Step 1: The Search | How to Find the Perfect Home

The perfect home–things to consider

Starting to look for the perfect home is an overwhelming task. By now you haveprobably been scouring the internetfor weeksand have seen a few places that check all theboxes but how do you REALLY know that’s the right one.With years of experience, I can filter all the information and help you consider things you would have not considered otherwise.When I first meet with my clients, I ask them to make two lists: the “home of my dream list” (that’s a 10) and the “non-negotiable” list (that’s a 6-7). Then I help them find a home in that range. You will have no problem making the first list; some of the things to consider for the second list are:

  • What style of a home do you like: open concept, high-rise, walk-upmodern, loft etc.?
  • Do you need parking–are you OK with an outdoor space or do youabsolutely need a garage space?
  • Are you willing to do some work–the best deals are found where other buyers fail to see potential.
  • Do you need a back yard or killer outdoor space?
  • How close do you need to be to public transportation?
  • Is a school district important–now or for resale?
  • Do you need all bedrooms on one level?

Once I have both lists, I will set up a property search on the MLS. The value ofchecking the MLS rather than real estate web portals is that I can be a lot more precise in setting up the search parameters. You will not waste your time lookingat endless lists of features to determine if the house meets all of your criteria. You will get the MLS emails as often as you’d like–weekly, daily or in real time. The initial email will have all listings available based on what you told me. After that, you will only get updates with new listings and price or status changes.When you get the listings, you can then mark them as follows:

  • INTERESTED–the house checks all the boxes.
  • MAYBE–you are not sure. I will look at these listings one-by-one to see if it could become a yes with small changes.
  • NOT INTERESTED–will not work no matter what changes you can make.

I’ll be able to view your feedback when you leave comments on each listing. The more information you give me, the better I can hone in on what would work for you. Don’t worry–we can look at every single home but after the first time out, can usually tell what kind of a home you will fall in love with.When you see something you really, really love, we can try to get you in ASAP. However, since it takesthe seller some time to prepare the house for a showing and in the Chicago market, the listing agent is also usually present (no lockboxes)and 24-hournotice is preferred. While you are focusing on checking the listings daily, I will also be checking a Private Listing Network (those are listings available for the brokers to see but not advertised on any public sites) and Top Agent Network–a site available to top realtors in Chicago where listings get advertised before they are offered to the general public. I will also be working with my contacts to see if I can find a seller amongst the hundreds of homeowners I have helped in the past three decades. I am sure you will still be looking at your favorite search portals. Most of the time, I will see the listings before you do, but if you find something I have not shared with you, do not contact the agent on your own. Forward the listing to me and I will set up a time to view it with you.When the listing has an update, here is what the status changes mean:

  • CONTINGENT–a contract is signed contingent on a home inspectionand attorney review.
  • PENDING–the deal is in post attorney review and inspection, now waiting for closing. Most likely still contingent on financing.
  • CONTINGENT 48 OR 72H-the buyers have to sell their house. If another offer is presented, they have either48 or 72 hours to remove their home sale contingency or they lose the house.
  • TEMPORARILY OFF THE MARKET–the seller has taken the house off the market, but it will be available at a later time.
  • BACK ON THE MARKET–a contract fell through (read here about 3 common reasons inspections kill deals).
  • CANCELLED–this means either the seller is no longer interested in selling or the listing was canceled and will be relisted as New.
  • EXPIRED-when you no longer see the listing you marked “Interested” itmay have expired. Please let me know and I will contact the seller’s agent or the seller directly.

If you visit an open house and fall in love with a place, make sure to tell the listing agent you are working with a broker. That way you assure that your best interests are represented throughout the offer negotiations when the listing broker’s fiduciary is to the seller.

Are you thinking about buying a home? Call us at 773-234-3201