The Potential Buyer Checklist
Every potential buyer has a dream home in mind, but most realize their absolute dream home won’t come to fruition unless they can build a custom dwelling. Instead, buyers generally have a mental list of must-haves as well as deal breakers. Compile that list for your real estate agent, so he or she won’t waste your time – and theirs – showing homes that don’t meet the criteria. Before you start out, though, you need to know exactly how much home you can afford. That figure greatly impacts your wants versus needs.
If you or your spouse commute, there’s probably a distance beyond which you cannot go. Perhaps you don’t want more than a 45-minute commute, but for the right house you’re willing to commit to an hour of travel both ways. That’s the worst-case scenario – an hour and 10-minute commute just isn’t in the picture.
Minimum Number of Bedrooms and Baths
The number of bedrooms and baths depend not only on what the homebuyer needs for the moment, but for the future. A couple planning to have a family may want a minimum of three bedrooms, possibly four. Most people, except single buyers, will want more than one bathroom. So how about that older, three-bedroom home in a nice neighborhood with a sole bathroom? Let your agent know whether there is any flexibility on these issues, especially if it’s possible to install at least a half-bath down the line.
The Amount of Work You’re Willing to Do
Some people look for homes in move-in condition, without having to perform any upgrades at all. Others are handy and don’t mind putting some sweat equity into a home, especially if they get it at a good price. Let your agent know where you fall on this spectrum. There’s no point in showing a home that needs some work but has other favorable attributes if a potential buyer just wants to move in and relax.
Location, Location, Location
What are the buyer’s priorities when it comes to location? A couple without children or whose kids are grown may not care much about the school district, except in terms of resale value. Another buyer may consider the quality of the school district paramount and prove willing to purchase a less-than-ideal home if the neighborhood has good schools. As the buyer, are you willing to drive virtually everywhere, or do you want a neighborhood with a walkable scale and access to shops, restaurants and services? Some people want privacy above all else, while others crave community. When your real estate agent knows your priorities, the privacy buff won’t be shown homes in a highly developed area and the person seeking community won’t visit a house in the middle of nowhere.
Families and couples planning to have kids often have strong feelings regarding traffic. They usually want to live in residential areas with minimal traffic, so kids can play safely. Other buyers may prefer living on major roadways, especially if it knocks time off a commute. If heavy traffic is a deal breaker, let your agent know, so you aren’t shown an otherwise suitable house with too many motor vehicles passing by.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a home or find a rental property, you need a knowledgeable, experienced realtor. Contact Island Realty Group LLC at 808-689-7407 or IslandRealtyGroup@irghi.com.