Just like every other industry, the real estate market is waking up to a new reality. Customers hold the ultimate power, no longer needing to take the advice of estate agents and performing their own valid research. It’s a great time to be a home buyer as there’s nothing that can be kept hidden from you anymore. The tricks of the trade are being exposed every year which makes it harder for the estate agents to pull the wool over your eyes. You can be just as informed about a particular property, as the agent giving you the tour. When you’re making such an expensive purchase, you should be demanding and expect nothing less than a superb service from all those involved. The only way to keep everybody on their toes is to go your own way.
Why wait for a viewing?
Real estate agents will offer potential customers a chance to view the property. Many times this is done without the owners at home. This is done for a number of reasons but one of them is because they want to be the middleman. Agents want to squeeze out the highest price from buyers and prevent any sort of face to face negotiation occurring between the two parties. But this is 2020, you don’t have to wait for a viewing. You should go onto Google Maps and view the property from a satellite picture. Assess whether the neighborhood is to your liking and whether the quality and amount of amenities are up to scratch.
Take the time to drive to the property and inspect the quality of the exterior for yourself. Perhaps you could go to a local coffee shop and sit down to absorb the lifestyle and people of the neighborhood. Can you see children playing in the street without being bothered? Do you see many police patrol cars drive by? Are dogs kept on leashes? Making subtle observations about the neighborhood and property will give you an honest look at what potentially could be your future.
Initiate the hunt
Going down the traditional route of finding a mortgage is no longer something you have to do in this day and age. Rather than work with the institution that the estate agent is partnered with, you can take the matter into your own hands. You need not contact a bank either as this will almost always end up with having less control over the terms than the third option. Use a mortgage broker like https://altrua.ca/ which has experience in finding low rates and more options. A mortgage broker will also have contacts within the industry. They have built relationships with all kinds of mortgage companies, from small to large. Thus, you could be given a far better option from a smaller mortgage company than whatever you have been offered by the mainstream larger mortgage companies.
Don’t wait around for financial institutions to get back to you or for the estate agent’s partners to draw up the contract themselves. Initiate the hunt for a mortgage that meets your needs and takes into account your financial situation.
Negotiations for future plans
In the very near future, every modern home will need to become more eco-friendly. The world is changing and with it, new legislation passed by governments will demand that modern eco-friendly materials are used and energy efficiency be integral in the property design. If you are interested in a particular home that doesn’t seem to be all that efficient, you should create a negotiating position that takes this into account. Firstly, you must demand that any home you see for a viewing, does have the potential to be more eco-friendly. An adaptable home is better for future plans and construction than a home that is simply too old to update.
Speak with your estate agent and get them to calculate what the energy bills will be for your lifestyle. By hiring an energy efficiency inspector, the home you’re interested in will be given an honest appraisal for how well it performs. The quality of the windows, roof, and insulation will be taken into account, as well as any permanent fixtures such as kitchen appliances. Then ask your agent to negotiate a discount from the asking price according to how well the property scores in the tests.
Taking your time to view
Viewing days are absolutely necessary when you’re nearing the end of the process. Viewings are used as a way to communicate that the particular home you’re judging has made it to the shortlist. Many estate agents will want to do the viewing with you, giving you a tour of the house and allowing you to ask any questions. However, this does sometimes feel like a tour of rails. You’re ushered from one room to the next on a timescale. If you want to be more in charge of viewing, ask to have it by yourselves without the agent. Be sure to have the viewing while the owners are not home either.
The agent can wait in the car or sit in the living room, while you and your spouse or partner can go from room to room in your own time. Agents may want to steer clear of an area in a room because it might be damaged or otherwise. When you’re in the driving seat, you can take your time to look under every stone and into every nook and cranny. Taking pictures and or videos of the home inside is something you will need to get cleared with the agent as a security concern. But if you get given the green light, film your viewing so you can watch it back at home, giving you the benefit of hindsight. If you see something on the video that is a concern you can bring it up with the agent and possibly, have it removed, changed or as a cause, have the price dropped a little.
You have every right to be more demanding from your estate agent and the homeowner. Making a home purchase is a very expensive event, so take charge of the process yourself.