The Daniels Team's Blog
It’s almost the end of February and its 61 degrees outside (yesterday). For those not accustomed to living in New England, 61 degrees in February means that the top is down on the convertible and winter jackets were left behind when the kids went to school this morning. It also means that we are hopeful that what little snow we can still see is the last of it (or maybe I just jinxed it) and that Spring is actually almost here. (Home pictured above is 71 Newbridge Road in Sudbury, MA - please click here or the photo for more information) Regardless of the weather, the Spring Real Estate market is upon us. It typically lasts until June. More and more houses will be hitting the market within the next few weeks, with Sellers very ready to sell. Many homeowners have spent the past few months getting their homes ready for the Buyers to see them at their finest, and they hope that you love it as much as they do. And if you do love a house, then what? Are you ready to buy? And by ready, I don’t mean “We love the house, we want to live there and start decorating” ready. Being ready to buy means: You are pre-approved to purchase a home in the price range in which you are looking.
- Just like every business, all Mortgage Brokers and Lenders are not the same. We KNOW with certainty, which banks will make the process a living nightmare for everyone involved in the transaction and which Mortgage Brokers you will be hugging at the closing.
- Please, ask us (or your Realtor) to recommend a Mortgage Broker. Why? Because we have been through more Real Estate transactions than you and your friends have and we know, first hand, who will close the deal painlessly and successfully. There is absolutely no incentive for us to recommend anyone except to make the transaction as smooth and easy for YOU as possible.
- A pre-approval means that you have an actual letter, on Lender letterhead, that states that the bank has reviewed your qualifications (not just had a phone call with you), and it is prepared to loan you $X to purchase the house that you love. We (or your Realtor) will need to submit that letter along with your offer to purchase.
- 99% of the time, hiring a Realtor to work with you to buy a house does not cost you ANYTHING. In Massachusetts, the SELLER pays the fees to the Real Estate offices involved in the transaction. Why on earth anyone would want to make one of the biggest purchases they will ever make without sound professional advice – especially when it is “free” is beyond comprehension.
- Our job is not to just open doors and write offers. Hire a Realtor who knows the town. You’re not just buying a house – you’re committing to a lifestyle. Your Realtor should be able to help you answer any questions that you have. What will your routine be like? How long is your commute? How far are the schools? How are the schools? What times do school buses come? Where are kids going to play? Are there kids in the general area? How many times has the house you like been sold? What is the turnover in the neighborhood? What is the value of the neighborhood in comparison to others? Where is the closest coffee shop? Do people walk around the neighborhood or is seeing a neighbor a rarity? How busy is the street? What don’t you know that you should know?
- Does your Realtor know what to look for and what to ask the seller when you are seriously considering the house? We aren’t home inspectors, and I can only speak for the Daniels Team, but after participating in HUNDREDS of home inspections, we do know the general anatomy of houses and we certainly know what questions to ask of the seller/seller’s Realtor.
- HGTV, Bravo, etc. are PURE entertainment. Houses cannot be renovated or redecorated in 48 minutes and the buying process is different everywhere. Comparing your home search process to that of a TV show is akin to comparing your dating life to the Bachelor.
- There is no such thing as the “perfect” home. Even new construction isn’t perfect. Please be realistic about your search. If you love the things that you can not change – the location, neighborhood and floor plan – you are 75% there. And if the house has been maintained well and you don’t need to replace every major system, you’re 90% there. The rest is intangible. If you don’t like a house because of a few brass doorknobs or powder room wallpaper or other easy, inexpensive fixes, it's not really about the house. That's an entirely different conversation.
- You understand and accept that there will be issues that arise from a home inspection. It is the job of the home inspector to find these things. Very rarely does a house have nothing that can be addressed by the seller or the buyer. Trust your Realtor to advise you on what is and what isn’t important. Please don’t be a pain in the you-know-what and expect the seller to deliver to you the most perfect house you can imagine. You are buying the house, and if there is paint that is chipped in a bedroom, or one baluster on the staircase is a little loose, or a door that squeaks or a little wood rot near the garage – please, deal with it once you own the house.