Home Guide

No-Nonsense Tips For Home Buyers

Ready to buy? You better get your facts straight first. Here are pro tips from local realtors to help you shop smart.


Get Pre-Approved
“Understand what you can afford and what you’re comfortable spending before you start looking. A pre-approved buyer will fare much better in a negotiation – especially when there are multiple parties interested in a property – than a buyer who hasn’t done this important first step.” -Jim DeRentis, Residential Properties

“The worst thing is falling in love with a house and then finding out you are not approved for that mortgage amount. Do your homework and call a mortgage rep.”
-Aleen Weiss, Spitz-Weiss Realtors

“Make sure to get pre-qualified before you go out to look. This will put you in a stronger negotiating position and allow you to move quickly if you need to.” -Jay Readyhough, Bay Realty

“Have your pre-approval in hand when looking at homes. This way you are prepared to make an offer right away. The good listings sell very quickly.” -Debbie Chennisi, Rhode Island Real Estate Services

“Don’t use the bigger banks, use a mortgage broker. The ones I work with I can contact seven days a week, 24 hours a day. You can’t do that with the banks.” -Kevin Fox, Residential Properties

Find a Buyer’s Agent You Trust
“Talk to friends, check websites for recommendations. Meet with agents. Make sure the agent fits your needs and time constraints and knows the area. Do they return your calls? Do they email you back? Do they make you feel comfortable? You are about to make one of the biggest purchases in your life – make sure that you trust the person you are working with.” -Aleen Weiss

“Choose a realtor who knows the areas where you want to live. They will help you refine your search and may even show you neighborhoods you hadn’t considered. A good realtor will quickly deduce what you are looking for and then guide you to areas that will best fit your goals and your budget.” -Jim DeRentis

“A great agent helps buyers – in particular young buyers – look beyond staging. Staging is seductive but I always tell my clients, “Let’s look beyond this.” Did they just put lipstick on this house? Has nothing been done for 30, 40, 50 years? What do the mechanicals look like, have they been updated? I don’t want my customers to be seduced by snazzy furniture. I want them to look at the bones of the place.” -Kevin Fox

Determine Your Must-Haves… But Be Sensible
“Determine your must haves up front and know what you are willing to give up in order to have a successful transaction. There will always be a negotiation and if you know what is most important going in, it will make the process a bit easier.” -Jim DeRentis

“I meet buyers who have a $300,000 budget but they want soup to nuts. They want four bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, a finished basement. In the market I work in, that’s just completely unrealistic.” -Kevin Fox

“Do you want a neighborhood? Are you looking for a specific school system? These are important factors that your agent can help you with. But only you can decide if you are willing to swap one for another if you fall in love… and you will.” -Aleen Weiss

Do Certain Things the Old-Fashioned Way
“Today buyers are inundated with information from the internet – from sites like Zillow and Trulia – and they feel that they are empowered. And they are. But they still need someone who can extrapolate that information and help them under-stand it from the market point of view.” -Kevin Fox

“Houses look great online but sometimes those ads are misleading. Make sure you drive around the neighborhood.” -Aleen Weiss

“Go out and look at as many properties as you can with your agent. Go out and look at open houses. You will begin to get a sense of what is over-valued and what is under-valued. You’ll also know when something is priced well and you’ll have to pay full price for it.” -Kevin Fox

Be Flexible Regarding the Property Inspection
“Have the property thoroughly inspected by qualified professionals but remember that no home is perfect. Don’t let inspection results overwhelm you; be fair and reasonable. If it’s a property you really love, work at renegotiating sticking points through credits from the seller or an adjustment in the sales price.” -Jay Readyhough

“Realize you are purchasing a used home. Don’t nickel and dime with the seller after the inspection.” -Debbie Chennisi

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