Why Photos are NOT the Best way to Find a Home
We have not been following our first-time homebuyer, Hadley, but she has been busy without us. Spending hours in the evenings on her computer, she makes a list of the homes she likes and calls her agent at the end of the week to set up appointments. They go out looking on Saturdays but have not found anything Hadley likes! Why is that??
Most folks rely too heavily on the photos when looking for a home. Many homes have terrible photos. Some listing agents take them at night or they do not clean up the clutter first. Some houses have siding that appears “wavy” if the photo is not the correct type. Some agents use wide-angle lenses. Most only take photos of the attractive portions of the home.
You cannot tell the overall location, lot size or terrain, quality of construction or level of care without going to see a home. Hadley has been totally focused on the style of decorating and the kitchen and bath finishes. She missed at least 5 homes with kitchens that could have been improved with very little expense. All were in great neighborhoods.
Hadley also has rejected good homes with paint colors she does not like. Bright orange in the dining room got one house crossed off the list before it even had a chance!
Hadley’s agent faces a tough choice. She can either continue to function as a door opener for Hadley and risk never finding her the right home. Or she can speak up and suggest that they go see some of the homes she knows to be in good areas and look at some of the other factors. This could also be risky. Hadley may see her as not listening to her wishes.
Many people view real estate agents as inept, unintelligent and expensive. Some are. But an exclusive buyer agent is trained in representing just buyers, has chosen to be an advocate instead of a “deal-maker” and is almost always no cost to the buyer. This evidences a desire for professionalism. If a professional option exists in the home-buying business, that is the one to find and use.
Demand of your agent that he or she be on only your side of the deal, that she teach you about the best areas and the best houses. Demand that he prove the value of a home by showing empirical evidence of sales prices–before you submit an offer. Look for someone who is a good negotiator, keeps your business to herself and prides herself on having clients who use her over and over again.
• Internet searches are a great back up tool to be sure your agent has correctly identified what you want to see
• Internet searches are NOT a good way to find a home if they are the only method you use
• Many objectionable qualities seen in photos are not expensive to fix
• All of the qualities you cannot see in photos, like location and layout and yard size, are more important
To avoid these issues and others when buying a home, use the services of an experienced, trustworthy exclusive buyer’s agent. Sage Realty is one of the ONLY exclusive agencies in the Philadelphia metropolitan area. Go for a completely different home-buying experience. Contact Sage today.