I have a confession to make, I was once a huge fan of real estate reality TV, house hunters, all the DIY shows but I’ve come to realize they paint a false picture for homebuyers.
If you’re a real estate newbie devoted to “House Hunters” or “Buying Alaska,” you may be left with some very wrong impressions about how the house searching and buying process really works. On TV, it seems that as soon as the idea of buying a home crosses someone’s mind—whether they’re a property virgin, serial home buyer, or any combination that a real estate agent swoops in and immediately, you find the home of your dreams! While I wish it were that simple, the process is a little more detailed than what they show you.
In fact, 42% of all buyers and 38% of millennials say their first step in the home-buying process is looking for properties online. They utilize sites as Zillow or Trulia to begin their preliminary research. Contacting a real estate agent is next on that list. Buyers reported taking a median of two weeks as they are searching before contacting an agent. For millennials, the median was three weeks.
Moreover, websites are used throughout the process by 89% of buyers and 93% of millennials. Indeed, 71% of millennials are specifically using phones or tablets to access data during the process.This may not add up to compelling reality television, but it is actual reality.
What gets me roweled up is that on TV, the TV camera-ready house hunters look only at the magic number of three houses before finding their perfect place. Every time! In real life, buyers look at a median of 10. Depending on your market and your budget this number can vary quite a bit. In Boston, the problem in our spring and summer markets is low inventory with a ridiculous amount of buyers. Homes are sold for well over asking in most cases due to bidding wars. They never show this on House Hunters but it is a reality in our market.
Let me tell you: Three houses just wouldn’t cut it. From my personal experience, I can attest that it is nearly impossible to grasp what is most important to you in a new home, and how to value the various trade-offs, without having real, honest-to-God examples in front of you. And there will be trade-offs: No two homes are alike, and what is available for sale at any given time is typically a subset of the features most buyers think are important. Your best chance to get your dream home within one of the 1st three homes viewed would be new construction or a home you customized yourself.
You might think that being in a specific neighborhood, or having an open floor plan, or having the latest appliances seem most important—but when you actually walk through homes in various conditions, at differing prices, in a mix of locations and styles, suddenly you realize it isn’t so simple. Not even close.
Using a real estate agent is invaluable, especially in the Boston market because the process is complex, and buyers don’t want to make mistakes in what is likely the biggest purchase they’ve ever made. Your Real Estate Agent can walk you through the process, negotiate better terms on your behalf and provide feedback and draw attention to warning signs etc. highlight features or faults to a property and generally has a huge network of quality service providers to make the process less stressful.
In other words, it’s not about finding a home. It’s about finding the right home, making a good decision, navigating the entire process, and getting a good deal. And if you’re looking to buy a home, you’ve started in the right place here at The Mandrell Company.
We work with buyers and sellers throughout New England and our agents are trained to help you find the right home at the right price.
WE WOULD LOVE TO ASSIST IN MAKING YOUR DREAM COME TRUE!