Buying and selling homes are both hugely personal tasks that can represent major life transitions for many people. So why do so many choose a realtor as if they’re ordering from a fast food drive-up window?
Realtors do so much more than guide you through the intricacies of the home-buying and -selling processes. They can become a trusted confidante who gets to know the needs of you and your family, and who works hard to meet them as closely as they can. At the risk of sounding cheesy, a good realtor can help you live your dream life, starting with the right home.
But there’s a catch: They can’t do it without your help. If you’re not secure in your own needs and wants, your realtor is going to have a really hard time meeting them. That’s why it’s so critical to get a firm handle on your personal goals when it comes to buying and selling your home—before even meeting with a realtor. Here are some questions to start with.
- Where do you stand financially? It’s basic, yes, but you’d be surprised by how many people come into meetings without a clear understanding of their finances. How much do you need to make off of your home’s sale? How much can you spend on a new home? What other financial goals do you have that may impact your future spending?
- Are you a control freak, or do you need a strong guide? Some clients come in knowing exactly what they want out of a home, complete with a list of properties they’re ready to view. Others need help figuring out where they want to live. Different realtors excel at helping these different personality types.
- What’s your timeline? Maybe you’re planning to make a move in the near future so you need to sell your current home and buy a new one quickly. Or maybe the idea of moving is just a dream at this point, and you’re in no rush. Your own schedule and deadlines will help a realtor realistically determine whether they have the bandwidth to give you the service you need.
Once you feel confident in your real estate goals—and how they impact your overall life goals—you’ll be ready to meet with a realtor and determine whether or not they’re the right person to help you achieve them. And if they’re not? That’s OK—this is a big moment in your life, so keep looking until you find the right realtor for you.