In this section we seek to provide useful information on buying a home. Weichert Realtors Coastal is here to help you make relative comparisons of properties and to become informed enough to make educated judgments and decisions. Our goal is to lay out, in a common sense way, many of the practical issues relating to finding, offering, and closing on a home.
The Wildwoods are a diverse market comprised of many different communities each with their unique character. Having a basic understanding about a community, a neighborhood, a specific street or buildings puts you as a buyer in a position where, when you begin to view individual properties, you do so in an overall context of the market segment from which you are selecting. If you do not have hands-on knowledge of an area as you begin to view properties, it makes sense to learn about the elements of the market as well as the specific properties. Let Us here at Weichert Realtors Coastal Help you get to know the current market and what type of properties will fit your individual needs.
Using our website to search for new listings is a great way to get started. Being advised by your agent on general real estate trends as well as specific property sales enables you to have a developed frame of reference from which you can make decisions.
For existing property owners who are planning on using the equity in their present home to support their next purchase, the question of whether to house-hunt and to negotiate on a future sale before their current home is marketed is one that needs to be considered at the outset. If you have been active in the market as a buyer and/or seller, you may already understand many of the issues associated with purchasing and selling. This question, as well as the amount of mortgage a buyer currently qualifies for, are issues a broker routinely helps out with. Some buyers know what town (or even what street or building) they want to live in, but for others the process of narrowing down the choices is where they begin.
Working with an Agent
Buyers who have been in the market frequently understand that REALTORS® share a common pool of inventory of properties. Given that a buyer, working with a REALTOR®, has access to all so-called “exclusive” listings through a single agent, what then are factors which distinguish agents?
MARKET KNOWLEDGE - A buyer expects to be able to rely on his or her agent as a market resource. Informed agents know their community and its housing stock. It is important, early on in the relationship between buyer and agent, that the buyer be satisfied with the “market smarts” and the approach of their agent.
UNDERSTANDING YOU THE BUYER - One of the most often heard complaints from buyers is “my broker just is not hearing what I am saying”. Good brokers are invariably good listeners. When buyers are straight forward and have a reasonable vision of what they are seeking to achieve in a home purchase, there is no justification for a broker trying to match customers to inappropriate properties. To help your agent better understand your needs, it is sometimes very useful to put in writing your wish list, your financial capability, your timetable for making a purchase, and a list of properties you may have already seen (with some critical comments on each). Once your broker develops a sense of what you are seeking, he or she will be monitoring, on a daily basis, new listings coming on the market and advising you if any appear to be a good fit for you.
TIME COMMITMENT - In addition to giving his or her expertise, a broker gives time. When selecting a broker it is common sense to deal with one who is fully committed to serving his or her clientele. Staying on top of an active market means tracking daily sales, following price reductions, new listings, etc. on a 7 days-a-week basis. Working with an agent who works less than full-time is usually not to a buyer’s advantage.
MANAGING THE BUYING PROCESS - In the last ten years the process of purchasing property has become much more involved. For the most part, these changes have been beneficial to both buyers and sellers. Today, it is the norm for buyers to purchase property with a series of contingencies that often involve provisions for structural inspections, condo-by-laws review, hazardous waste material issues, lead paint, et cetera. An experienced broker goes beyond the initial negotiating dynamics and document execution to thoroughly follow through on the post-offer contingencies.
AGENCY DISCLOSURE: By New Jersey State regulation, agents are required to disclose the parties that they are representing. All agents are obligated to deal with both buyers and sellers fairly and honestly. Seller’s agents are expected to negotiate the best price and terms for their client, the seller: Buyer’s agents represent the buyer. Dual agency can occur when the listing agent works directly with a buyer.
WHAT AGENTS LIKE TO SEE IN A BUYER - Being direct and up front with your agent allows him or her to better understand your circumstances. If you are not completely certain of your preferences or your timetable, tell this to your agent. If, for instance, there is no way you would find a condo without an acceptable view, let this requirement be known to your agent early on. The more definitive you are in detailing what you would like, the better. In return, expect and ask your agent to present facts and opinions forthrightly. If for instance, there is no way the buyers’ budget will meet their wish list, the buyers need to know where reality lies.
IT IS YOUR CHOICE - There are many excellent agents in the shore area. It is your choice to select one who best meets your needs.