You may have heard of the term ‘getting qualified’. Most people think of it as a process whereby the Agent analyzes your financial situation to help you determine what price range you should be considering. And while that is true, there is more to it than that.
In fact, the qualification process is actually made up of three distinct components: What you need, what you want and what you can realistically afford.
Let’s take a look at each of these.
There is a process the banks, lenders or mortgage brokers use to calculate the size of a mortgage you will qualify for. If you know in advance what they are going to say and the criteria they will use, it will give you a distinct advantage. In fact, through this process, your RE/MAX Agent along with our competent Mortgage Department can actually pre-qualify you for the loan. That will help you in selecting the properties you wish to consider and will give you a definite edge when submitting an offer.
In considering your ‘needs’ in the property you will ultimately select, you will want to look at things like your family composition, age, overall health, stage of life, lifestyle, etc. This will help in deciding style of house, number of bedrooms, proximity to parks and schools, lot size and a lot of other considerations.
It has been said ‘Buyers are liars’. By that they don’t mean buyers are deceitful or deliberately misleading. They mean that what a buyer says they want and what they actually buy are often very different things.
A great Agent understands this. An average Agent does not.
That’s why a great Agent can soon take you to the properties that make your heart skip a beat, while lesser Agents just drive you from property to property that seem to offer things on ‘the list’, but somehow leave you cold.
Look at it like three overlapping circles, A, B and C.
There’s no point looking at properties located in only one circle, ie you want them but can’t afford them or you can afford them but they don’t meet your needs. And certainly, even if they are within your budget and meet your needs, if they don’t ‘speak to you’, they aren’t what you want. You need to keep looking.
Our Agents understand this. They qualify you financially, they go over your ‘wish’ list, but they may also have a look at your current home, find out what you like about it and what you don’t. And when they show you property, they ‘go to school’ so to speak by asking you questions and by watching your reactions. They refine the list of potential properties, and soon it’s almost magical.
A great Real Estate Agent is worth their weight in gold.
This is a tough one and it is one that is often misunderstood.
Remember, your RE/MAX Agent is working for you. With every property they show, they have your best interest at heart.
They will spot and point out many deficiencies in the property you go through, but at the same time they will differentiate between core problems, such as foundation or structure, and minor deficiencies that can be easily remedied.
They will also point out potential. The decorating might throw you off but with a change of flooring and a can of paint it can be totally transformed.
Viewing a property can be very emotional. You may for example love that majestic Victorian mansion, but miss the fact that none of the bedrooms have closets. Perhaps you have a young family and miss the fact that the kitchen does not look over or access the rear yard. Or that the hot water heating, while economical, makes adding air conditioning more difficult.
Your RE/MAX Agent is there to point out and discuss these things. Not to talk you into or out of any purchase, but to ensure you make an informed decision. Not one that is full of unfortunate surprises later on.