Good advice was posted for selecting a REALTOR.
But to help get you started with getting your eggs in a line, (presumably these are duck eggs right?), then you need to tackle a few things:
1) Finances. Get your personal finances in order. Save up enough money for the desired deposit, closing costs, reserves. Improve your credit score by paying high interest debt, etc
2) Locate a lender/mortgage broker to get pre-approved for a loan. This will also tell us what your upper bound is for spending on a home. Doesn't mean you have to spend that much, but it tells us the most you can spend as far as getting a loan from a bank.
3) Begin working with a Realtor to identify homes that fit your search criteria, and get familiar with the market so you will be well-informed to make a competitive offer.
At a high-level, it's pretty simple, but the devil is in the details! My goal as a Realtor is to make it as smooth as possible, keeping you well-informed of the process and always looking out for your best interest, and identifying any concerns that may arise to make sure no eggs or ducks get out of line!
Thanks! I'd love to make you a happy new client!
To add to what the others have said, the difference between a good agent and a great one is in the relationship between you the buyer, and the Realtor. Different people just relate differently.
A great Realtor listens to you carefully and responding appropriately. You trust this person with your financial needs, wants, and dreams. With a great Realtor, you never doubt that he or she is looking after your best interests, you just know it.
A great Realtor goes the extra mile to save you time by previewing houses for you, getting your questions answered, and paving the way for you each step of the way.
I've been a good Realtor to some, and a great one to others. I would love a chance to speak with you Feel free to give me a call.
Rather than letting them speak, or wasting your time speaking with their references (who gives out bad references?), ask them to SHOW you (without speaking), deals that they've done that are similar to what you're looking for. If they can't prove competence with past deals, anything else they might say would be worthless.
Meantime, any question you can think of will be a good one, because the best way to distinguish great from good agents is to determine whether their replies always put the truth ahead of incentive. In other words find an agent who separates advice from their commission.
The rest will follow.
is there an area you focus on most.
Availability: does your agent ever answer his/her phone?
Ask for referrals from previous clients or that agent.
find someone passionate about real estate.
make sure that agent has a great team to back them up (Lenders, TC, escrow & Title connections, )
find out what properties are for sale in the 92129 and ask your potential agent about those listings.
Ultimately word of mouth from previous clients always beats any advertising on any bench or billboards.
This is not rocket science, find someone who has the heart and the mindset and willingness to help you out in a genuine way.
Happy search and good luck!
Find a local RealtorÂ® active in 92129 who is going to make your needs their top priority!
Your RealtorÂ® needs to make a commitment to represent YOU with fairness, honesty and integrity!
Keep it simple, don't overwhelm yourself with over-complicated processes. Let your RealtorÂ® guide you.
Thank you for your consideration.
First, be sure your agent is available when you need him/her. many agents quit working at 5:00, sometimes because they work from their broker's office, and sometimes because they only work business hours. If you have a question in the evening, you really should be able to get an answer, or at least give the information needed to get an answer.
Second, use an agent whose lenders are not affiliated with the broker. There's often an incentive to use those lenders, but you'll need a lender who can close loans, including FHA and VA in under 30 days. Lenders whose underwriters are outsourced take longer and you can't contact them.
Third, use an agent that will be honest with you. Anyone can get into escrow, but a good agent will insist on a full loan pre-approval before writing offers. It'll cost you $450 for an appraisal, and up to $450 usually for an inspection depending on the size of the home. If you can't close escrow because of something that could have been avoided up front, you don't get that money back.
Fourth, use an agent who'll take the time to explain things to you, and not patronize you. Buying a home is a process, and the more you understand and know up front, the less scary it becomes.
You're asking the right questions so far!
Rancho Penasquitos is a great area for Single Family Homes in a competitive price range. Online reviews are a great way to see what others say about their agent. Trulia, Zillow and Yelp have reviews and ratings. In the March issue of San Diego Magazine, the results were just published for the 2013 Five Star Agent/Lender Awards were just released, did you happen to get that issue? This shows the results of the surveys that went out to select the top Lenders and Agents based on overall customer satisfaction.
Finding an experienced full time agent who, has worked in San Diego for several years and knows and understands this market is necessary. Finding someone you like, enjoy and who is knowlegable and communicative. i have a FREE Report you can request off of my website, with no obligation titled: " Find the right Real Estate Agent When Buying a Home"...it arrives in your inbox in seconds, hopefully that helps!
Probably the best advice is to pick a couple that you are interested in working with and interview them, either is person or via telephone. It is also good to check out their website and background, so you know what kind of experience they have. I would be happy to assist you in your search and would love to interview you. You are more than welcome to explore my Trulia profile (you can see I am a VIP#2, one of the top recommended brokers and check out my personal bio) or check out my website, http://www.McAllisterHomes.com. Call, text, email me anytime!
Real Estate Broker/ RealtorÂ®
McAllister Homes Real Estate
Residential Sales & Property Management
I would advise you meet with at least three RealtorsÂ®; however, you should keep interviewing until you are satisfied you have found the right RealtorÂ®; there's no reason to rush your decision.
Access each Realtor'sÂ® Trulia profile for those that interest you [ i.e. http://www.trulia.com/profile/SteveO ] and read a few Client testimonials; and don't be shy about asking for contact info of prior Clients!
Aside from the above, here are my â€œTop 4â€ bits of advice for new home buyers looking to assure a successful outcome:
1) Find a professional RealtorÂ® to work with to protect you interests.
Simply put, your RealtorÂ® will be able to answer initial key questions and guide you through the process. One of the key advantages of involving your RealtorÂ® is access to seasoned Mortgage Broker/Bankers with a track record of getting the job done. You can check to make sure an Agent is a RealtorÂ® by going here: http://www.realtor.org/rofindrealtor.nsf/pages/FS_FREALTOR?O
The primary distinction of any RealtorÂ® is they have a real estate license by taking required classes and passing a written test - but most importantly - they must also subscribe to the Code of Ethics published by the National Association of RealtorsÂ® (NAR). Typically, RealtorsÂ® are also members of state and local association of RealtorsÂ® and further agree to abide by the bylaws, rules and regulations of those associations.
The full Code of Ethics can be found at http://www.Realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code
2) Obtain a "True Pre-Approval" (your most important step in my opinion).
You MAY need to improve your credit score, increase cash reserves, etc. before buying; however, at least you will have a roadmap to eventually purchasing if this is the case. Furthermore, this step can save you from wasting money on a purchase that does not close escrow!
"Retail Banks vs. Mortgage Broker/Bankers"
3) Make sure you obtain access to your local AND regional RealtorÂ® MLS data via an automated search your RealtorÂ® should most certainly create for you; here's why:
MLS Data Accuracy â€“ Where to search if youâ€™re â€œwithout RealtorÂ®â€
4) Avoid Dual Agency!
There are specific duties an Agent must provide. When one individual represents both Buyer and Seller conflict between two of the most important duties occur.
â€œDual Agency: Why should I NOT use the listing Agent to buy a house?â€
Ask what their office sale count was for the year
Make sure they are available when you are.
Lastly meet with a few, and see who best fits your needs. I find that many sellers/buyers chose to work with me because of my personality when we first meet. Believe it or not, personality is key, you want someone you feel you can trust to work the hardest for you.
Ask anything and everything you wish, the agent will be happy to answer you.
-Choose an agent who is a Realtor.
-Look for someone who fits in with your schedule, needs, and personality.
-Make sure that your Realtor is serious about your budget, because their pay will be determined by the selling price of your home, they should stick to your budget and not be greedy.
-Make sure your personalities jive before you hire them.
Here is a list of Realtors in San Diego, CA
You seem rather savvy on the internet, so you can easily do a google search of "top 10 questions to ask when interviewing a real estate agent". When you consider that every 1 in 4 residences in California has someone with a real estate license, you can see where it might be overwhelming to determine which one is actually right for you. As a caveat to the above stat, a larger percentage of those with a license are not really active and/or are not full time agents. In fact, 20% of the agents do 80% of the business.
I would encourage you to look up agents who are local to that area and ask them the appropriate questions. It would also be nice to actually meet them in person as you can learn a lot from being eye to eye with someone. They should be able to answer any and all of your questions honestly. Be sure to look for client testimonials and to substantiate any of them by actually speaking to those who provided the reviews (make sure they are actual clients and not just people they had write a review.)
As a native San Diegan who went through the Poway Unified School District, I am very familiar with the 92129 (Rancho Penasquitos, Torrey Highlands) area. Feel free to check out multiple reviews of me and I'd be happy to provide their contact information as well.
Chad Basinger REALTORÂ®, CPA, CFPÂ®
The very first thing you will need to do is find a location you like. Your next step is going to be finding a good Mortgage Lender to get you qualified for a mortgage. I prefer using a Mortgage Lender over your local bank as they have a lot more programs they can shop to fit your needs. You will not be able to know how much you can afford until you do this.
First time buyers sometime make the mistake of looking first, find a home they love and when they get qualified its over their budget. I have had this happen to me and there is nothing worse because; what happens every time you look at homes; you, are going to compare it to the house you can't afford!
Once you know what you can afford and have a pre-qual letter you can start looking for the perfect home in the area you love. Next is to find a Realtor you like and feel comfortable working with. You want to make sure that you feel that they are working in your best interest and that they are listening! Its very important to let the Realtor know what your likes and dislikes are. If they listen to you they will show you homes in your price range that suit your needs. You also have to listen to them in regards to what you can get in your price range. It is going to be a give and take depending on what you can afford. You might want a two car garage but that might not fit your price range. You might be able to get a one car garage or carport.
Ask questions and when you find a home you like have the Realtor pull up Comparable for what homes are selling for in the area. This will give you an idea of where you should place your offer. It is important that you know that a Sales Contract is a legally binding document and if you don't understand something, just ask. No question is a stupid queston.
Good Luck, I hope this helps answer your question. Its very important that if you find a Realtor who is loyal and is willing to help you; do not; go behind their back and use your friends cousin who is a Realtor. It is very important that if you want a Realtor to get you the best price for a home don't be disloyal to all the work they have put into helping you. This is a Profession for us just as your job is your Profession. The difference between our jobs is that we don't get paid every week, we have to wait until your home closes and you receive your keys.
This is my number one pet peeve when it comes to Buyers. If I am showing you properties and I find you the home of your dreams PLEASE DO NOT LIE TO ME and go behind my back and buy that house through someone else. As they say Karma is a b^^^^h and it will come around and bite you eventually!
Again, Good Luck in pursuing your home. If you would like me to help I would be happy to.
Call me at 619-578-1100
My advice to you is to interview agents - tell them your situation, and see if they can help you. And, in the meantime, consider how well you seem to understand each other, because communication is at least as important as ability.
All the best,
--Don't underestimate the value of local knowledge. Narrow your choices down to someone who knows your desired zip codes cold. Not only will a local agent know the inventory, they'll be more connected to the agent network in your preferred neighborhoods. For good or ill, in this sellers' market agent-to-agent relationships are again becoming important in securing a property.
--As others have said, communication is key. If you like to text don't pick someone who insists on faxing everything (I wish I was kidding but there still are those). They may be a super-experienced agent but if you can't communicate with them all that experience does you no good.
--An ABR designation shouldn't be a deal-breaker but it is something to watch for. These are people who are dedicated to representing *buyers'* needs. They may take listings, they may not, but the ABR (usually) reflects a special interest in buyer issues.
--Be aware of the difference between agent teams and lone wolves. If you interview with a team leader, you may find yourself passed along to a subordinate during the process. Independent agents won't hand you off to someone else, although they may be less immediately available because they're trying to juggle multiple clients on their own.
--Try to get a referral from an acquaintance. Yelp, Realtor.com, LinkedIn, etc. are all well and good, but they're not thorough enough to be really useful. Nothing beats a personal recommendation from someone you know. And don't just go with the first referral you get; interview with two or three agents. Most of us can get the job done, but we have really different business styles.
From your thoughtful questions, you're just the kind of client I like to work with. However I'm not a Rancho Penasquitos expert so I can't recommend myself ;) Good luck!
Great question! Do your research and contact / interview several Realtors. As you appear to be interested in Rancho Penasquitos; locate Realtor's that do business and has knowledge of the community (schools, shopping, etc...). The key is finding a Realtor that suits you and you feel comfortable working with. Hope that helps and have a great day.
Thomas Conery, Realtor, SRES, SFR, CDPE
Best San Diego Properties Group
"Penasquitos" Resident since 1997
Joan Wilson (Realtor, SRES, Ecobroker, Certified REO, HAFA, and Short Sale Specialist)
Pacific Sotheby's International Realty
Call or Text: 760-757-3468 An exceptional home is simply a frame for an exceptional life
CA DRE License # 01341483
As any "service" I look at the quality, reliability, honesty, experience, and work ethic of that person. Just like any industry there are great Realtors/agents...and unfortunately folks that should be doing something else :)
I personally believe in providing outstanding service, working hard, and using my 15 years of experience to help my clients get the best deal they can. Integrity, communication, honesty, and creativity are also very important. And lastly make sure it's someone that knows your area(s)!
Definitely "interview" a few and see who you click with and who can best service your needs. You can start with a few phone calls. Feel free to call me anytime...I'd love to be considered for your real estate needs!
'Keller Williams Real Estate