A non-scientific, non-peer reviewed discussion of an all too common affliction affecting some homebuyers
By now, we all know the stats. According to NAR, nearly 90% of homebuyers begin their home search online. The question is, when do they stop?
With so much inventory available in today’s market, and more coming on everyday, it seems some buyers are having a hard time quitting the home search habit. Even after they’ve made an offer.
These days, it’s pretty common for me to be negotiating an offer for a client at the same time that they’re emailing and texting me with a list of additional homes to research. This isn’t necessarily a bad move if the idea is to have some backup options if the current deal doesn’t go through. But some customers continue looking even after their offer has been accepted!
Keeping an eye on the market makes sense for any buyer. But once you’ve put pen to paper and signed a contract, you can drive yourself crazy with search after online search that can only deliver more “what ifs…”?
So, to avoid buyer’s remorse before you’ve even bought, here are a few tips for the homebuyer searching online:
– Get pre-qualified with a mortgage lender
As I tell my sellers, “price, price, price” has replaced “location, location, location” (to some degree) in today’s market. When you know exactly how much house you can afford, you won’t waste time chasing rainbows, or eliminating good homes that are actually within your reach.
– Know what you want, and what you can do without
Once you have a good idea of your price range, make a list of your “must haves” vs. what you can compromise on. You’ll be able to narrow your focus to only those homes that really fit the bill.
– Research the area
A knowledgeable REALTOR® can help you quickly identify the local neighborhoods that will deliver on your wish list. From price range, amenities and home features, to school districts, HOA/CDD fees and tax rates, there’s a lot to consider when searching for a home in an unfamiliar area.
– Step away from the computer
If you’ve done your homework and are satisfied with the decisions you’ve made, you likely won’t feel as compelled to keep searching for what else is out there. So you can shut off the computer and start planning for moving day!
In a sense, the housing market can be a lot like technology. There’s always a newer, shinier, more exciting product about to come on the market (iPods and iPads anyone?). But if you plan well, do your research and get comfortable with your choices, you’re much more likely to find the home that best meets your needs, today and in the future. So you can stop searching and get on with your life!