The most fun part of purchasing real estate is locating the property. Unfortunately, too many buyers jump the gun on this stage and start looking before they have an agent or an understanding of their financing. This is understandable because searching for a home or investment property can be a lot of fun. Nowadays, I do a lot of work with investment property and commercial real estate, but I continue to work with residential properties for many reasons. Generally, I just enjoy helping people buy a house, but it is also a lot of fun to look at properties. Most of the time this is a very enjoyable part of the process but there are times where it can become frustrating for home buyers. For example, here in Athens the market is strong and good properties do not last long. In some cases, they can be off the market within days and you can miss out on a property. If this happens more than once it can be very frustrating. There are a few ways to avoid this frustration but there are also times where frustration may be unavoidable.
First, it is important to be realistic when searching for a property. If you have a max budget of $300,000 then do not look at houses priced around $375,000. If the market is strong than the eventual price will not be close to your budget. It is sometimes possible to get a house well below asking price but this should not be your expectation. Try and determine what is most important to you in a house and that along with your budget will guide you in the right direction. Second, be honest with your real estate agent. A good agent will ask questions to try and understand what you want but sometimes buyers aren’t good communicators. I often tell clients to be honest and feel free to tell me when they hate something. If you are not honest about your opinions or your budget it will be hard for any realtor to help you. I once had a client tell me they wanted a house for less than $200,000 in a certain area of town. Well it was just not a very realistic price for the location and as it turned out they bought a house for $300,000 in the desired area. But we looked at a lot of bad stuff before they finally told me the truth. It turned out there max budget was well over $300,000, but they thought they may get a better deal if they told me $200,000. In the end, we got on the same page and it all turned out well. However, they made the process very hard because they weren’t honest. I have to give credit to my business partner, Jeb, for this last one. You have to understand that “patience is a virtue.”
In most cases wise decisions are not made quickly or hastily. If you lose out on a house or it takes a while to find what you are looking to find do not fret. In the end, things have a way of working out the way they should.
Buying or investing in real estate can be a lot of fun. That is why HGTV and A&E develop so much programming around real estate. On the other hand, it can be stressful and disappointing. However, you can avoid a lot of stress and frustration if you are realistic, honest, and patient. I guess those are three pretty good words to live by in general. I have to admit that I have a big problem being patient sometimes. In fact, if you ask anyone that knows me well they might say that I am a very impatient person. Regardless of my shortcomings, it is good advice so do as I say and not as I do.