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How to choose a realtor for buying a house

How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Old Feb 8th 2017, 4:29 am
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Gut feeling is always the biggest clue. If they aren't making you feel comfortable and confident in the houses you are looking at then you should find someone who understands what you are looking for.
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Old Feb 8th 2017, 11:18 pm
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Arrow Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by petitefrancaise View Post
here's my story.... remember that I got the house I wanted at the price I wanted first time round in a very fast moving market.
viewed the house first, then spoke to the neighbour who was outside doing a spot of gardening. Liked him (still do!), had a conversation about kids and schools etc. Went back with realtor, OH and kids. Turns out the owner's have the same first names as me and OH and our youngest has the same name as their youngest. Got on like a house on fire! Yes, making a personal connection does work although I guess not many can make such a connection like we did!
That wouldn't work in my neighbourhood. No-one does any gardening.....everyone hires a lawn service, not just for mowing lawns but also trimming bushes, planting bulbs etc. The only people to be seen are those who are walking their dogs (but they could be living a few blocks away) and some commuters walking to or from the nearby train station.

When I first moved here, I'd been living for a few years in an apartment in Singapore and was quite excited to be able to have a house with a garden again. The first thing which I noticed was that no-one hangs out any washing on a line.....there are no washing lines lol! My next door neighbor said "oh, my mother used to hang her laundry outside in the yard". (I don't have a line as she said the town disapproves....probably frowned on as it lowers the tone blah, blah) but I do have an IKEA folding laundry rack so I use that on sunny days.

Well....we bought a petrol lawn mower and I planned to mow the lawns just like I used to do with our hover-mower back in England. I could barely lift the damn thing out of the shed and I was scared that petrol would leak out of it whilst lifting it. We have a decent sized plot (third of an acre) but lots of trees and the front garden is on a slope. What I didn't realise is just how hot and humid it gets in NJ compared to the UK, how hard it is to mow around trees and how very hard it is to push a heavy mower on a slope and it nearly runs away with you.

I did it for a couple of weeks and it was taking me a couple of hours to do it all (needed breaks for a cold drink, insect repellent etc.) and was hot, tired and sweaty so had to jump in the shower after being in the garden. My spouse was (still does) work really long hours, getting home as darkness fell and it gets dark much earlier than in the UK. We were discovering and exploring new places at the weekends as we had just moved to the US so my spouse didn't want to waste time doing any gardening at the weekends.

The final straw was when the guy from a gardening service was in the garden next door and laughed at my pathetic efforts to mow the front lawn. He told me that the previous owners of our house used him to do their lawns and would I like to him to continue doing so? Of course I said yes.....

The only way to meet any neighbours here is to go and knock on their doors.....if I was house-hunting I'd feel a bit odd turning up on someone's doorstep and asking them questions...
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Old Mar 3rd 2017, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

I chose my agent, and she's quickly becoming my new best friend It turns out we have tons in common, she also has a daughter the same age as mine who hates her school. They've since been and looked at the charter school my daughter attends and are moving her there I thought it was her supposed to be helping me out

On the house front, we put in an offer on a house. It all moved very quickly, we viewed it on the 16th, offers were due on the 22nd, but we were going on vacation on the 18th. Lots of running around on the 17th to draw 3 different offers up, write a letter to the seller (yes we did it), go to the bank and arrange how we could do a wire from out of the country... Our offer went in at 12.45pm on the 22nd, and within an hour we had a call from our agent saying we were 1 of 14 offers but the seller had selected us and someone else to rebid. We upped our bid by $10,250, deciding and advised by our agent the house wasn't worth anymore. The bids here are non-contingent and the house wasn't going to appraise for the $1.3m we expected the house to go for.

Sure enough, the other buyers offered $15k more than us, which was now 20% over the listing price, and they had 80% down too.

So close, but no success. It's a weird situation as we're not buying our dream house, so it didn't feel like a huge loss not getting it. It's just a struggle as so few houses come up, and we're battling it out with lots of other buyers - many who are in a much better financial situation than us. Nothing currently on the radar, hoping for more property in the next couple of weeks.
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Old Mar 3rd 2017, 10:02 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

It may just be a question of waiting. We have for all intensive purposes given up on looking. Its just crazy. We are getting outbid on $500-$600k houses by all cash buyers.

2017 Economic Headwinds: Housing Bubbles Popping up and Just Plain Popping Everywhere « SGTreport – The Corporate Propaganda Antidote – Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom
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Old Mar 5th 2017, 12:03 am
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by mrken30 View Post
It may just be a question of waiting. We have for all intensive purposes given up on looking. Its just crazy. We are getting outbid on $500-$600k houses by all cash buyers.

2017 Economic Headwinds: Housing Bubbles Popping up and Just Plain Popping Everywhere « SGTreport – The Corporate Propaganda Antidote – Silver, Gold, Truth, Liberty, & Freedom
It's crazy here too. We put an offer in just under asking and was told to send another above asking price. I declined.

Every house I've visited so far has sold within 48 hours of being on the market.
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Old Mar 5th 2017, 4:14 am
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
It's crazy here too. We put an offer in just under asking and was told to send another above asking price. I declined.

Every house I've visited so far has sold within 48 hours of being on the market.
My daughter and son in law just had the offer they made on a house in Houston accepted, so subject to inspection they can finally move out of the one bedroom condo they have been in for the past 2 years. It was fine until the baby came along
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Old Mar 5th 2017, 4:27 am
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by Sugarmooma View Post
My daughter and son in law just had the offer they made on a house in Houston accepted, so subject to inspection they can finally move out of the one bedroom condo they have been in for the past 2 years. It was fine until the baby came along
Congrats to them!

I'm putting my search on a pause for perhaps a couple months. We have our apartment lease until August so not in a massive rush.

I'm hoping that some more houses come onto the market in the summer time as people look to move when the kids are out of school.
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Old Mar 5th 2017, 4:46 am
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Congrats to them!

I'm putting my search on a pause for perhaps a couple months. We have our apartment lease until August so not in a massive rush.

I'm hoping that some more houses come onto the market in the summer time as people look to move when the kids are out of school.
May to June is usually a good time.

They are still deciding whether to sell the Condo or rent it out. It is in downtown Houston so will sell or rent easily. I'm just glad the house they are buying is easier to drive to for us. At least we won't get caught up in the crazy traffic anymore, we can jump on the beltway and be there in 40 minutes
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Old Mar 16th 2017, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

We had an offer accepted yesterday on a condo that we actually really love. It's got an outside deck and a separate private patio, I didn't think we'd get any real outside space on our budget so that was a huge selling point for us. It's move in ready, but of course there are always things you would like to change (when we manage to save some money again).

Yesterday was crazy, the house was above our personal budget, $188k to be precise, and $88k above our approval amount. Our offer was being made at 4pm, and we finally received the underwriters approval at 3:58pm. Our offer was 17% above listing price, and I wrote a letter to the sellers. Apparently they really liked the letter, and liked that we weren't a tech boom couple who'd struck it rich. They rejected a higher offer from someone who was putting 50% down to accept our offer.

I'm a mixture of giddy excited, and giddy sick at the thought of all this money. I know in a few months when we're in and the crazy expense is behind us, it will be great. Now I'll move on to the next worry of the house going through appraisal. Non-contingent offers here mean if it appraises for less we'll have to make the difference up from somewhere.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes, it's been good to see other peoples stories on here, so you know everyone goes through the same hassles...
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Old Mar 16th 2017, 5:11 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
We had an offer accepted yesterday on a condo that we actually really love. It's got an outside deck and a separate private patio, I didn't think we'd get any real outside space on our budget so that was a huge selling point for us. It's move in ready, but of course there are always things you would like to change (when we manage to save some money again).

Yesterday was crazy, the house was above our personal budget, $188k to be precise, and $88k above our approval amount. Our offer was being made at 4pm, and we finally received the underwriters approval at 3:58pm. Our offer was 17% above listing price, and I wrote a letter to the sellers. Apparently they really liked the letter, and liked that we weren't a tech boom couple who'd struck it rich. They rejected a higher offer from someone who was putting 50% down to accept our offer.

I'm a mixture of giddy excited, and giddy sick at the thought of all this money. I know in a few months when we're in and the crazy expense is behind us, it will be great. Now I'll move on to the next worry of the house going through appraisal. Non-contingent offers here mean if it appraises for less we'll have to make the difference up from somewhere.

Thanks everyone for the well wishes, it's been good to see other peoples stories on here, so you know everyone goes through the same hassles...

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Old Mar 16th 2017, 5:35 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

That's great news Nicky! I hope it all goes through smoothly. We too are in the process of buying our first US house....if one ever comes up for sale in our price range and school catchment area that is.
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Old Mar 16th 2017, 5:41 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by Wibblypig View Post
That's great news Nicky! I hope it all goes through smoothly. We too are in the process of buying our first US house....if one ever comes up for sale in our price range and school catchment area that is.
Thank you!!!

Fingers crossed for you, what part of California are you in?
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Old Mar 16th 2017, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
Thank you!!!

Fingers crossed for you, what part of California are you in?
Thanks! Sadly no one appears to want to sell their homes right now Which is typical now that we finally can afford it!
I live in Folsom, which is east of Sacramento towards Tahoe. Not 'too far' from you in American standards
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Old Mar 16th 2017, 5:49 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by Wibblypig View Post
Thanks! Sadly no one appears to want to sell their homes right now Which is typical now that we finally can afford it!
I live in Folsom, which is east of Sacramento towards Tahoe. Not 'too far' from you in American standards
It's the same here, house prices are going up that much that people tend to rent them out when they move.

I know where Folsom is. My daughters competitions often have us in Sacramento and Rancho Cordova. I like downtown Sacramento, not spent much time outside a gym anywhere else though.
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Old Mar 16th 2017, 6:38 pm
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Default Re: How to choose a realtor for buying a house

Originally Posted by N1cky View Post
It's the same here, house prices are going up that much that people tend to rent them out when they move.

I know where Folsom is. My daughters competitions often have us in Sacramento and Rancho Cordova. I like downtown Sacramento, not spent much time outside a gym anywhere else though.
Small world! Next time you are this way let me know if you are free to meet up for a drink/cuppa. How old are your daughters? I have 16 and 13 year old daughter and a 10 year old son. They keep me busy and out of trouble...if I don't count the complaint that I have with the school board right now, but that is a long story.

For some reason here renting seems a lot cheaper than buying, unless of course you have a huge deposit. We are looking to buy a similar house to the one we rent, yet the mortgage will be about 1.5 times our rent . Rental properties are not easy to come by either.
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