House Hunting in Marin County (3 part series)

banner2With home prices up and home inventory down, buying the right home in Marin has proven to be challenging. While holding my listings open I meet some buyers who have just started looking, others who have been looking for months and
some that have been looking for years! So what’s the answer to
success? In my opinion, a great Realtor, luck and flexibility.

Part ONE-a GREAT Realtor.

Now more then ever the Realtor you choose to help you locate
and purchase your home is crucial to your success. A great
Realtor will put in the time to listen to you and to formulate a
solid plan and understanding of what you have to have vs. what
you want-a important area to distinguish (discussed further in
part 3 of this series). The key here is that your agent must
take the time to listen to you to and fully grasp exactly what
type of home you’re looking for. Your Realtor should be able
to help you decide which town to live in by sharing their
knowledge about the local schools, weather patterns, commute
times and anything else that will help you to narrow down
your search. Once your wish list is created and the buyer is
approved (cash) or pre-approved (loan), you’re ready to get
started. Your Realtor should set up a personalized search for
you via the local MLS, which will save you a ton of time. If
configured properly, you will receive an email when a new
listing matches your search criteria. Your Realtor must know
the inventory and he or she must be connected amongst their
peers. Your Realtor should notify you when he or she learns
of new listings that could work for you. I’ve italicized could
because as a great Realtor I’ve learned that part of my job is to
filter out homes that absolutely don’t qualify while leaving the
final decision to you, the buyer when a home is questionable.
Once you’ve selected a home the next step is to buy it. If there
is a multiple offer situation then strategy and relationships
amongst my colleagues become critical. There are plenty of
strategies to consider when competing. Some of them include;
reducing the contingency period for loan and inspections,
shorten the closing date and including a personal note. Once in
contract your agent and his or her team (if they have a team)
should manage the transaction by opening escrow, creating a
timeline, coordinating inspections, walk you through any new
disclosures and potentially assist you with negotiating any
credits if issues with the home arise. Your agent and your
team should represent you from start to finish and be your
advocate as challenges arise. Ultimately, once in contract the
goal is the close the escrow and hand you the keys. Focus and
dedicated work eventually will garner success!