First Time Home Buyer Questions
The other day I referred a first time home buyer who had some questions to one of our agents, Terri Saari. The buyer had a couple of questions and was looking for advice and help with a particular home they had their eyes on. Terri copied me on her response, and with her permission, I wanted to share it here. It covers some basic questions that everyone has and also is good insight into why you should choose to work with a REALTOR®.
I have edited the letter slightly in order to keep the buyer’s name and personal information confidential.
The house you emailed Matt about went under a rental contract and was cancelled for selling. Now, sometimes the seller will still sell the house, but you can’t move the renter out until the end of the lease. You can offer them to get out of their lease, but you can’t force them out. They get to live out their lease. You can refuse to re-let the lease though.
I don’t really know what Matt covered as far as lenders and REALTORS® and why you should or shouldn’t use one over the other, but here is my take on the matter. I was in the Air Force for twenty-two years and moved fifteen times. I have bought and sold more than thirteen homes over the years. I have used REALTORS® and not used them. I have used internet lenders and I have used local lenders. I have used my bank lenders and I have used mortgage brokers. What really matters is that you find people who you trust and want to work with and who are willing to give you all the information you need to make a smart decision on the single largest investment you are going to make at that time. Yes, you can do searches on the internet, but because Texas is a non-disclosure state, not all the information on homes is on the internet and much of the information on homes is inaccurate. The listings that most websites (Zillow, Realtor.com, Homes.com, Hot Pads, Trulia, etc.) have are not updated on a regular basis and don’t have accurate information to make a sound decision on pricing. If you look at Zillow’s Zestimate information page it will tell you that as far as Texas, it’s accuracy is only I believe now 8% and San Antonio I think is up to 6% accurate. Not good statistics and this is because we are a non-disclosure state meaning we aren’t allowed to disclose sales data to the public as a whole. Now, if you are just looking at homes and want to see what might be possibly out there, it is fine, but the sale prices might not be accurate and many times the home might already have a contract on it or even sold or no longer on the market.
So do you need a REALTORS®, I believe you do so you aren’t wasting valuable time looking at homes with bad data, trying to schedule showings, and making offers on homes that aren’t available anymore or their prices have changed. Additionally, a REALTORS® worth their salt will also be able to tell you how long a home has been on the market, how much the seller might owe on the home, get you the seller’s disclosure, help schedule inspections with a reliable inspector, help you make a sound offer, and get you in touch with a local lender. Why you ask is that important? When I was moving and buying and selling homes, I found each and every time that internet lenders were never available when I needed to talk to them. There was never just one person I could call and talk to when I needed an answer or my REALTORS® or title company needed an answer. There were also hidden fees that I found about, always on the day of closing, and I either had to buy or sell the house or lose the deal. Additionally, using a traditional bank lender sometimes can be tricky as they work traditional bank hours. We all know that we look at homes during the off hours and weekends, so why not have a lender that does the same? That is why I like my lenders to be available 24/7 like me. I feel if my clients have to look for their home in their free time, then I need to be available…and so should my lenders. We are a team, right?
So that is my take on the matter. Probably more than you wanted so I will get off the soap box. I don’t know what you want to do about this house now that it is off the market, but like I said, you do have options. We can also set up searches for other homes in the area as well as see if there are other homes you might be interested in and are still on the market.
I am available by phone, text, and email. So please feel free to contact me any time. I am up pretty late at night, so don’t worry about that either. I work weekends as well.
I truly hope to hear from you soon and look forward to helping you find a home.
image courtesy of paul-simpson.org