In the office, we talk about stories that are non-linear. They don’t tend to happen in an order that makes any sense. As an example, a home buyer may make a decision to buy a home well before or after they get a mortgage or call a buyer’s agent. Also, there are things that happen that may a decision, for example, buyers get an accepted offer, then one of the buyers loses their job, or moves.
Still, I like to think that buying a home in St. Louis is a journey. Let’s go through some of the parts of the journey here.
The Decision Is Made
Maybe you are starting to outgrow your current digs. There’s more people than space! Or, you’re tired of getting out in the cold to scrape your windshield before heading to work. It’s strange: At one point this house worked for you and you were happy, but things have obviously changed. There may be some home improvements you used to do but now you’re ready to let someone else take care of the house. You start noticing real estate for sale signs. You open a new account on Realtor.com or Zillow. The decision is made, it’s time to move.
Do You Know A Real Estate Agent?
Now that you’ve decided it’s time to look for a new home, it’s probably a good thing if you know a real estate agent. Do you know any? Your 2nd cousin used to be one, but you haven’t seen them in years. Someone at work just bought a house, maybe ask them who they used? Maybe you should use the agent who sold you your current home? They’ve been out of the business for years! How can you find the best agent in St. Louis? What would that real estate agent look like? Would you check a real estate agent out online?
Where Do You Want To Live?
Do you currently live close to work and want to move away? Is your morning commute terrible and you feel like you are wasting your life in traffic? Where would you move if you could? It’s important to have some idea of where you want to go. Sometimes, I have buyers that say they want to live somewhere, say Kirkwood, but they are just saying that to be nice. They’d really rather live in Clayton or University City.
How Much Home Can You Afford?
Now that you have some idea of where you might want to live, how much home can you afford? Unless you’ve been blessed with a serious amount of cash, you’re going to have to look for a mortgage lender. There are fine lenders in St. Louis, but would you want to use someone from a different part of the country who is licensed here? What about the online mortgage companies? With this question, what criteria are you going to use to find a lender? The best dressed? You can’t really go for lowest rate because you haven’t filled out a mortgage application yet. Decisions! Decisions!
Time To Get Out There!
By far, the most fun part of the journey to buy a home in St. Louis is getting out there and seeing what’s available. Your real estate agent can give you tips on what to avoid, but sometimes, you see train wreck after train wreck that looked nothing like the pictures online. Maybe there is a house that you like the back yard, but not the front yard. Maybe there’s a house where you like every room but the kitchen. There will be some houses that are just perfect…until you go into the basement. The key thing is that you are getting out there and you are becoming familiar with the marketplace and what is available at your price point.
Writing An Offer
You’ve been searching for months. One day, you see a listing online and think to yourself that there’s something about this house you have to see in person. You call your real estate agent to set up a showing. The moment you walk through the door you know that this is the house for you. The price is right. It’s on a nice street. The yard is just the right size. This is the one! Finally, it’s time to write an offer on your new home.
Apparently, you weren’t the only one who thought this house was perfect for you. Seven other offers came in that were higher than yours! When you lose out to another offer, it stings. Afterwards, you get discouraged. You’re never going to find the home of your dreams!
Your real estate agent calls you about a property that just went up for sale. You’re so hurt from the last rejection, you aren’t sure you want to go luck in person. Sure, the house is everything you are looking for and maybe even a little more. It doesn’t matter, you probably won’t get the house anyway; someone else will have a better offer.
With all of the stress of buying your dream home off, and with nothing to lose, you talk to your real estate agent about writing a competitive offer. A competitive offer has very few contingencies, and the closing isn’t based on when you sell your home. You’ve also written an offer that looks to be pretty fair given the condition of the property. That night, you go to bed thinking about what you will do at work the next day. The next day comes and you see a text from your agent…”Congratulations! Your offer was accepted!”
The Home Inspection
Look at you! You got your dream home under contract. You spent maybe 20 minutes in the house up until now, maybe you should get a home inspection? After all, it’s in the contract. You meet with the home inspector and your real estate agent, and the inspector notices a few things, but overall, the house is great. Only one more step!
Your paperwork is in order, the title company has found no defects, and it’s time to close on your new home! You’re going to have so much more space! You’ve been keeping your real estate secret life from your friends and family, just in case something falls through. Now, you just want to tell them. On the morning of the closing, you are happy and confident. At the title company, your lender is there and your real estate agent is there; it’s a party! Pages and pages of signatures are needed, but you’ve been signing your own name for years so no issues there. The title agent gets one last signature and you’re done! You’ve just bought your dream home!
Deerwood Realty Is On These Journeys Every Day
There are a lot of bad things that happen when you are in the real estate business. However, the greatest thrill for us at Deerwood Realty is when we’ve helped someone buy or sell their home. If you are considering listing your home for sale, or buying your dream home, give us a call. We’re always excited to begin a new journey with you.