Unless you’ve had occasion to buy a corporate jet or office building recently, the sheer size of a home purchase puts it in a class of its own. One indicator is that most people decide to engage the services of a Bainbridge Island agent to help them out. This is not a trip to the mall...

It follows that first-time home buyers usually approach the whole process with a great deal of caution—an entirely appropriate attitude. Buying a home is one purchase you will be living with for a long time, so getting it right is worth any amount of effort.

Veterans of the home-buying fray start out with the advantages experience brings. They know the how’s, when’s and why’s of the home inspection and loan application processes, and when their real estate agent supplies them with listing printouts, their eyes quickly fall to the details that are most important in their current quest (which could be anything from property tax figures to details about the mechanicals). If they aren’t yet familiar with all of the area’s neighborhoods, they know to quiz their real estate agent about the pertinent local characteristics, especially when some features like school ratings or traffic patterns are likely to be key factors in the final choice. And they know that the first property that looks good on paper may not pan out in person.

For first-timers as well as home-buying veterans, there is one key mental predisposition that is sure to make the experience less stressful—and possibly more rewarding. It’s a mindset that doesn’t always come without effort—especially when time pressures are involved. The virtue in question is straightforward: patience.  

· Don’t Rush

Don’t give up after the first five (or eight) houses. Home buying is a process, and it can be a glacial one at times. By showing you houses, your area real estate agent gets an ever-sharper idea of what you’re searching for. You may not wind up with the first or even tenth house you are shown. If you prepare yourself for a house-buying process that could take several months, you’re much less likely to let impatience cause you to settle for less than otherwise.

· Bid for Value

The offer and negotiation processes are more of an art than a science—and this alone would be reason enough to want a local real estate agent to be on your team. A town agent knows the comps in the area, how truly comparable each is, what they sold for, and how the market is moving. If an offer is countered, your agent can suggest non-monetary inducements where appropriate…and let you know if it might be time to move on.

· Don’t Be Discouraged

If you bid on a home but wind up losing it, don’t become discouraged. It’s hard to temper emotions when house hunting, but it works to your interest when you continue to view the entire process as a business proposition.

Even should a house offer fall through, you can rest assured that there are other viable candidates out there. With patience, a businesslike frame of mind, and an experienced local real estate agent by your side, the odds are definitely stacked in your favor. Giving me a call is a good way to start taking advantage of them!

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