Avoiding dual agency and seeking 100% representation from an exclusive buyer agent may top the list of house-hunting tips. But there are many other factors to consider. Some recent resources offer fresh perspectives.
The Home Buying Institute, for example, offers a whopping 41 house-hunting tips. Although targeted to first-time buyers, many of these tips will prove essential to any home buyer. The institute’s tips range from getting a head start on saving cash and nurturing your credit score to strategizing visits to homes. Especially useful—and not just for first time buyers—the institute provides guidelines for identifying, prioritizing, and sorting out wants from needs. Plus, there are detailed explanations of how to select a real estate agent, make the most of online resources, and arrive at a short-list of houses to visit.
If 41 tips seem overwhelming, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) narrows focus, boiling the process down to just 6 tips that can be accomplished in a single day. NAR also offers eight questions to ask before moving from the city to the suburbs and 10 ways to check out a neighborhood from a distance.
HGTV, meanwhile, takes a different tack. Instead of tips about what to do, it offers an anti-checklist. Its list of what not to do ranges from the practical (wear slip on shoes while visiting homes) to the critical (work through your Realtor® rather than call the number on a for sale sign).
One thing to keep in mind as you surf the internet: As good as the house-hunting advice presented by any one resource may be, it might not offer everything you need to know. Sometimes, omissions can put you at a disadvantage. One blog, for example, urges readers to visit open houses, but does not mention how open houses can work against home buyers. What’s more, you’d have to look pretty hard before finding any house-tips related to the different types of agents, disclosure laws, or reasons to beware of double agents.
You know why lots of second-time home buyers choose an Exclusive Buyers Agent over a traditional real estate agency? It's because they've already been through the process—and realize there's a better way to buy a house.