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 if you aren't totally sure about this, I PROMISE you will thank me later for suggesting that we have this conversation.
The 3 Objectives of the Globella Buyer Strategy Session
(2) To provide you with valuable home buying information AND insight into the current San Diego real estate market.
(3) 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 an opportunity to talk on the phone and answer your initial questions, the natural next step is to meet in-person, spend more time, and go more in depth on everything (but for out-of-town clients, we may still have this meeting via phone).
Buying a home is not like buying a car. It's a much larger investment, and we have a lot to talk about.
Since I was young, 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.
6 Topics to Discuss During Our Initial Consultation
(1) 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 to ensure that I work with nice and happy homebuyers, but it's also very important to you as well...
You are going to be spending a lot of time touring homes, drafting offers, completing inspections, reviewing disclosures, etc. with your buyer's agent.
Finding a buyer's agent who you get along with (and who is best-suited to truly help you) is probably your major priority right now.
(2) Secondly, we will clarify exactly how I work.
You most likely want to know my business philosophy, how I handle dual agency and other conflicts of interest, how I communicate with my clients, when I'm available to tour homes with you, how I get paid, what I'm looking for in a client, etc.
You can read all the reviews I've received from past clients on Yelp, Google, Zillow, or on my website beforehand, but there's nothing like talking to me directly and getting your most important questions answered.
(3) 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 10th time, there is a lot you need to know about the current real estate market. The market is always changing, and I've found that there are new types of opportunities, challenges, and even vocabulary about every five years.
In my mind, the more GOOD information you have, the BETTER decision you will make when it's time for you to buy.
Part of my job is to help you piece together all the good information - AND filter out the bad 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 below are some topics you may want to review:
All About Buying a Home in San Diego
- 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 (Natural Hazard Disclosure Reports, HOA Reserve Study Reports, Preliminary Title Reports, etc.)
- HOA Docs (only if you're buying a home/condo that is a part of an HOA)
- Hazard Insurance
- Securing Your Financing
- Title Insurance
- Home Warranty Options
- Close of Escrow
- When You Get Your Keys, etc.
You may have a lot of questions, and that's a good thing. By starting off the right way, we can save you a 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).
(4) Next, we will review how the market is behaving.
I think it's super-important for you to have a healthy expectation of the marketplace. Real estate markets are hyper-local, in my experience...
What you read in a national news article or even a San Diego news article MAY NOT properly prepare you for how the market is behaving in the hyper-local market that you are looking in.
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 hyper-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.
(5) Another topic that many find helpful is "Risks."
We can discuss the risks of buying a condo, risks of buying in the current market, risks of writing multiple offers, risks of buying an investor-owned "flipped" home, risks of buying a foreclosure, risks of buying a short sale, etc.
You may have found that many real estate agents will not initiate these sorts of conversations, but I believe that I work differently than a lot of other traditional agents.
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 buying process AND to look out for your best interests at all stages of your home-buying journey.
(6) Another important topic for us to review is what you want in a home.
What exactly are you looking for? We'll talk specifics about bedrooms, bathrooms, zip codes, etc. And we will begin to discuss neighborhood options.
Of course, there are times when we go out of order. The order isn't important. What's important is that we cover the topics that are the most helpful to you.
It's also important that you are well-informed from the very beginning about what you're REALLY 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 in the end.
What You Will Gain From Our Initial Consultation
When we're finished with the Globella Buyer Strategy Session, you and I will know whether we're a good fit for working together. We may decide to move forward and begin our working relationship, or we may decide to go our separate ways.
Either way, we will have a good discussion, and you will get some valuable information from our time together.
How Long Does the Globella Buyer Strategy Session Last?
At this point, we'll have been talking for at least 30 minutes (and, in most 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 home 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 buyer's agent, I know that you will get some valuable information from our Buyer Strategy Session. See an email I received from a buyer who decided to wait.
Helping San Diego home buyers is what I'm truly passionate about, and I look forward to our initial consultation!
Also Read: Hiring a Salesperson vs. Hiring a Consultant
Also Read: Why Hire a Buyer's Agent When You Can Have an EBA?
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
About Justin Gramm
Justin Gramm is the founder and principal broker of Globella Buyers Realty, your San Diego Exclusive Buyer Brokerage. He also writes the content on Globella's Blog.
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.
Exclusive Buyer Agents 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.