Monday, January 21, 2008

And the Odyssey begins...


A good real estate agent is almost crucial when looking for a house. I didn’t have the slightest idea how to find one. A friend recommended an agent, we (my husband and I) met with her and thought she was not bad. More importantly, she was an experienced and aggressive (aging) Russian lady. We talked to her about our humble desire to own a house, joked around, and never heard from her again.
Then, one sunny day, I was surfing Internet for houses, and a real estate agent’s name came up when I saw a couple of properties I happened to like. I called her, and the next thing I knew, my husband and I were seating in her office. We didn’t have to sign any contract acknowledging our buyer-agent relationship right away, but we tacitly agreed that she will be the one. She seemed cool, for some reason. Jane showed us some houses, and I liked her candor. She would point out defects, she’d say if a house was overpriced, or simply, that a house was not for us. She was very laid back, not pushy at all. I liked her. But shortly after, she disappeared too. (I don’t know, maybe this is the way they roll in the real estate world?! Alright, I suppose we are not very patient, and we want the whole thing: a nice house, in a nice neighborhood. Not too expensive. I don’t know… The mystery remains.)
My hubby and I literally had to go after Jane, our potential agent, and beg her to show us homes. We’d drive around neighborhoods we liked, go online, try to come across various ways to find houses for sale that we liked, and then call her with the MLS number of the houses we wanted to check out. (MLS stands for a Multiple Listing Service, every house for sale has one, and it is very helpful when searching for a particular house in a huge database of listings)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multiple_Listing_Service

Jane would then call, make appointments for us to view the houses, and of course, we’d go with her and see the properties.

BTW, you can check out prices online and take the pulse of the market in different cities and neighborhoods by going to trulia.com, zillow.com, homegain.com , as well as other sites that are featured in the "Know Your Home's Future", "The Best Money Web Sites."
http://money.cnn.com/2007/12/26/pf/expert/expert.moneymag/

It is really important to find out the selling price of other, similar to the house that you are interested in, properties. Also, how much have they sold for, if at all, how long have comparable houses been sitting on the market before they sell. This way you‘ll have a better understanding overall, and you’ll know where you stand.

1 comment:

For Sale By Owner said...

Home valuation and home price are complicated questions for me... Thanks for the sources. I've also read on these topics on Fizber