You’ve googled me. We’ve texted. Maybe we’ve even spoken by phone. (Full disclosure: I tend to call you more than I text you. I’m old-fashioned that way!) We’ve arranged our first date (er—meeting!). Casual: coffee, maybe lunch. We both want to make a good impression.
But hey! You can relax! We’re going to be hanging out together—a lot—over the coming weeks. And we’re going to have fun. I already like you. And I promise you’re going to like me, too.
While you don’t have to dress up or go out of your way to impress me, there are a few things you can do to make our initial meeting productive so we can begin making progress toward finding your next home!
- Know Your Budget. The best way to do this is to get pre-approved for a home loan. Meet with a lender. Meet with several lenders. Get an idea of down payment options, interest rates, and the maximum amount of money for which you’re approved. Note: the maximum amount you’re approved for might not be the same as your actual maximum budget! If you haven’t gone through the pre-approval process yet or if you need a referral to a reputable lender, no problem! I can help to connect you with someone great so that you’re ready when it’s time to make an offer.
- Know Your Neighborhoods. One of the first questions I’ll ask you is what neighborhoods you’re interested in. If you already live in the area, you may have a good sense of where you want to concentrate your search for your next home. If you’re moving from out-of-town or out-of-state, it might take a little longer to narrow your focus. In this instance, it’s helpful for me to know what’s important to you. Is it walkability? Proximity to transit? Do you love the idea of living near greenspace? You can do some homework ahead of our first meeting by researching local neighborhoods and taking the time to explore and drive the areas you’re drawn to.
- Make Your List. You might already have a vision of your dream home in your mind. Or, you might think that you’ll “know it when you see it.” Either way, it’s a great idea to make a list of your criteria. In fact, make several lists: a “must-have” list, a “nice-to-have” list, and a “deal-breaker” list. Are you a gourmet chef who insists on having a gas range? List that in your “must-haves.” Would you like to have a powder room for guests, but you can probably live without it? List that in your “nice-to-haves.” Is a split-level a hard no in your book? List that in your “deal-breakers.” Remember: your “dream” home might not exist among the homes currently on the market—so you’ll need to either be prepared to wait for that home to come along, or be aware of where you can and cannot make concessions.
- Know Your Timeline. A lot of factors influence your timeline for moving. Perhaps you need to sell your current home before you can move. Perhaps you’ve already sold your current home and need to find a new place ASAP. Or perhaps you’ve secured a new job in the area and want to find a new place in advance of your move from out-of-state. Whatever your situation, it’s good for me to understand your urgency (or lack thereof).
As you arrive at our first meeting, know this: you are important to me. Over the years, many of my clients have become dear friends. Whatever your budget, criteria, and timeline, I’m dedicated to helping you to find your next ideal home. I can’t wait to begin this relationship!