An unfortunate scenario occurs over and over again every weekend in the Greater Boston area. It plays out something like this.
A wanna-be homebuyer decides buying a home and building equity makes more sense than writing rent checks to a landlord, paying off the landlord's mortgage, and funding the landlord's retirement. So far, so good.
So the homebuyer takes what seems like the next logical step. The
Next, maybe the homebuyer stops into their large bank and speaks with a "customer service specialist" about mortgage interest rates. Not the best approach.
Then it's off to open houses without any professional representation, without any advice about the current real estate market, and a pre-qualification likely not worth the paper it is printed on. Now the home-buying plan begins to go off the rails.
After all, the agent or agents conducting the open house have a fiduciary responsibility to the seller. In other words, if they are doing their job they want a potential homebuyer to pay the highest price for that home with terms more favorable to the seller. Your hope for a successful home-buying outcome has officially been derailed.
The number one regret of homebuyers surveyed by Zillow for its 2016 consumer housing trends report was not starting the home-buying process soon enough. In other words, they did not carefully think through and did not plan their home-buying journey before taking the plunge. Many of these regretful homebuyers, whether they are willing to admit it or not, wish they wore a life jacket while navigating the home-buying process in often turbulent Boston area housing market. Don't be that homebuyer.
Buying a home in Massachusetts does not have to be stressful, but like any other important decision in life, it's not what you don't know; it's what you don't know you don't know. There is much to consider, including understanding the roles and types of agents and who pays those agents and how; financing a home and the many mortgage programs available; critical steps to buying a home, from searching to the closing; and what the real estate market is like where you want to buy. Informed homebuyers have better results.
There's nothing wrong with online research but meeting with or at least speaking with a qualified and dedicated buyer agent from a reputable company before starting the process is a wise first step. Choosing to spend a couple of weeks or more preparing for your home search might be the best decision you make regarding home ownership. Take the time and obtain the home-buying advice needed to succeed.