Real estate issues can provide plenty of opportunities for making mistakes and general confusion. If you are first-time home-buyer, it can seem like you've entered a whole new world of strange terms and complex financial formulas. Rest easy and read the below information that might help clear up some of your more pressing questions.
What Is the MLS?
Agents use the multiple listing service (MLS) as a resource for all properties that are in any stage of existence. The MLS is a large database of valuable and vital information about homes, but, in most cases, the MLS listings do not include for sale by owner properties. The MLS provides real estate agents and the buyers and sellers who depend on those agents with the following information:
- All properties that are for sale.
- The price, legal description, address, square footage, beds and baths, and tons of other information about each property.
- The past sales history of properties, including previous sales prices and time on the market.
How Much Should I Spend?
The old advice suggests that buyers should multiply their income by 2.5 to arrive at an approximate price, but there is far more that goes into the equation. The only real way to arrive at a price range to conduct your home search is by speaking to a lender and getting pre-approved based on your income, budget, and credit.
Do I Really Need a Real Estate Agent or a Realtor?
Yes and yes. The only difference between the two is that Realtors belong to a specific organization. Agents who belong to the National Association of Realtors are considered trustworthy, ethical, and competent. The biggest benefit to buyers is that Realtors are more likely to network with other real estate professionals in the area, which can prove highly beneficial to buyers.
How Can I Make the Most of an Open House?
You might not find your perfect home at an open house, but buyers who attend open houses are sure to benefit nevertheless. Visiting open house events allows you to experience what is available in all price ranges and can help you zero in on what matters the most to you. It also means you have an opportunity to meet real estate agents and see how they operate. Take the agent's card if you like the rapport and their expertise – you might find the best agent for you that way.
To get other burning real estate questions answered, speak to a real estate agent today.