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House hunting has become a contact sport over the past two years. The idealized vision of a leisurely Saturday morning reviewing open houses and plotting the day’s tours over lattes and croissants is a thing of the past. While popping into the local open house might be fun for the casual looker, if you are serious about finding your next home, this climate demands strategy.

First, think about what you need and want in a new home. Then share this vision in detail with your agent. Identify what's important to you like bedroom count, size of living space, do you need an office, big kitchen, pool, big yard for the dogs, to be close to the freeway for a work commute, and so on. When working with buyers, I always share a buyer questionaire to help you think about your needs/wants. With lower inventory from which to choose, you also need to be clear about any compromises you are willing to make—if any. Once you and your agent know what you’re looking for, the next step is to let your agent set you up on a home search. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I do after getting out of bed in the morning is 1. Make a green tea and 2. sit down and check the MLS.

The MLS is a portal where all the local agents post homes for sale, and is where sites like Zillow get their data. The importance of using an experienced agent is, that they know the MLS gets all the home info FIRST while Zillow is days behind. I would never want my buyers finding a home on Zillow that says "available" when in reality, it was sold days ago! That being said, with me as your agent, you will be sent homes daily that fit your criteria, and wont be waiting to see them on Zillow days later. This makes you steps ahead of lots of buyers, and in a good position to see the home with time to make a winning offer, you know how competitive I am!

Serious buyers need to prioritize their search to position themselves ahead of their competition. Being available to see new listings as soon as possible is one way to ensure you don’t lose out on an opportunity to write an offer on the right home. That being said, communicate with your agent about your schedule, when is the best time to see homes for you? If your schedule is tight, you may need to try to be flexible or see homes over your lunch break, because waiting for the weekend is not usually the best option as many homes will have had several offers by that time.

The most important takeaway of this is 1. communicate communicate and 2. who you work with matters! Being a buyer in this market is not easy, however if you have an agent who prioritizes you and your needs then you will have a fighting chance!

If you are curious about the home buying process, check out my buyers guide in the "Resources" tab or contact me!

Your Running Red Realtor,

Gabrielle Sugg

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