A step-by-step process to buy your ideal home
How to find discounted off-market opportunities?
How to find the agent with the most insider information?
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases of your life. Here are some questions you might be asking yourself:
- How do you identify the best area?
- How do you find the ideal home?
- How do you get it at a good price?
- Do I need to work with an agent or should I do it myself?
- If I do need to work with an agent, who should I work with?
Below we answer all these questions and more.
A proven step-by-step process to identify and buy your ideal home
It is important to gain clarity on what you want before starting the process. Putting the ladder in the wrong wall only to realize after climbing it can be frustrating. Below are the steps that will help you clarify your ideas while you learn about where your dream home is.
- Think about all the things you want, as well as the things you do not want in a home and a neighborhood. If you have a significant other, do it together
- Write a list of criteria you want. Criteria can be anything about a home, such as distance to work, number of rooms, balcony, house or condo, pool, indoor garage, price, etc...
- Write a list of criteria you do not want.
- In each of the lists above next to each criteria, designate whether that criteria is negotiable or non-negotiable.
- Share the criteria with us.
- Together we will create a broad search in the MLS for ALL the homes that meet your absolute minimum criteria. We use the absolute minimum criteria because you want to make sure that no homes slip through the cracks.
- Weed out the homes from our MLS search that you do not like. Our software shows you everything available in the MLS and allows you to favorite, put notes or discard a property. For now, your only job is to weed out the homes that do not match the criteria.
- Share your findings with us so we can adjust the search. The process above will expose some additional features you may want to add or remove from the home search.
- Repeat the above steps as you search until you feel the criteria are exactly what you want. As you search ,you will start learning more about your needs as well as the homes in your desired area.
- Now start favoriting the homes that best match what you want. Explain what about that home made it a favorite in the notes.
- With this information, we will be able to find other potential properties that are not on the market but might be open to selling to you - off-market opportunities.
- If you are financing, talk to a mortgage lender. It is important to have the pre-approval letter before going to see homes, because that last thing you want is to run into your PERFECT home only to lose it because it took too long to get the approval letter.
- Now that the homes are narrowed down, we know where the best home for you will be. We will find the agent with the most experience in that area with homes like that. This will get us insider information about the neighborhood and potential homes. This will also help us find off-market opportunities.
- Visit the homes.
- Every time you visit a new home, compare it with your current most favorite home. If this new home becomes the new favorite, discard the old one, otherwise, discard the new one. This way, you are always only comparing 2 homes. For example - Look at home A, then look at home B. If home A is preferable, throw home B away. Then look at home C and compare A with C and discard the loser. Do not keep holding onto homes that are not the top contender. The reason to do this is that as you see more and more homes, they start getting mixed up in our minds. By only keeping the top contender and the latest home it will be much easier to decide as the information will not be mixed up in our minds
- Write an offer
- Final contingencies
How to buy great opportunities in off-market properties.
The reason off-market opportunities are interesting is that when you make an offer on an off-market property, you are the only offer. So if the seller needs to sell and does not know that another buyer would pay more, you might get a very good deal.
There are several approaches to finding off-market properties to make offers on.
Finding off-market properties
Working with a listing agent in that area.
Agents that specialize in an area spend all day prospecting home owners to try to get listings. By communicating with these agents, you can find out about potential opportunities of sellers who want to sell but have not yet put their property on the market.
Properties that failed to sell on the MLS
As many as half of the homes that list the first time fail to sell. By looking at all the homes that failed to sell in the last few years, you can see properties with owners that are open to offers. Since they have already tried selling at a price that did not work out, many times these owners become more flexible with their price.
Location and criteria.
Once we and your agent know exactly what you are looking for, we can search in the tax records for homes that might match your needs. If looking at a building and you know which floor plan you like, we can approach the other owners that own that floor plan to see if they are open to offers. The same goes for homes in a particular community.
Finding the homeowner
Once you have found a potential home to make an off-market offer, it is very important to approach the owner carefully. Since these homeowners are approached all the time by agents, the message must be conveyed in a well thought out manner. We openly tell them we are not looking for a listing and are as specific as possible about what we are looking for, with information on the buyer. We have a very effective script for the phone and written communications.
Here are some great paid services to get the homeowner’s phone number:
- Cole Realty Resource
If we are not able to reach them on the phone, the next steps are to write them a letter. To stand out, it is important to handwrite the letter. That will pretty much guarantee they open the letter. If they are interested in selling, they will reach out. Very specific language must be used in order to not be confused with an agent trying to get a listing.
Most people today use some form of social media. If you are able to find them on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn, the same approach as above applies. Sometimes it is hard to communicate with someone you are not connected with, but very often this works.
The final way to reach the owner is to door knock. This makes it virtually impossible for them to ignore you and you’ll have the opportunity to know for sure whether they are open to offers. Some places do have restrictions, but most do not. If it is a condominium, you can go to the front desk and ask the concierge to relay a message while you wait.
Finding The Agent with Insider information.
From our research, there are typically 1 to 3 agents that move 90% of the properties in a specific community. Imagine that before buying, you could speak to an expert that has bought and sold the most amount of homes in that community. That agent would bring tremendous opportunities with their insider knowledge.
Why not use valuable information to make a smarter choice?
We have over a decade of experience in helping buyers get off-market deals.
Our service is free. There is no comittment.
Contact us today to get started.
How are we different from other similar services?
- They only work with a network of agents that have accepted working with those services, which limits the pool of agents the services refer to you.
- Many are agents that paid to be there, who are not necessarily the best.
- They do not provide ranking data for all agents.
- Often times, random agents are assigned.
- They have many agents bombarding you with calls after you submit your information. They sell you as a "lead".
- We help you look in the MLS directly.
- We do not limit our pool of potential realtor referrals in any way.
- We rank EVERY SINGLE AGENT in that market.
- We provide all of the data on each agent for you to decide, not us.
- You pick the agent(s) you would like to interview. Only after your consent, do we introduce you and the agent.
- We provide all of the background information that is only accessible to agents so you can make a better decision about pricing.
- We help stay on top of that agent to ensure they are doing the absolute best possible job.
- We help you close the deal.