How an Agent Can Help Homebuyers Choose the Perfect Property Location

Written by Posted On Wednesday, 16 January 2019 08:50

It’s an oft-repeated mantra in the real estate industry that location is key. Yet, though it’s now become a catchphrase for well-intended agents to fall back on, it’s no less true. When it comes to helping clients find the perfect home for their needs, no consideration is as important or significant as where that home is located. A property might have great bones, an incredible interior and a sprawling backyard, but if the owner isn’t in love with what lies outside of the front stoop, he or she may never truly feel at home.


To this end, agents can play an important and integral role in helping buyers narrow down the location that is best aligned with their preferences and requirements. From proximity to workplaces to specific school zone needs, there are myriad deciding factors that can influence where a family chooses to put down roots. Today, we’re exploring how professionals in this industry can help direct their search efforts and help them narrow down their options to find the property of their dreams.


Begin With Loan Preapproval

It’s not worth the investment of time to search for homes in a neighborhood featuring homes in the million-dollar price range if clients have only been preapproved for $200,000. Before beginning any real estate search, an agent should understand the working budget.


Then, when it’s time to compare available homes that fit within that sphere, agents should also encourage buyers to take a look at property taxes associated with that area. Suddenly, a farmhouse in the middle of 20 acres might not seem like such a great deal if the taxes are through the roof based on land being a hot commodity in that specific county. Factoring those tax payments into a monthly mortgage can give buyers a clearer sense of how much they’ll be expected to pay each month. From there, they’ll be able to understand more clearly how much they can afford, allowing agents to nix certain neighborhoods that fall too far below or above that given range.


Encourage Flexibility

Often, a real estate agent will work with buyers who want to go one home bracket above their pre-approved amount, as these buyers explain that they’re willing to pay a little more to get the home of their dreams. Yet, this is the time to go back to the drawing board and re-examine their priorities and preferences. If their wish list is so inclusive that nothing in their budget is looking desirable, it could be that they’re not willing to compromise on a property.


Remind them that there are some things they can change about a home and some that will remain, regardless of the price they pay for it. For instance, a house could be covered in paint colors they love and match their decorating style completely, but it might be an hour from their office. In this case, logistics will normally rule out aesthetics. The same applies for homes in flood zones, next to a busy street, and more. It’s important to keep a big-picture perspective in this case and remind prospective buyers that when they purchase a home,they aren’t just buying the structure itself. Rather, they’re investing in the area that surrounds it as well, and if they’re only satisfied when they’re inside, that could be a major warning sign that it’s time to continue the search elsewhere.


Keeping the Radius Large

Rather than laser-focusing all search efforts to a specific neighborhood, encourage clients to look around at surrounding properties and take all amenities into consideration. For instance, one community might be closer to work than another or boast a members-only swimming pool that they could use. Still, another might be more kid-friendly, with wide streets and common recreational areas.


When researching places to see, also keep in mind how close a given property is to nearby attractions including dining and entertainment options, outdoor venues and the hidden gems associated with a locale, as well.


Also, interested buyers should visit any property that catches their eye at varying hours of the day. While it might be especially appealing in the afternoon sunlight, it might take on an entirely different vibe when the sun goes down, and vice versa. Homes that look warm and aglow from within at dusk could reveal major structural issues when the sun hits them just right. Shrewd homebuyers can also hop online to learn about a home’s crime ratings, proximity to schools and more. Other tools, including a police department-issued crime mapper, can assist in this regard and provide more detailed information on crime rates and safety concerns in a given location.


Looking into the Future: The Aspect of Resale Value and More

Finally, homebuyers should also consider how much resale value a home has. Even if they’re intending for this to be their forever home and have no plans to sell or move in the near or long-term future, this data is important to know for inheritance purposes, if the family intends to include the property in their will.


One aspect that could negatively affect resale value is the timeline of the property’s construction. A newly-built home with fresh appliances and no former owners might feel like a dream, but if you’re selling it five years down the road and there are other, newer homes popping up right in your same cul-de-sac, chances are high that your property will be overlooked in favor of a newer model. In this vein, it’s similar to technology in that something considered a hot trend one day can be rendered obsolete the very next as the industry continues to sophisticate.


Finding the Right Balance and Location

It can be a challenge for modern real estate agents to find a property that fits their clients’ expectations in terms of location, resale value, interior features and external amenities. Yet, it isn’t impossible if plenty of research is involved and buyers remain flexible and open to the process. Keeping location top of mind means that if a home needs a fresh coat or paint or a new fence, but is an ideal distance from school, work and play, it may be worth investing in.


Forward-thinking buyers and agents alike will search for properties that fit general specifications, allowing flexibility and wiggle room for those changeable elements that aren’t static enough to influence a major buying decision. Yes it’s true that location is key, and real estate agents are the ones holding it.

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