How Do I Find the RIGHT House?
There are numerous ways to find the “right” house for your needs. However, most will prove ineffective (not allowing you to find "best" house for YOU) and/ or inefficient (taking too long, allowing other Buyers to get there first). Ineffective methods will wear you down and frustrate you because you will be given a great deal of information that will simply waste your time. For example, do you want to see 50 houses when an effective search might mean seeing 10-12 houses? If you trust the process you will NOT need to see EVERY house on the market, nor will you want to! Inefficient methods offer a different problem: you may get the right information but the delivery is so complicated that, by the time you see the house that “seems” right for you, someone else has already gotten there and put it under contract. Do you want to buy a house or to look at house after house? Some Buyers get wrapped up in the search rather than the goal of actually buying their first or next home. Sure, another one will eventually come on the market but can you and are you willing to wait?
Let’s discuss three “popular” ways to find the “right” house for you.
- Looking in the newspaper: about 4% of the houses sold in any given year are found this way. The fact is that very few houses ever get advertised because it is BOTH ineffective AND inefficient! It is also very expensive but we do it because some sellers expect it. I have never been involved in a sale that in any way was related to an ad in a newspaper. So why do we really advertise? To make our phone ring in the hopes of "reeling in" a Buyer looking for an agent! If this was not the case, meaning if ads really worked, wouldn’t we simply put a picture ad in the paper, display the address and wait for showings and offers? We do not include the address (some will omit the town and/ or the price) because we want you to call us. This way, when you realize that the town, street or price aren’t for you, we can offer to help you with a more productive search!
- Driving around looking for “For Sale” signs: about 7% of the houses sold in any given year are found this way and it is a beautiful thing when it happens. It is cost-effective but highly inefficient in general. However, when it works, you get one call, one showing and one sale! However, if the purpose of a yard sign was to sell the house, wouldn’t we post a sign with the price and features? I know that we use QR codes and "texting" but only time will tell if they become "staples" of the industry. The fact is that most signs only advertise the company (most agents do not even put their own names on the sign!) and not the features of the house. Why is that? The answer is simple: as with ads, we want you to call us so that when you find out that the price or features do not match your needs, we can offer to help you with a more productive search! Some areas do not allow signs and more and more sellers do not want them. Your dream house may be on the market now while you drive past it day after day hoping that a sign will go up. If signs worked, FSBOs would have better success!
- “Surf the Internet”: over 90% of Buyers "shop" online for houses and that is also a beautiful thing. It is very cost effective BUT still inefficient! While this would seem like a great idea, it has its limitations. While you can quickly access a great deal of information while avoiding the dreaded REALTOR, a serious Buyer still needs to do so much more than find listings to buy the RIGHT house for their needs! Frankly, the major problems for many Buyers are knowing what they can "qualify" for and handling so much information, much of which is stale (admittedly, it has gotten better!). Many displayed listings are already sold and a number of fresh, new listings are not even displayed! Even if the information is accurate, are you looking at houses that fit your needs AND your budget?
So what is my point? If you really want to get a list of available properties that match your needs (price, location, features, etc.) and if you want to get updates as new listings appear, older ones are reduced in price and others come back on the market, then you need to contact a REALTOR who is a member of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Our tools are both effective and efficient and our training should get you the results that you both expect and deserve! Contact me if you would like to discuss this further. Meetings are confidential and FREE!