In June 2017 I will be celebrating fourteen wonderful years as a real estate agent. It is a very challenging, yet rewarding career. I am going to be honest, I absolutely love selling huge million dollar mansions. Who wouldn't? They typically have high price tags and big earning potential and BAM! one sale can make your entire year. But I am going to share a secret with you that is even more valuable and profitable to my business and that is FIRST TIME HOME BUYERS. I am particularly interested in the very scared ones who never in a million years thought they could earn the privilege of homeownership. Why would I be interested in riding around and seeing hundreds of houses priced at $200,000.00 or less?? Why? Well I will tell you why. When I sell a million dollar home, that likely will be a home purchase for life. When I help a first time homebuyer that many real estate agents would be inclined to ignore, I embrace!!! A first time homebuyer is an opportunity to start a lifelong relationship that will ultimately end up in repetitive referrals, repetitive real estate transactions and a wonderful relationship that can span decades. I have to earn the privilege to get repeat business, but a first time homebuyer is absolutely essential to this cycle. So if you haven't bought a house yet, you are a super valuable asset to an aggressive agent like myself. Here is my advice to the new to future homeowner crowd. Pay attention, you are a VIP!!!
BUILD A LIFELONG TRUSTED TEAM: There is an art to buying real estate. I believe this with my heart. I think that in addition to providing yourself with shelter, comfort and granite countertops, it is a good idea to learn how to buy real estate and to surround yourself with a lifelong team who can, just like your stock broker, leverage your equity and profit through real estate. I see people jump from realtor to realtor. I assume that some just didn't like their first agent, but I think it is an important move to build a trusted team and those who embrace this philosophy will likely strike better deals in the long-run.
DEFINE YOUR TEAM: Your team should be a real estate agent you can rely on and who can rely on you. You should add a lender to your team, a title company and contractors. Why is this important? You want an agent who isn't selfish with their time and will dedicate themselves to putting money in your pocket. They should value you and be willing to help you dig deep and think unconventionally about buying real estate. By adding a lender, you can learn the cheapest programs, how to avoid charges that drive monthly payment up etc... Your lender and your agent can help you stick out in a sea of contracts. Isn't that powerful??? Think about it. Using your financial muscle to win real estate is an art. Using your financial muscle can happen without digging deep into your pockets. It does not take money always to win, it takes talent and a powerful team all working to support YOU!! Your contractors can help you decide if it makes more sense to get what you want aftermarket. Remember your first home is going to set you up for a lifetime of homes. You need a good team to make you a VIP.
LISTEN: On your first transaction, someone like me is not only thinking of this home. This first home is a launch to your financial future. I am thinking of you in terms of decades. That being said I am here to educate you. To teach you the law, the resources, the in's and out's. You do not know more than me at this point so know I have ways of looking at the bottom line to ultimately get you your dream home. We (my entire Coldwell Banker Team) want to make your dreams come true, so take all the advice and education offered to you. It is free!!
HAVE FUN: Home shopping can be exhausting, frustrating and fun too. I remember when I was shopping for my first home, my Aunt Becky was my real estate agent. I think I am a real estate agent because I was such a horrible home buyer at the time. My aunt would take me around and almost immediately I would sense if I was not interested in a home. But because I loved my Aunt and didn't want to hurt her feelings I would walk around and ohhh and ahhh at a home I hated, never telling her how I really felt. She was a lifelong agent and the best in her field and because I was clueless about buying real estate, I wasted so much time. Having fun is being close to your agent. If you hate the house, tell your agent you hate the house. I would rather spend 5 hours in a house you like then one second in one you do not. It is fun to develop your team so you can share your true feelings with your team.
REMEMBER YOU ARE IMPORTANT: Before I hired my aunt Becky I started going around to Open Houses. I will never forget one experience I had. I guess I looked very young and not financially qualified or something. I went into an Open House in casual clothing at a little rambler in Falls Church. I was IN LOVE WITH THE HOUSE and I tried to talk to the agent, but she was busy and did not make time for me. I ended up leaving. This agent did not take the time to find out I had a pre-approval letter. This agent did not find out I could afford her listing and she did not find out I had 20% downpayment. I left feeling very unimportant and she did not get the sale. Remember, you are important to me, to your lender, to the contractors who inspect your home. You should feel like a very important person at all times throughout the process and building a trusted team can reinforce your value.
If you or someone you know would like to further discuss a home purchase, please call me Lisa Ducibella, Realtor, ABR at 703-725-5225. I am here to assist.