What an Agent Looks for When Buying Their Own Home
No matter how much research you do, or how much advice you solicit, you probably feel you haven’t done enough before buying a home.
Don’t worry. You’re not alone.
Real estate agents can feel the same way, even with years of experience under their belt. But that experience has also armed them with proven strategies and tactics that can come in handy for anyone seeking to buy for the first time – or even the fourth or fifth.
We asked longtime Orange County-based agent Diane Cannon to share her best advice in three key areas, based on her personal homebuying experiences. Whether you’re buying or selling, you would do well to learn from their stories.
Who we asked:
What we asked them:
What is the most important thing you look for when buying a home?
Diane: “I’m a big fan of single-level houses. But a lot depends on the home’s age range, when the kids are moved out of the house, and your age. I say look for something long-term that you can stay in. I love that concept of the longer you’re in it, the price of the overhead is reduced substantially in comparison to values going up over all the years you live in it.
“Noise also is a big deal for me. I don’t like to be in a noisy area. I lived oceanfront for 10 years in Corona del Mar, but when you’re in a public area, where a lot of people like to spend their weekends, it’s somewhat of an intrusion on your privacy.
“I like gated communities in Orange County because they provide both privacy and security. The older gated communities give you more space because they didn’t have the option to build on every square foot of property. I think given the influx of a larger population, gated communities are probably going to help with prices for sellers.”
What is the biggest obstacle you have faced before closing a purchase?
Diane: “A non-respectful seller–when I’m trying to sell a house and trying to get the seller to be more kind and understanding. I think whenever anybody buys a home, in any price range, but especially when somebody spends a few million dollars to buy a house, sellers should act appreciatively. Be of good will, don’t leave the house a mess. I put in my contract that the house is to be professionally cleaned at close of escrow.
“It’s about being very diligent and spending time as you’re coming to the close to check out the property so you’re not caught off guard, or have a buyer say they came to the house without the agent present and have them tell you what’s wrong with it.”
What do you look for when choosing a real estate agent?
Diane: “I have to feel the trust of that agent. I don’t want the used-car salesman routine. I want somebody I feel that I can trust and who also has a record of success. I can’t tell you how often people don’t even ask an agent how many sales they’ve had in the past couple of years. They don’t ask for any proof of that. They don’t ask if an agent has been fired from a broker. I think it’s important to find out their history. Ask how often they go out of town each month. Are you the person I’m going to be communicating with? Will you be showing my property? A lot of agents have assistants, so you need to know. I personally want to feel really comfortable and trust my agent.”