access to the local MLS containing accurate information about what is for sale in your price range
  • When you work with a Realtor, other Realtors will leave you alone
  • When you work exclusively with a Realtor, the seller pays the commission

As the seller:

  • National statistics show that Realtors can get more for homes than homeowners
  • Realtors are familiar with the necessary paperwork
  • Realtors can pre-qualify prospective buyers and know what similar homes in your neighborhood sold for
  • Realtors can market your house more effectively
  • You reach more home buyers with a Realtor lock box on your front door.

If you go it alone, be sure you have an attorney to help you out with the contract, the contingencies, the disclosures, inspections…your rights.

Happy house hunting!

Eileen P. Saunders, Realtor
Tommy Morgan, Inc., Realtors
2092 Old Taylor Rd., Suite 101
Oxford, MS 38655
662-234-5344, 662-404-0816

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