As a mother of 3, I know about homework.
Homework is boring, tedious and laborious. It takes precious time and there always seems to put everyone involved in a bad mood. It is also one of the most important lessons in life and has absolute applicability in the home buying process … albeit in ways that most homebuyers don’t fully grasp.
Legwork versus ‘Couchwork’
Many buyers feel that the internet is a legitimate substitute to legwork. It is not. Homebuying homework is not about looking on Zillow or Trulia and reading random posts on Yahoo. It is also not about watching HGTV and reading blog posts about the latest colors. Homebuying Homework is about getting out into the field, eliminating the areas and home styles that do not work by seeing, feeling and touching them and learning the difference in values that each neighborhood commands.
Plan to Learn
It is about having a plan to learn.
It is also about understanding the forces at work on both sides of the equation…buying AND selling. Paying attention to the inventory levels, absorption rates and days-on-market trends is paramount. In today’s environment, markets are hyper-local and while the Fan may be undersupplied, other areas may still be in a much different state. Understanding these differences impacts pricing strategies, negotiating tactics and timing expectations. Assuming that aggregate conditions apply universally is a very dangerous assumption. It is easier to to make that assumption but it is rarely correct.
So, doing homework effectively is the key. Having a teacher that can help guide you to the important facts helps create the best result.
About the Writer // Sarah Jarvis is Principal Broker/Partner of One South Realty and 20 year industry veteran. Her work as head loan officer with the $100M Private Equity fund of Silver Construction Capital during the early 2000’s proves invaluable to her clients.