Searching for the perfect new home can be a long process of trial and error. You look at homes until you think there’s no way you’ll ever find what you want and you’ll just have to settle. Sometimes, it’s as simple as making your needs and wants clearly known to your agent, and a surprising number of house hunters never really have that conversation with their agent in any detail.
That’s the first step to building a working relationship with any REALTOR, and at the Keith Home Team, we focus on that, tailoring our efforts to meeting as many of your needs and wants as we can, within the resources you have to work with. That has to start with you. We’re good at finding the right home, but we can’t read your mind, and neither can your agent, so, be sure to take the time to find out exactly what you want, and be sure to let them know.
Knowing what you want
That sounds easier than it is, you may not know exactly what you want, that’s where the pros come in, but you probably do know some things. So, let’s set up a little framework, for discovering exactly what kind of home you are looking for. Then, whether you’re here in Central Oklahoma, and can work with us, or you’re not that lucky, you’ll have something to share with your agent to get you on the right track.
- Start with the non-negotiables
The best place to start is with a list of the things you simply cannot live without. This list helps us to eliminate the non-starters from any list of homes we build for showing. Here are some categories of things to consider when determining exactly what you need in a home.
- Size matters! The square footage, number of bedrooms or bathrooms, garage, and lot size are all areas that clients tell us matter. You may have other size requirements. If it’s important to you, be sure to list it and be as specific as you can.
- The neighborhood is important. Some buyers want neighbors, others want to feel like they are the only ones on the planet. Consider the size of the lots, the amenities offered, and things like HOA when listing your needs.
- Location, location, location! You may be driving to work, school, the grocery store, church, the gym, or a million other places. Map out your drives, if you’re already established, and let us know how close you need to be to what.
- Let’s get to your preferences.
This list can make or break the buying experience. Often these things may be more of a determining factor for some than the “must haves”. This is where you think about your current lifestyle, and things you might like to add to it.
- Start with your property. Do you want a pool, or a large driveway for basketball? What about a basement, outbuildings, or attic storage. Does style play a factor, if so, how much? Don’t be afraid to make this list. We’ll filter our search results and fit as many of them in as we can in your price range and area.
- Consider the whole family. It’s best to include others in this list making process. While one member of the family will likely make the final decision, including everyone can make your transition that much easier.
- Don’t forget to be practical. Things like fencing, storm shelters, sprinklers and rain collection systems may not be essential for you, but they can help make your new house a home, so think of things you’ve wished you had to make life easier.
- It’s time to rate your list!
Wait! They’re all important! We know, but unless you have an unlimited budget to build custom, buying an existing property comes with inherent limitations. By prioritizing your needs and desires, you can help us best serve you, and make our searches more productive.
- Start at the top and work down. If you know your two kids will be miserable in the same room, make number of bedrooms #1. If you’ve got a herd of Great Danes, put your yard demands at the top of the list.
- Don’t edit your list. Just move that one down a little, unless you’ve decided you really don’t want it. Don’t assume how hard it will be to fit you perfectly, real estate agents do this for a living.
- Tweak until it feels right. This is your home we’re talking about. No one else has to spend their lives there. Be sure you’re getting what you want out of the process and take your time.
Once your lists are complete, put them in a word doc, or pdf and email them to your real estate agent with whatever explanation you feel is required. It helps to follow up with a visit, or phone call to go over your list. After all, we want to show you homes you’ll actually consider buying. It’s more fun for all of us.
- Make a list of non-negotiables, this could include bedrooms, garage, lot size, amenities in the home or neighborhood, etc, all the things you know you need, or will not accept less than
- Make a list of all the “nice to haves”
- Rate your must haves and wants in order of importance
Share this with your Realtor. Get them on your team. They have ideas you haven’t thought of and if they know what you want, they’ll help you get it.