We think you’re ready for a Realtor…

The growth of online real estate listings means consumers are equipped with information very early in the home buying process. A generation ago, to get listing information and access to historical data, home buyers needed to connect with a real estate agent much sooner — sometimes even prematurely. But today’s home buyers can do a lot of the legwork themselves, conducting research online and using home search and research applications independently, in addition to attending open houses.

But this access to information doesn’t mean home shoppers can entirely go it alone. Buying a home is a major transaction, and all the data in the world can’t replace a knowledgeable and experienced local real estate agent.

Here are some signs that you are ready to engage with a buyer’s agent:

You think you’ve found the home of your dreams, and you don’t know what to do next.

If you’ve been looking at homes for some time, you likely have a good feel for what you get for the money. You’ve gone to some open houses and have a few homes or searches saved online. Home shopping has become a hobby. But once you find the home of your dreams, it becomes a part-time job.

Independent shoppers get comfortable with the market until their dream home hits them like a ton of bricks. The house is the motivator to take things up a notch. Reaching out to an agent will take you out of the dreaming phase and move you in the direction of actually buying a home.

You’ve found a home that appears too good to be true, but you can’t figure out what the problem is.

Suppose you stumble upon a house that seems like a great deal. It’s priced accurately for the neighborhood, but has been sitting on the market for weeks, if not months. You may have reached out to the listing agent to see the home in person or asked some questions of the agent at the open house. But that agent represents the seller, so you are not sure what the story is.

In this case, you don’t know what you don’t know. That uncertainty, coupled with your curiosity about the home, is the best reason to pair up with a good local agent. They may know the house, its market history or, via their network, have access to information about the home.

The house may have some major structural issues. Or the agent might point out that it is on a less desirable road or in a tough school district. These are the types of things that new, uneducated buyer wouldn’t know on their own.

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Step aside Boomers…

Are Millennials the New Luxury Buyers?

Samantha DeBianchi | Zillow Blog | September 20, 2013 | link

 

Luxury Malibu listingAlthough it’s been argued that rising mortgage rates and home values have largely excluded millennials from the housing recovery, a portion of Generation Y has skipped traditional starter homes and moved right to the top.

From Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to entrepreneurial Facebook users, more and more millennials are purchasing luxury properties. And with the market as hot as it is, why wouldn’t they?

Interest rates are still relatively low by historical standards, and overall consumer confidence and the belief that real estate is a wise investment have led more and more millennials to skip the baby steps and move right to a luxurious lifestyle by purchasing their million dollar (and multi-million dollar) baby.

Here are a few more factors influencing the trend:

Familial assistance

As older generations have been through the “better and worse” of the real estate market, they realize today is in fact a great time to buy. In turn, they’re providing their children with financial assistance —  from hefty down payments to purchasing a property with a child — to help them achieve the American Dream.

Safest bet

Young buyers have also come to the conclusion that investing in real estate is a lot less risky than riding through the stock market. Millennials have seen how the market can and will change, allowing them to be more prepared for adjustments within the real estate sphere. When prepared, a more confident decision can be made, leading them to not only purchase luxury properties but also to add investment properties to their portfolios.

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