Too many people sit down with a real estate agent and share a string of adjectives that are difficult to define. Terms like luxury, cute, comfortable, spacious, and efficient don’t give your real estate agent as much information to work on as you may think. Let’s outline what you must tell your real estate agent in order to find the right home for the best price as soon as possible.
Whether you’re looking for a starter home or luxury homes for sale in Calabasas, CA, discuss your budget with your real estate agent. How much money can you put down on the property? How much can you afford to borrow? If you clearly communicate your financial situation to the realtor, you won’t be shown homes that are beyond your budget. This will both save you time and heartache, such as when you’re shown a perfect home that’s 30K more than you can afford. Discuss your ability to pay carrying costs like insurance, property taxes, homeowner’s association dues, and so forth with the realtor. If these costs are an issue, the realtor won’t show you a property that comes with great amenities paid for by steep HOA dues you can’t afford.
Your Ideal Home Size
Simplify life for everyone and tell your real estate agent how many bedrooms you consider an acceptable minimum. Would you be happy with a two-bedroom condo? Do you need at least four bedrooms to give your family enough space? How large is large enough? This saves you from trips to properties that are too small for your needs or your tastes. And how large is too large? Some people want a smaller home to reduce the required upkeep though they could afford something larger. This is why sales of McMansions have stalled. Do you want a 1500 square foot luxury home or a basic 3000 square foot property?
Be upfront about your time frame with real estate agents. Let them know that you want to close on a property before school starts to minimize disruption for the kids. Tell them when you need to close on a property on your one or two visits to the area before you move there permanently. Let them know when you do have several weeks to renovate or repair a property before you move in, since this may make modest fixer-uppers a possibility. Tell them when you will put a premium on move-in ready properties so that they only show you properties that fit your needs.
What do you want in your new home? And what do you want to avoid? Do you consider a swimming pool a pro or a con? Do you want a chef grade kitchen and entertaining spaces in your new home? Would you be willing to trade a home in the suburbs for a massive zero lot property in downtown? Would you like to be able to age in place in a home that’s already accessible? Do you want to have the ability to add a mother-in-law suite? Give the realtor a list of must-haves, nice-to-haves, and deal-breakers so that they can winnow the list of properties to show you to only those that are a perfect fit.