Sometimes, home buyers make a mistake that they never even know could hurt them. What is that mistake and how can they avoid it?
Well, yesterday, my husband and I took the dog for a LONG walk. The weather was gorgeous and we love strolling around Vienna. As always, we ran into lots of friends & neighbors. AND we passed quite a few homes that were for sale.
Since I’m in the business, I of course was curious about the prices & features of the homes. So I whipped out my cell phone, pressed the magic “Nearby Homes” on my new GPS enabled real estate search app and waited for them to pop up.
And that’s where the problem comes in.
The first three homes I searched for didn’t come up. At first I thought there must be a problem with the app. It’s new & state-of-the-art, but maybe there were bugs in the system. So – instead of using the app, I pulled up Safari and went into the MLS directly. And guess what, the homes were not listed in the MLS.
Two of the three homes that we walked by were new construction. One was listed with a Realtor and one was not. But neither one was listed in the MLS. This is not unusual on new homes. The third home was a home that was just about to come on the market. But it wasn’t in the MLS yet. This also is not unusual in our market. Our team for example, listed a home a few weeks ago. Last week the owner asked us to put up a Coming Soon sign in anticipation of going in the MLS today. Well – the home sold over the weekend. It never made it into the MLS.
And THIS is the mistake that Buyers often make.
They choose Realtors for many reasons (because they are “friends”, because they got a postcard, because their Mom said to, because they saw an ad, because the agent sold their previous home) that turn out not to be the greatest criteria for selecting the best person to find & negotiate for a home.
When you’re buying a home, it’s imperative that you choose an agent who has their boots on the ground in the area you’re looking in. They should be completely wired in to whatever area you’re looking to move to. When you’re searching for homes today, it may not be as simple as just running searches in the MLS.
In the cases I mentioned above, it turns out that my team knew all about the homes (I work on the marketing side, so I wasn’t as wired in.) Our team has sold more homes in Vienna than any other Realtor or team, and we have relationships with just about every builder in town. Many times, we have either listed homes for them and/or sold their homes to our buyers. And when they are building, they call us for advice on what would appeal to our buyers. So when we have a buyer in the new home price range, we don’t just run the MLS – we also put in calls to all our builder contacts to see not only what is under construction now, but what’s in the works. Oftentimes, we’re already aware of new homes not in the MLS because one of our niches is working with custom builders and so as part of our research on their behalf, we make it a point to know what’s being built in the area.
Many of the folks on our team also live in Vienna. So that means when we’re going to the grocery, taking the kids to baseball, showing property, walking the dog – we are on the ground in just about every part of town. So we know exactly what’s happening. Even if it’s not in the MLS. (And the good thing about being on a team is that we also have folks who live in Great Falls, McLean, Reston & surrounds!)
When we represent Sellers, it’s not unusual for Buyers to come through with agents who are from outlying areas, agents who only sell a few homes a year and even agents from other states. I always wonder how many houses those buyers lost out on because they didn’t even know the homes were available. Don’t make that mistake. The old saying “What you don’t know won’t hurt you.” is certainly not true here. You might miss out on your Dream Home!
Our mission is “Changing Lives For The Better – One Family At A Time” – is it time to change YOURS?! Call The Belt Team at (703) 242-3975 to schedule a FREE Buyer Consultation – or fill out our online scheduling form.