Conduct Your Home Search
Establish Your Priorities
One basic question every homebuyer should ask themselves is: Why am I buying a home? It sounds like an easy question, but you’ll be surprised at how many other questions can come from it. Before working with a real estate agent, you will be doing yourself and your future agent a favor by establishing your housing priorities. The more you’ve thought about what you want, the easier it will be to work with an agent to find a home. Below are two documents to help you get started. Feel free to make your own lists to help you establish your priorities.
A real estate agent can take on one of five different roles: seller’s agent, buyer’s agent, facilitator, designated seller’s/buyer’s agent, or dual agent. It is important to know what type of agent you are working with. Your agent should present you with a copy of the Massachusetts Mandatory Licensee-Consumer Relationship Disclosure to establish their role. If you are working with a buyer’s agent, you may be presented with a Buyer Representation Agreement form. For an explanation of both the Relationship Disclosure and the Representation form, click here.
Tips for Hiring a Buyer’s Agent
The Home Search Process
At this point you should have a pre-approval from a lender, which will give you a good idea of what your maximum purchase is. It is then up to you to figure out what your price range. Knowing that can help you figure out what type of property and in what area you can expect to buy. In addition to knowing what you can afford, it is important to know the different levels of responsibility and what goes into buying and owning a condo vs. a single family vs. a multi-family home. A condo may be a good idea if you are not concerned with having a lot of space and don’t want to have to deal with the hassle of lawn maintenance and snow removal. However, if privacy and space are your motivating factors of owning your own home, you would likely want to look into a single family home. If you can take on the responsibility of maintaining not just your unit, but other units as well, and you are familiar with landlord-tenant law, buying a multi-family may be right for you. If you go out and find that where you want to buy is proving to be above your price range, you may want to look into affordable homeownership. This can be a great opportunity for buyers to purchase their first home.