Find Your Home
Be clear about what you are looking for.
Identify and communicate to me what is important to you and why. A failure to identify the “why” closes you off to acceptable alternatives when your dream home doesn’t immediately appear. Develop a sense of what you want to see when you drive up that generates a sense of ‘home’ to you. I am able to search on a wide variety of features that most people aren’t aware of; if you can’t live in a house without hardwood floors, central AC, or you just don’t like the looks of brick exterior or ranchers- I can define our search based on those parameters. Please let me know what your absolute requirements are and I can save you a lot of time during the search process.
Where to look
Your Story House agent will employ a wide range of resources to find you your home. They will include, but are not limited to:
- Story House Real Estate. http://www.storyhousere.com
- CAAR MLS System. http://www.caar.com
- Off Market Listings. One of the greatest values of using a set of well-connected and networked agents, is that we often know about homes before they are ever available for sale in the MLS. Your agent will learn as much as possible about your needs and then work to identify homes for you that you may not otherwise have had access to.
- Publications. It is not unusual for new listings to appear in the local papers just prior to popping up in the MLS. I will regularly check the papers for new listings.
- New Construction. Much new construction, but certainly not all, is listed in the multiple listingservice. Many builders invite agent participation and pay an agency fee. Please check with your associate prior to visiting any new home projects.
- Our Sphere of Influence. More often than not, we will know of potential sellers who have homes similar to the home you are looking for. Additionally, when appropriate we will contact prior clients to see if a move is in their plans and if a showing can be arranged.
- Company ‘Coming Attractions’. At our weekly Sales Meetings, we routinely announce our purchaser’s needs as well as announce properties that will be coming on the market in the near future. We will try to make a match from the information we have there.
- For Sale By Owners (FSBO’s). Most people who are marketing their own homes are prepared to work with agents and, in some cases, pay a fee. If this scenario occurs, we will need to discuss the differences between a sale with a For Sale By Owner and a sale ushered by two Realtors® and through the MLS.
FINDING THE RIGHT HOME
Your Priorities May Shift
A word of caution: As we begin this process, you may have “needs” in mind that will actually turn into “wants” once we’ve looked at some homes together and there may also be “wants” that turn into “needs.” The “wish list” is a starting point—your criteria may change over the course of our search. If you find this to be the case, please let me know so that we can adjust our strategy to suit your best interests.
We Employ a Host of Tools to Find the Home that is Right for You
- Multiple Listing Service —We create custom reports for my clients containing their specific search criteria. While we are in the process of searching for a home, we will perform regular searches and keep you apprised of any new listings suited to your needs.
- Upcoming Listings —We make it a point to network regularly with my colleagues and learn of any new homes that will be coming on the market, giving my clients a jump on the competition.
- For Sale by Owner Properties—We keep our eyes open for “For Sale by Owner” properties that might suit your criteria and solicit the people on my mailing list on a regular basis to let me know if there are any “For Sale by Owner” properties in their neighborhoods
Of Additional Value to You
Previewing versus Showing: To leverage your time and energy, another service we provide is previewing properties for you. Through our REALTOR® network and access to the Multiple Listing Service, CAAR, I learn about new properties the moment they come on the market. Many times we will learn about new listings matching your search criteria and will be able to visit the property on my own time to determine if it is something you might like to consider.
Tour Reports: At the end of a day of viewing properties together, you may find that the details become a little blurry and you can’t remember some of the features, upgrades, layouts or other factors that impressed or deterred you. For that reason, I provide regular “tour reports” detailing the properties we’ve seen together and their distinguishing features. You’ll be amazed how helpful these reports will be as you begin ranking the homes and trying to decide which home might be the right one for you.
What is important to you? We can specifically search on any of the items below, and many more!
Learn the Neighborhoods.
The goal is not only to identify which communities appeal to you the most, but also identify those to exclude from your future search.
Focus your Search.
Now reduce your search area to three to five zip codes. Searching this way will insure that you do not miss finding homes which do not belong to larger communities. Further refine your search based on your neighborhood knowledge base.
Prioritize and Select.
Now is the time to begin looking at homes to select the one you want to acquire. As you inspect homes, keep the following in mind.
Understand the 30 to 60 day rule.
Ideally you want a minimum of 30 days, and a maximum of 60 days to process your paperwork prior to settlement.
Settlement periods of more or less time can be managed but we will need to talk through these details.
Love or Like?
- Are you looking for a home you absolutely love or is ‘liking it a lot’ sufficient? Remember that most buyers choose homes that fit current and pending lifestyles and expect to move several times in their life.
- Identify a Fall Back Home.
- When entering into negotiations with a seller, it can be very liberating to know that, if this doesn’t work out, there is another home to fall back to. It will also provide leverage during negotiations.
Would you be disappointed to learn tomorrow that this home has sold to someone else? If the answer is yes, then the time has come to prepare an offer to purchase. Let me know when you are ready to move forward.
WHAT IF YOU DON’T FIND ANYTHING?
Most buyers use this opportunity to change some or all of their purchase criteria. Sometimes you need to look at properties that are not what you think you want.
Moving up in range, especially by changing your financing approach, may open up much better possibilities.
Detached, Townhouse, or Condo? Staying in the area and price range, but moving to a town home or condominium may give access to very workable properties which still meet your essential needs.
Square Footage or Extras? Perhaps you can live without the extra bedroom, garage, or even family room, if everything else works for you.
If you aren’t finding what you want, where you want it to be, it might exist somewhere else. Often the tradeoff is location for a home, or less home in the right location. Keep your options open and ask me to help identify where your criteria might be best met. I will work to find you what you want, where you want it to be and for the price you want to pay.
Hang in there! Revisit your criteria. Also, new listings are constantly coming on the market. Don’t give up. Almost no one who has postponed a home purchase in this area has been happy with the outcome. Unless you are unsure of your intention of remaining in the Charlottesville area or of your employment, your interests will be best served by purchasing something sooner rather than later.
WHEN WE FIND THE RIGHT HOME
We will do the following;
- Help you plan your offer strategy
- Prepare a competitive market analysis to determine if the price is fair and reasonable
- Help you select the target price to offer for the home
- Help you prepare your offer to purchase with your best interests in mind
- Negotiate the contract terms on your behalf
- Coordinate with the lender to complete the financing
- Schedule inspection(s) and address any issues which arise
- Prepare and finalize all paperwork for closing
- Help you with the sale of your current home, if needed
- Help you get comfortably settled into your new home
- Follow-up to make sure you’re happy with your new home
- Stay involved after settlement to deal with any questions you might have