Over 90% of home searches today start with online large real estate portals such as Realtor.com and Zillow. Most properties are available on all these websites as well as proprietary sites like ours – www.BeninatiAssociates.com. Everyone wants the best house they can get. And we all want a “deal”. When it comes to getting value – the old adage, “you get what you pay for” almost always holds true.
The best way to go about shopping for a home is to define what’s important to you, your partner and family. Make a list of the six to ten features of the home and locations that are desirable to you. Then prioritize and decide where you can be flexible and where you cannot. Sort you list into “must haves,” and “nice to have.” You may also want to get input from your children, other family members and your financial advisor.
Now it’s time to CHOOSE your real estate agent. If you use an online real estate portal, you will likely be referred to an agent, usually not the listing agent, who has paid Zillow to refer their name to potential buyers making inquiries on the internet. That’s the only criteria Zillow uses. The best way to find an agent who has experience in the particular area you are looking for, is by referral from friends and professionals you work with. If you don’t have access to referrals, then do a little research online. Remember real estate is very local, you will want an agent who knows the neighborhood but also one that you’re comfortable with and trust. This is especially true for sellers as well. Once you have selected an agent, share your list of features with him/her and ask to see homes that match your “must haves.” Be honest with your realtor especially about price – if you overstate what you wish to spend, you will see houses that exceed your planned expenditure and be disappointed with the homes in your targeted price range.
Make sure to look at a variety of houses and give your favorites a second look before making an offer. Also, be open to your realtor’s suggestions. A good realtor will be able to understand what you are looking for, after a just few showings. Stay focused and don’t be afraid to act if you find a house that has what you want, even if it’s the first house you see. Although the average buyer, nationally, will look at approximately 10 homes, our North Fork market has fewer choices, so look carefully, evaluate your options with your agent, and if this is the one, then go for it!
Beninati Associates is always here to help you. We have over twenty years of experience on the North Fork. We would be delighted to share that experience with you and help you find what you want. It’s an opportune time to invest in real estate – and the right time of the year to get a good value on a home or land on which to build. Call us at 631 765 5333, email me at Marie@BeninatiAssociates.com, or visit us at our office at the corner of Main Road and Hortons Lane in Southold. We’re always happy to see you!