I know, I know! When you finally decide it's time to buy a home, the first thing you want to do is... GO SEE HOMES! Hold on a second! We need to talk about some things before we jump in the car and drive around all afternoon (and you will thank me later for sitting you down to have this conversation).
The objectives of the Globella Buyer Strategy Session are:
- To give you a strong sense of who I am, how I work, and what it would be like working with me,
- To provide you with valuable home buying information and insight into the current San Diego real estate market, and
- To give us both a chance to meet, talk, and make a decision about whether we're a good fit for working together.
What exactly is an initial consultation? Once we've had a chance to talk on the phone and answer your initial questions, the natural next step is to meet in person (but for out-of-town clients, we may still have this meeting via phone), spend more time, and go more in depth on everything. Buying a home is not like buying a car. It's a much, much larger investment, and we have a lot to talk about.
One of my majors back in college (at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, AZ) was Secondary Education (my second major was Mathematics, and I minored in Biology). I completed my last semester of college as a student teacher, but other opportunities opened up for me (ask me some other time), and I never became an actual teacher. However, I have always had a heart for teaching, and one of the things I enjoy the most is educating my clients in our initial consultation.
So, what do we talk about?
First of all, we will just talk. I think it's important that we get to know each other. Not only is it crucial to me that I work with sane, nice, and happy clients, but it's also very important to you as well. You are going to be spending a lot of time looking at properties, drafting offers, etc. with your agent. Finding an agent who you get along with (and is best suited to truly help you) is probably your major priority right now.
Secondly, we will clarify exactly how I work. You need to know my business philosophy, how I respond to emails, how many clients I work with at one time, how I get paid, etc., etc. I'll even give you a list of reasons not to hire me!
Next, we will take some time to review the real estate purchase process. Whether you are buying for the first time in San Diego or for the 100th time, there is a lot you need to know about the current real estate market. In my mind, the more good information you have, the better decision you will make when it's time to buy (part of my job is to help you get all this good information from the time we start working together until your purchase is complete). We can go into as much or as little detail as you prefer, but here are some topics you may want to review:
- How to Review Your Loan Pre-Approval (or How to Best Prepare an All-Cash Offer),
- How Agency Works,
- How We Will Find Homes (who schedules appointments, what online tools do I have to help you save time, which days/times will we look at property, what info do we need to find out from listing agents, HOA management companies, etc.?),
- Writing an Offer,
- Your Good Faith (Earnest Money) Deposit,
- How Long Does Everything Take?,
- Opening Escrow,
- Inspections, Repairs, Contractors, etc.,
- Seller Disclosures,
- Reports (such as CLUE Reports, NHD Reports, Reserve Study Reports, etc., etc.),
- HOA Docs (if you're buying a home/condo that's part of an HOA),
- Hazard Insurance,
- Securing Your Financing,
- Title Insurance,
- Home Warranty,
- Close of Escrow,
- When You Get Your Keys, etc.
You may have a lot of questions here, and that's a good thing. By covering all of this in one sitting, we save you a lot of time down the road. The most important thing to me is that you make an informed decision when you buy (or perhaps not to buy).
Next, we will review short sales and foreclosures. I think it's super-important for you to have a healthy expectation of the marketplace. As I write this blog post, many areas of San Diego have many foreclosure and/or short sale listings available. You need to know how these listings differ from traditional listings, and so I review all of this with you in the initial consultation.
Another topic that many find helpful is "Risks." We can discuss the risks of buying a foreclosure, risks of buying a short sale, risks of buying an investor-owned "flipped" home, risks of buying a condo, risks of buying in the current market, risks of writing multiple offers, etc. You may have found that many real estate agents will not initiate these sorts of conversations, but I work differently than most agents you've ever worked with. My job is not to sell you a house (that's the job of the seller's agent); rather, my job is to help you through the home purchase process and represent you and your best interests at all stages of the process.
Another important topic for us to review is what you you want in a home. What exactly are you looking for? We'll talk specifics about bedrooms, bathrooms, zip codes, etc., etc. Then, we'll take a look at the market statistics for your target market and figure out what sort of marketplace we're dealing with (Remember, real estate is local. Each area of San Diego is unique, and while one area/price range is experiencing a "seller's market," another area/price range could be experiencing a "buyer's market."). We'll take a look at the statistics to further establish the appropriate expectations for your specific home purchase.
Of course, there are times when we go out of order. The order isn't important. What's important is that we cover all of these areas and that you are educated from the very beginning about what you're getting yourself into. I realize that this is one of the largest purchases of your life, and I don't take it lightly. My job is to be your consultant/advisor and to provide you with the best information you need, so that you can sleep at night knowing you made a wise decision. When we're finished with the Globella Buyer Strategy Session, you and I will know whether we're a good fit for each other or not. We may decide to move forward and begin our working relationship, or we may decide to go our separate ways. Either way, you will get some valuable information from our session.
By now we'll have been talking for at least 30 minutes (and, in many cases, we'll have already spent more than an hour with each other). I'll answer any other questions that you have, and we'll wrap up the meeting.
I enjoy these meetings. I enjoy walking buyers through this process. Sometimes, I don't even feel like I'm working. My #1 focus when I begin working with a new client is customer service. In fact, even if you decide not to buy, or to wait a while longer before you buy, or even not to hire me as your agent, I know that you will get some valuable information from our Buyer Strategy Session. See the recent email I received from a buyer who decided to wait. I have been blessed with wonderful clients who have written many reviews about the level of information, advice, and energy I bring to the table (feel free to read some of them: Globella Client Reviews and Testimonials). Helping San Diego home buyers is what I'm passionate about, and I truly look forward to our initial consultation!
Also Read: Hiring a Salesperson vs. Hiring a Consultant
Also Read: What is an Exclusive Buyer Agent (EBA)?
Also Read: How Does a Buyer's Agent Get Paid?
Also Read: 5 Reasons You'll Be Thrilled at Closing
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes this blog, "For San Diego Home Buyers."
Exclusive Buyer Agents do not list homes for sale and never represent sellers. They have no "inventory" to try to sell you. They can represent you in purchasing any home. They are specialists at representing buyers only on the buyers' side of the transaction. Exclusive Buyer Agents work to get buyers the best price and terms when they buy a home.
If you have excellent credit and plan to buy a home or condo in San Diego County within 90 days, contact Justin Gramm to hire an agent on your side of the transaction. Call Justin at (858) 437-2662 or E-mail.