Home Buyer Tips
Location, Location, Location!
The first rule of real estate: Location, location, location. It is imperative to choose your neighborhood wisely. Your neighborhood is as invaluable as your home—probably more. Why? For starters, your house is only as good as the houses around you. If you are investing in an oceanfront vacation property for rental, a home for retirement, or even making a home your primary residence, thinking of the future is crucial.
Yet, not everything in home buying is all about the location. The type of house you want to purchase is another important consideration because defining it dictates the other requirements: budget, mortgage plan, future renovations, maintenance, etc.
How much can you afford?
Get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Line up you finances and set aside a down payment. By doing your homework upfront, you will know exactly how much you can afford and what it will cost you. Showing the seller you are preapproved for a loan gives you an edge during offer negotiations.
List of Needs & Wants.
Make 2 lists. The first should include items you must have (i.e., the number of bedrooms you need for the size of your family, a one-story house if accessibility is a factor, etc.). The second list is your wishes, things you would like to have (pool, den, etc.) but that are not absolutely necessary. Realistically for first-time buyers, you probably will not get everything on your wish list, but it will keep you on track for what you are looking for.
Focus & Organization.
In a convenient location, keep handy the items that will assist you in maximizing your home search efforts. Such items may include:
- A file of the properties that your agent has shown to you
- Paper and pen, for taking notes as you search
- Digital or video camera to help refresh your memory on individual properties, especially if you are attending a series of showings
Visualize the house empty & with your décor.
Are the rooms laid out to fit your needs? Is there enough light?
Instead of thinking with your heart when you find a home, think with your head. Does this home really meet your needs? There are many houses on the market, so don't make a hurried decision that you may regret later.
All the above may seem rather overwhelming. That is why having a professional real estate broker represent you and keep track of all the details for you is highly recommended.
Your home is one of the most important purchases you will ever make, and there is more involved than simply choosing one you like. Making the smart move of choosing a Real Estate professional who knows the market inside and out is your first step to ensuring that your new home and neighborhood meets your needs.
While it is possible to find and buy a home without an Broker, the home purchase transaction will require making many important financial decisions, understanding complex issues and completing a lot of paperwork. So it is not only comforting but also extremely efficient to have an expert guide you through the process.
To help you find your perfect home, our Brokers in our company provide:
- Access to properties in your desired neighborhood.
- Knowledge of area neighborhoods, not just in terms of real estate, but also schools, recreation, etc.
- All the details on the home you are interested in, so that we can determine the fair market value and make sure you get the best price.
- Expertise in navigating the real estate contact and negotiating on your behalf.
- Over 50 combined years of experience with no pressure and professionalism at every step along the way.
We will be right by your side during the entire process until we hand you the keys to your new home...and even after that.
Maine Real Estate Relationships
If you are looking to buy or sell real estate in Maine, it is important you understand how you wish to be represented in a transaction:
Seller's Representative (listing agent or seller's agent)
A seller's agent is hired by and represents the seller. All fiduciary duties are owed to the seller. The agency relationship usually is created by a listing contract.
Buyer's Representative (buyer’s agent)
A buyer’s agent is hired by prospective buyers to represent them in a real estate transaction. The buyer's rep works in the buyer's best interest throughout the transaction and owes fiduciary duties to the buyer. The buyer can pay the licensee directly through a negotiated fee, although this is extremely rare, or in most all cases, the buyer's rep is compensated by the seller or through a commission split with the seller’s agent.
Disclosed Dual Agent
Dual agency is a relationship in which the brokerage firm represents both the buyer and the seller in the same real estate transaction. Dual agency relationships do not carry with them all of the traditional fiduciary duties to clients. Instead, dual agents owe limited fiduciary duties. Because of the potential for conflicts of interest in a dual-agency relationship, it's vital that all parties give their informed consent. In many states, this consent must be in writing. Our company policy is to always have this agreement in writing between buyer and seller and our brokerage company. Disclosed dual agency, in which both the buyer and the seller are told that the agent is representing both of them, is legal in most states including Maine.
Designated Agent (appointed agent)
This is a brokerage practice that allows the managing broker to designate which licensees in the brokerage will act as an agent of the seller and which will act as an agent of the buyer. Designated agency avoids the problem of creating a dual-agency relationship for licensees at the brokerage. The designated agents give their clients full representation, with all of the attendant fiduciary duties. The designated broker still has the responsibility of supervising both groups of licensees.
Non-Agency Relationship (transaction broker)
Some states permit a real estate licensee to have a type of non-agency relationship with a consumer. These relationships vary considerably from state to state, both as to the duties owed to the consumer and the name used to describe them. Very generally, the duties owed to the consumer in a non-agency relationship are less than the complete, traditional fiduciary duties of an agency relationship. Our company seldom, if ever does transaction brokerage and this form of customer relationship has virtually become obsolete in today's modern brokerage practice.
Buyers Market vs Sellers Market
When you buy your new home, you want to make sure you’re getting the best possible value for your money. You may have heard the terms "buyer's market" and "seller's market" and are now wondering what effect these conditions have on you as you move ahead with your transaction.
A buyer's market is what you get when there's more supply than demand. There are more people looking to sell houses than there are people looking to buy houses. In a buyer's market, sellers may have to accept a lower price than they want to sell their home and may have to resort to staging and incentives. This is the ideal situation for buyers, because they can get a great deal.
A seller's market is just the opposite. The demand is larger than the supply. People have more money to spend on real estate, so sellers will often see several buyers competing to buy their property, which drives up the price. This means that buyers will have to spend more to get what they want. This is the ideal situation for sellers, because they get a great price on their homes.
It's important to remember that even within the same country or the same state, there can be several different markets. So you might run into a situation where you're both selling your home at an advantage and buying your home at an advantage, or any combination of the two, depending on where you decide to move to. This is often a factor in people's relocation decisions.
Buyer's markets and seller's markets don't last forever. It's hard to predict what the market will do with any accuracy, though, and things change slowly. You might end up waiting months or years for things to change. And when circumstances do change, they may not change in your favor. This is an important factor to consider when you're deciding when to buy or sell real estate.
Key Services for our Buyer clients at The New England Real Estate Company
Some of our client services we provide for our real estate cliental are:
- Counseling and detailed market view for the first-time home buyers.
- Tours of local communities and key market areas desired for our out-of-town purchasers.
- Computerized home search capabilities - through our website & MLS with automatic email updates.
- Showings of homes which meet your needs through pre-arranged appointments.
- Buyer Agency representation through an exclusive Buyer - Broker agreement.
- Preparation of all written offers with recommended terms, Ernest Money Deposit and key terms protecting your interest first.
- Overseeing all details prior to settlement - all the way to your closing day.
- Attending your closing settlement with you in person along with handling all details related prior.
Please reach us at your convenience at 207.236.7000 or 888.236.7015 or feel free to contact us, email info@TheNewEnglandReCo.com, or visit our web page "Our Difference - Our Brokers" to learn more about professional buyer representation for you in your next Midcoast Maine home purchase.