(Closed) When to get a realtor? How long did it take to find the perfect house?

posted 5 years ago in Home
Post # 2
Member
7153 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

We got a realtor first, and he sent us a list of houses that fit our criteria, then we sent him a list of homes we wanted to see.  I think it took two house hunting ventures to find the house we wanted.  But it can take anywhere from one house hunting venture to several.  Start as early as you are ready to move, but not so late that you’re desperate to move in the next 60 days.  Give yourself flexibility!

Post # 3
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

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MsGinkgo:  I’m a realtor, and I’d say find one as soon as you’ve been prequalified for a mortgage and you are serious about buying.

If you are trying to coordinate with the end of a lease to move, you’ll want to be under contract (called in escrow in some states) at minimum 30 days before your lease is up, probably a max of 60 days. So, start looking 2-3 months before your lease is up, if that’s a consideration.

Part of it depends on your market. I know in the Denver Metro area, houses are frequently under contract within 2-3 days (at most!), but in other areas, you can look earlier because houses will still be available when you want to make an offer and you can take your time looking.

 

As far as hoe long it takes to find the right house, there are so many variables. For us, it took about a month, but we were looking in a small area with somewhat limited options in our price range. If you’re too picky or too broad about your search, it could take longer.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  gingerkitten.
Post # 4
Member
15128 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

It took us about 6 months to settle on the “perfect” house.  I was only willing to look at about 4 neighborhoods a budget that was not quite fitting for it.  It was doable, but smaller or needed a lot more work which we didn’t like.  We ended up having to up our budget about 25% and by the end of the 6 months at seen every single house available in the price/size/location we wanted and was just waiting for homes to come on the market.  We were about to give up and wait till next season when we upped the budget just a little more for our house.

Post # 6
Member
2639 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2014 - Italian Villa

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MsGinkgo:  Sounds like you’re taking all the right steps so far! I hope you find what you are looking for 🙂

Post # 8
Member
15128 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

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MsGinkgo:  It sounds like you have some good options and are being reasonable with your expectations of what you can buy for your money.  We (or at least I) was definitely being a bit unreasonable so that made it harder for us which is why we ended up having to up our original (very conservative) budget. 

Post # 9
Member
2013 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

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MsGinkgo:  I contacted our realtor once we decided we were seriously ready buy a home. Like, if we found our dream home the next day we were ready to put in an offer. We went to a few open houses on our own while we were gauging our interests and saving money. When I finally contacted her, her first suggestion was to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan, and she recommended a broker to us. As soon as we got the pre-approval, she started booking showings for us. I first reached out to her in February and we started viewing homes in person in March. We found our house in July and closed in September.

Post # 10
Member
1039 posts
Bumble bee

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MsGinkgo:  Prequalify for a mortgage, set a rough budget, find a realtor who knows the specific neighborhoods you are looking at – get reccs form friends/family/co-workers/etc. Basically, if you have a set of guidelines you’d like to follow and your realtor is showing you listings that don’t fit those guidelines, then he/she isn’s listening to you and you need a new realtor (unless you have crazy requirements that don’t match the budget). We started looking in November and found a home in December but the inspection process brought up a lot of issues and we ultimately walked away. We restarted the search at the end of Feb and with after back and forth with the sellers, the inspection, appraisal and mortgage commitment, we closed in mid May. 

Post # 13
Member
3535 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2015

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MsGinkgo:  We got a realtor right after we were pre-approved and when we were ready to actually start the process for real (ie make offers on houses).

Post # 14
Member
1603 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

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MsGinkgo: We were looking to buy for fall as our apartment lease is up September 30. We spoke to a mortgage specialist who told us that it was better to start looking earlier than later, as a lot of houses in our city are going with 45-60 day closings. We found a realtor after getting preapproved and two weeks later bought a house! It was ridiculously fast, but by that point we had looked at around 15 or so, and more than that the house we found was exactly what we wanted (more, actually!), where we wanted, and the price we wanted. We were certain we wouldn’t even be considered by the seller because we were asking to purchase no earlier than August (as in, a 90 day close)… and then our realtors told us that the sellers were asking for 90 days, too.

From our experience, I would say find a realtor as soon as you can; they’ll work with you and let you know if it’s too early to be looking, but to be honest, I think it’s best to get an idea of what the market is like in your area and what kind of house you can really afford before you start looking seriously.

Post # 15
Member
5072 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2012

Realtor first, then preapproved for mortgage.

we walked thru at least 40 houses (no joke) and put written offers in on nine of them before we got our house.  I thought we’d never get one. The real estate market here was nuts. . things were selling in less than 24 hours.  

 

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