Whether you are looking for your first home, upgrading to a larger home or downsizing, shopping for Northern Virginia real estate is an exciting and, at times, stressful process. By heading into the fray with a strategy and the proper tools you will have much more success and enjoyment.
Assess Your Needs
The very first step in shopping for real estate is to figure out what you need. Remember that you are not likely to find a property that fits all of your wants, however you shouldn’t settle for something less than what your family needs.
Make a list of the features you are looking for in a home, starting with the number one priority and working your way downward. Location, size and price range are likely to be the top three features, followed by layout, age and the yard size (not necessarily in that order). Talk through this list with your family and come to an agreement about just what is important in a home.
Assess the Market
Most people require the help of a Northern Virginia real estate professional at this stage. They may be able to browse the properties for sale online or in print publications, but they are better to have the insider information and expertise of a realtor.
Your realtor will have access to details on brand new and exclusive property listings, often well before they are available to the general public. Many of the best deals on desirable properties are made between realtors well before the online and print listings have them included. Think of how much broader your search will be with the help of this information and these professionals.
Consider the Finances
It’s very important to get your financing in order before you seriously shop for real estate. When the market is ripe or the perfect property has been found you must have the ability to put in an offer right away. Setting up financing takes time. If you are not prepared that dream home could very well be snatched up by another buyer while you are at the bank.
Get as much of the process completed with the approvals in place ahead of time. This will give you the flexibility of knowing what you can afford, as well as the ability to put in offers with fewer conditions.
Think About Your Current Property
If you currently own a home now is also the time to assess how much it can be sold for. You will also need to tackle any home improvement projects that will allow your home to sell quicker and for a higher value. Consult your real estate professional about this as well and invest your money into projects that will attract buyers. A fresh coat of paint, landscaping touch ups and obvious repairs that need to be done are among the most important projects to be completed at this stage.
These stages are essential while shopping for Northern Virginia real estate. Considering what you need and what is available, as well as how much you could sell your existing property for will help to narrow down the search. Setting up your financing is a wise move that will make the entire process smoother when you do locate the perfect home. Start the whole thing off by finding an experienced realtor who knows the area and then get moving.