Forbes posted an opinion piece on Four Home Buying Etiquette Rules, and they are very good “rules” for potential homebuyers to follow. I am following the outline from the post, but adding my personal notes and details as to why they are important below. Thank you to Forbes and Tara Mastroeni for the article!

  1. Get pre-approved by a lender before going to tour homes. This is so important, and I can’t stress enough how crucial this is before really looking at homes. WHY? Let’s say, in your mind, you can afford a $375,000 home. You look at a few homes in the $375,000 price range. You LOVE one. Guess what? So do two other people. If those two other people have been pre-approved, with credit run and employment verification completed, they have strong support behind an offer.  WHY ELSE? So, you LOVE this $375,000 home and want to buy it. It fits everything you want and more. You call a lender. What if your maximum price ends up being $325,000? Now you’ve seen THE home you want, and you cannot get it, no matter what you do. Do you really think, in the same location, area, type of home, you will find one that looks just like that one for $50,000 less? Now, you will be disappointed in most homes you see, with that dream home in the back of your mind, unattainable at this time.
  2. Work with only one agent at a time when buying a house. Hiring a buyer’s agent is the best way to ensure a professional is looking out for your best interests. Currently, in Maryland, an agency agreement must be in place for a contract to be written, and if you don’t have an exclusive agreement, then that agent legally works for the seller, not the buyer. Working with an exclusive buyer’s agent is so helpful. The agency agreement lets the agent advise you on price, condition, sales nearby and more. If that agent must work for the seller, the agent can help you – but cannot not advise you. Here is a post about Understanding Whom Agents Represent in Maryland as of 2016 for some more details. *Please note that this is not a legal post about agency in Maryland. Please meet with an agent and learn more about agency in Maryland. I am not a lawyer and cannot give legal advice.*
  3. Keep appointments and be on time. If you are going to be late, or something urgent has come up, please let your agent know as far in advance as possible. Your agent scheduled time to be with you, may have scheduled child care, and cannot meet with other potential clients if they have an appointment with you.
  4. Communicate with other parties through your agent. Once you find your house and an offer is made and accepted, other parties, including the seller and most likely their agent, will enter the mix. Your agent is your go-between. Let your agent guide you on deadlines, responses, etc. Reply to any requests, questions, etc through your agent, so the proper protocols and channels can be followed!

If you are considering buying a home in Baltimore, please contact me. I would be pleased to help!