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A Guide to Buying a Home in the Ohio Valley Area

Whether you are a first time home buyer, or just looking for a different house - here is some great advice to keep in mind during your home buying process :

1. SEE three or four homes each day until one just feels right. If you try to see more than that, they will all run together in your head. We will take notes on what you like and don't like about each one. When you find 'The One', we will do a market analysis to make sure it's priced fairly for the market.

2. LOOK past cosmetics. If there are stains on the carpet, we can write in the contract that the seller will clean them prior to closing. Don't pass up a great house that meets all your criteria of size and layout over something that can be fixed easily.

3. GET EMOTIONAL. Remember that you have to feel good in the home. Ask yourself, "is it me?" Does your personality fit with the home? If you are a traditional person who wants a two story home with a formal living room and dining room, don't be persuaded to buy a contemporary open floor plan ranch because it's the trend or it's in a popular neighborhood. You need to feel happy when you come home and open the door every day.

4. BE SMART. While homes should be updated to go with the times, be careful about putting too much money into large projects that won't pay off when you sell. Ask us about which projects are worthwhile and how to save money doing them. We'll keep the condition of the home in mind when writing the contract.

5. FIGURE IT OUT. You found a home you like. It's time to make an offer. After doing thorough research, the figures of a market analysis show that the home is worth $150,000.

  • Scenario 1:  The owners are motivated and have priced it to sell fast at $145k - they want a quick sale so they put it on the market at the lowest price they'd be willing to take. If you offered them the full $145k then you'd already have equity in the home of $5,000. Not everyone jacks the price up to build in "negotiating room." Some people don't want to play head games and just want to sell their house fast. If it's worth it, buy it. Somebody else will. Well priced houses go fast and they go first.
  • Scenario 2: They could have put it on the market at $165k and waited around for a few months until somebody offered them $150 for it. The market analysis will show that. Don't pay the $165k unless you are going to be in the house a very long time and have a strong emotional reason for buying it, for example if your sister lives next door and you both plan on living there 10 years. Otherwise, you may take a loss on it if you plan to sell it quickly.
  • Scenario 3: The owners listed it at $153,000 (knowing they'd take $150k) expecting a buyer not to take the full listing price, or to build in $3000 to help pay the buyer's closing costs. In my experience, sellers are only willing to pay closing costs with a full price offer or really close to a full price offer. Remember, the sellers were willing to take $150k. Here's where many buyers mess up: they read some where that they are supposed to "low ball" the first offer. This is a mistake if the home is fairly priced. Maybe it's different in Chicago, New York or California, but in the Louisville market We've seen sellers get insulted because the buyer offered $130,000 and so they turn into four year olds with a "I'll just take my ball and leave. I don't want to play with you anymore" attitude. They won't respond at all. So then the buyer gets rational because they really do like the house, and says "OK, I'll give you $145k" and the seller, who doesn't want to respond at all because their feelings are hurt, says "I might sell it to you for $152k". After the buyers take the counter offer they think, "I wonder if they would have come down lower." Everyone thinks this when they buy a house. And every seller thinks they could have gone higher. It's just human nature. In this scenario, the buyers and sellers got too wrapped up in the head game of "'I'm gonna get 'em down" and the buyers lost $2000 because they started the negotiation too low.

The art of negotiation is just one reason that buyers really need their own agent negotiating for their best interests. We will happily represent you and your best interests at all times. We love our job and we love helping people find a house. We've been through the negotiating process hundreds and hundreds of times.

The following links provide useful information and are a great place to start if you're considering buying a home.

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