There was a woman who had been referred to me by a previously satisfied client. We’ll call this woman Yvonne. Yvonne wanted to buy a home, a very specific home, but she didn’t have the bandwidth to spend a ton of time looking. Long story short, we looked at two homes I thought met her requirements. She would have been happy with the first one she was shown, but when she saw the second one, THAT was “the one.”

Yvonne then referred a friend of hers to HomeQuest. That friend fell so in love with the first property she was shown that we wrote her offer in the driveway of the home before we left.

How the heck (you wonder)?! Check it out. First-time home buying can be daunting for many. There are lots of unknowns which can create fear and anxiety. Transparency of the process can help to alleviate a lot of that. Right up front, when a first-time homebuyer comes to meet with me, they are told what they can expect at every turn along the way.

Spending a good hour or two with clients at the very beginning is the secret sauce. We talk about their lifestyle. Where do they work? Do they have dogs? Do they have kids? What is their health like? Do they plan on being there for two or 20 years? Questions like this help me to REALLY get to know them. The answers help to inform whether we’ll be looking for a one story or a two story, how many beds and baths they’ll need, whether or not school districts are part of the consideration, etc. How they live their life is important in determining which homes will appeal to them.

Because I’ve lived in the valley since I was 15 years old, I am familiar with the different areas and what they have to offer. That knowledge helps save people a lot of time and heartache. Zillow and realtor.com can’t offer that.  

Next, we get them prequalified and then we go shopping. I narrow our search down to homes that fit the criteria that was formulated during the consultation we had. Some people want me to do the shopping for them. So was the case with Yvonne and her friend. After meeting with each of them, and based on their referrals, they trusted me. I had a solid idea of what they wanted because of the time we spent discussing it. After spending a week previewing properties for them and narrowing down the search to the few I knew they’d love, we went and saw them.

I’m working with a client right now from out of the area who is buying a home she’s actually never stepped foot in herself. Again, I previewed a bunch of homes for her and, with today’s technology, I was able to video tape four or five of them that fit her criteria and send them to her. She viewed them and she picked one of them to purchase.

Graphic courtesy of Calgary Real Estate

Clients can also rest assured that we’ll create the best offer for the value of the home they choose. One of my goals is to help first-time home buyers avoid costly mistakes. We consider the stats: average listing prices compared to selling prices in the area and how many days it’s been on the market.

I have their best interest at heart. I don’t want them leaving money on the table. It’s a balance between ensuring that and putting together an offer that will win the home. We will also write the offer in a way that protects their earnest money throughout the process.

Home “shopping” with clients is the most enjoyable part of my job. The look in the clients’ eyes when they find the home they’ve dreamed of…the feeling that brings…it’s the best!

Commission is not the goal. I’ll talk people out of a home they think they want if I know it’s not a good value or if it won’t satisfy them on some level they’ve expressed is important to them. It’s more important that they get EXACTLY what they want than it is for me to simply close a deal. All of the people involved share those the same values. The lender we work with, Brian Case at Guild Mortgage, for example, he works with the same integrity. 

Photo courtesy of Brian Case

So what’s the hottest market in the valley right now? Clean, three-bedroom, two-bathroom homes in East Medford and Central Point in the $250,000 range…there aren’t enough of them. It’s a buyer’s market for homes priced at $500,000 and more. It’s a seller’s market for homes worth less than $500,000. This is because the home values for those $500,000 below have risen more quickly than homes valued at $500,000 and above. It’s a very exciting time for real estate in the Rogue Valley. Call me when you’re ready to begin your home buying story.

Featured image courtesy of The Deal Funders.