When's a good time to find an agent, if one is looking to move in April next year?

Asked by Trulia Charlotte, Charlotte, NC Fri Dec 7, 2012

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Lexie Longstreet’s answer
Lexie Longst…, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sun Dec 9, 2012
Now is a good time. There are several steps, including getting approved for a mortgage. If you want to move in April, that means you need to have a home under contract by March. Inventory is down by 50% in most areas over a year ago. That means that most homes are getting offers in the first week... usually, and some are getting multiple offers. Depending on what you are looking for you might have to make several offers to get one accepted. So I would suggest you start interviewing agents now. Find one that has their finger on the plus of the areas you prefer. Then go look at the homes and get a feel for what you get for the money. You may have to make compromises. And you probably won't find everything you want in a home. If you do see something that is perfect... be prepared to make an offer. With the way the NC Due Diligence Contract works, you may be able to offer a rent back option to the seller ... making your offer preferable. Your agent can share negotiating strategies so you get the home of your dreams, and the move in date you want.
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Jennifer Mas…, Agent, Indian Trail, NC
Sat Dec 8, 2012
I agree with everyone here. Now is a great time! It takes a while to acquaint yourself with the area & get pre-approved for your loan. It would be best to go through this whole process from beginning to end with one person. Right now you can also be checking out community information such as schools (if that is a concern for you), commute time for your job, health care, shopping, etc. This way you can narrow down a general area you think would fit your needs. Then, choose an agent to show you around some of those neighborhoods to get an idea of the price point for those homes. One step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other, and before you know it, you'll be in your new home!! If you want to get to know me a bit, check out what my other clients have said about their experience. It's on my Trulia profile page. Good luck, and I hope to hear from you!!
Jennifer Masucci
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dave, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sat Dec 8, 2012
In general the best time to start interviewing Real Estate agents is now. With the time frame of April you are looking to buy in four to five months. A lot of prospective buyers should be interviewing agents this far in advance. The reasons are many.

First, you will find out who will give you the time and work needed to buy a house that far in advance. it is alwful to say about our industry but a lot of Realtors will nto follow up with you unless you are ready to buy right now... I have gained more cleints becuase of long term follow up with them than I have gotten that were ready to buy right now.

Second, it allows you to interview a little more extensively and test the waters with a Realtor to see if you and the Realtor are a good fit for each other. Not every home buyer and Realtor will work well together and it is important to find one that you feel comfortable with. This is the largest purchase you are going to make in your lifetime.

Third, time. A broad answer but will the realtor have the time to take you out and show you homes? Now, asking for soemthing on a spur of the moment might be asking to much; but will the Realtor make reasonable concessions to help you out or put you off until you are closer to buy? This will tell you a lot about the person you are working with. Some realtors prioritize their clients based on sale price. In fact i had one client I received off of Trulia that said he was lookign for a $50000 to $75000 house to buy and fix up and live in. I was the only Realtor he said that followed up with him. And the reality was he was buying a $400,000 to $600,000 house. he wanted to know who really was going to work for him not just based on the price.

Last, listening. By interviewing Realtors you can find out who is listening to your needs and wants and sedning you homes that fit your criteria versus just randomly sending you homes that you are either not interested in or out of your budget .

Dave diCecco
Coldwell Banker United
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Mark Hatcher, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Sat Dec 8, 2012
The time is now! Start interviewing agents right away, choose one and follow their instructions. Come springtime, you will be enjoying all that our city has to offer!
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Daniel Fisher, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Dec 7, 2012
PreApproval letters are generally good for about three months. You generally have about 45 days from the date of contract to closing, so to move by April 1st, you need to be under contract 2/15/13. You should probably talk to a real estate broker who knows about finance, get a recommendation for a lender who can best serve your particular financial situation and have them pull credit and let you know what they are willing to do for you. If you have any credit issues, you still have time to resolve them in the next 60 days. Don't wait!

If credit is good and they approve you now, you can be monitoring the market to see what homes are available. Inventory is down in many areas of Charlotte, so it may be difficult to find exactly what you want. If you are building a home, you may not make the April 2013 deadline. Last week, one local builder was quoting September 2013 delivery because new home sales are very strong and they have a backlog of new home orders. If you appreciate this answer, please give it a thumbs up, or if this was the most helpful answer, please say thanks with a best answer click.
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Darrell Hess, Agent, Asheville, NC
Fri Dec 7, 2012
Right now. I would also go ahead and prepare all the documentation you will need if planning on getting a mortgage as well. It is also wise to become familiar with the process of buying in today's market and know what you want. You can be working on all that and be ready to go in April with the right agent.
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Robin Faison, Agent, Huntersville, NC
Fri Dec 7, 2012
In general, it is good to look to evaluate the housing market over time. How much time one needs depends on the individual. Some folks do not like to make quick decisions, and others do not like delaying decisions. Most consumers look quite a bit on-line before making a purchase. It takes about 2 to 3 months for most buyers to fully understand the available inventory, loan process, and move forward with a purchase.

Because real estate is affected by the seasons, the housing inventory will not be the same in winter as in spring. We know that far more houses are listed in spring. If a house is price competitively and is in good condition, then it will usually sell with in a 90-120 day window in most of the Charlotte metro market. A luxury home may take longer depending on the location.

However, if a client has a very busy lifestyle or wants to build a house, then it may take 6 months to secure the proper residence. If the house is going to be a luxury home, then it may take up to a year to design and build.

Technology now allows realtors to put clients on automated house searches to fit their criteria. Market statistics or loan e-letters let consumers know what to expect when buying a house or getting a loan. The best real estate transactions occur when the client and the realtor are working together as a team toward the common goal established in the beginning.
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Abby Nelson, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Dec 7, 2012
It is never to early to start. A typical closing takes 30-45 days. But before then you need to narrow down an area and/or subdivision that you are interested in. Give me a call. Would love to talk.

Abby Nelson
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Amy Baker, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Dec 7, 2012
I think it is very smart to start interviewing agents and mortgage lenders as much as 4-6 months before you will be ready to move into a new home, sometimes even sooner. Starting early will give you time to speak to different agents/lenders to find one that knows the areas you are looking in and has a good understanding of your needs/goals. It will take weeks to even months to find the perfect home and time to do inspections etc so the more prep time you give yourself, the better buying situation you will be in when the time comes.

If you have specific questions or would like to talk in more detail, don't hesitate to contact me.

Amy Baker
Allen Tate Realtors
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Peggy Rooth, Agent, Charlotte, NC
Fri Dec 7, 2012
Its helpful to get an understanding of the market you are moving into, and now is not too soon for a spring move. With over 30 years of experience as a Realtor I'm happy work with you in your upcoming move. Here's a link to my website http://www.peggy.realestatecarolina.com. I look forward to making your #1 Goal, my #1 Goal. Call me with any questions at 704.517.4787cell Thanks, Peggy Rooth Realtor-GRI, Exit Realty South
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