Active Rain March 27, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Start Your Engines

Open houseWe are less than a week into “Spring” but the Spring Market has already begun in Westchester. Things are getting busy, as the cyclical nature of our industry turns to the most active period between now and July 4th. If this is the year you are looking to buy that first home, or even if you are looking to sell and perhaps “move up” you should assemble your dream team of professionals to make sure you have all the resources to make the move a happy one. 

Buying or selling a home is typically the largest business transaction of a person’s life. Given the enormous values of property in Wwestrchester and the surrounding areas, there is little room for error. Mistakes can be very expensive. Many of the short sales and pre-foreclosures I have sold in the last 2-3 years had their genesis in early mistakes. Choose your professionals wisely

  1. Your Agent. Ideally, a full time agent with a verifiable track record, references and a plan of action that makes sense to you is where to start. Interview at least 3 agents. Common mistakes to avoid are not verifying the agent’s claims, credentials, or experience. 
  2. Mortgage professional. If you are going to buy, the first thing to do is get pre approved. It takes 15 minutes on the phone to start, costs nothing, and will let you know exactly what you can afford. Don’t choose an out of town lender or one that sells their wares solely on rate alone. 
  3. Attorney. We are an attorney state, and in Metropolitan New York attorneys also prepare contracts and run title. They are the broker’s partner in negotiations and troubleshooting, and they also deal closely with your loan officer. Given that the other side will have an attorney, you want a lawyer that is local, responsive,a dn specializes in real estate. Choosing your union attorney or a friend to same a small fee is flirting with disaster. We recently had a buyer client use an attorney who cost them $15,000 when he did not attend to an issue clearly.
  4. Home inspector. If you are buying a house, get it inspected. Period. You want, ideally, an ASHI member, and one who is thorough, provides photos in their reports, and not an alarmist. It should cost $500 or so for a typical starter home. It is worth 10 times that amount.   
A chain is as strong as its weakest link. Just one goof in the choice of your team and it can affect the rest adversely. Too much is at stake to cut corners! Assembling your dream team of professionals will take you a long way toward making your transaction “bullet proof,” save you money, avoid stress, and make the deal go through successfully.