STEP ONE of this series for the first time home buyer in the greater Nashville area was about finding a lender and getting yourself pre-approved for a loan (if you aren’t going to pay cash).
Once you have achieved this step, then you are ready for the fun part to begin!
It’s highly likely that you have already been looking through listings online and, now that you know what price range to be searching in, you are ready to find a realtor. Why do you need a realtor, and how is a realtor compensated?
Obviously, I am a realtor, so I hope that you will take the next step and email, call or text me!
But, if you are reading this in another state or for whatever reason want to select someone different, then here are 3 guidelines to help you find what you are looking for.
- Look online. Read blog posts of potential realtors. Read their reviews. Look for someone who enjoys working with first time home buyers or someone who specializes in the neighborhoods that you are looking in. These people will likely be the most knowledgeable.
- Go to open houses in the neighborhoods that you are considering. You will be able to meet realtors who work in those areas and get to know them a little bit. Doing this will also give you a feel for what the price range in each neighborhood will get you.
- Interview different potential realtors. Ask as many questions as you like of each one. Don’t ever feel that your questions are “stupid” – a good realtor will understand that as a first-time home buyer you will be needing extra attention and guidance.
After selecting your realtor, then it’s time to begin your search!
When looking for your potential home, the number ONE thing to remember is that PICTURES ONLINE CAN BE DECEIVING!!! Don’t always judge a house by the pictures online. Photographers use all kinds of lenses and “tricks” to make homes appear larger than they area. Some realtors do not use professional photographers, so the home may not be portrayed in its best light.
Definitely go and drive by homes you think you might like. It’s not a good idea to knock on doors to try and look inside without an appointment, so if you are wanting to look inside, then contact your realtor to schedule a time to do so!
Also, if you are not familiar with the neighborhood, drive by at night and see if you feel comfortable.
Here are some links to research Nashville neighborhoods and zip codes:
Crime map: http://www.crimemapping.com/map/tn/nashville
To receive information about the average prices per square foot for houses in Nashville / Davidson County, Brentwood, Franklin / Williamson County and beyond, ask your realtor to run “comps” – comparable market analysis’ in each neighborhood you are looking in. A lot of online real estate websites will give you a clue about these comps, but the true numbers will come straight from the MLS.