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As one of many first-time home buyers, you have started your search online, gotten advice from friends, watched HGTV one-hour segments that only take 3 properties and 7 days to find, view, offer, negotiate and accept.

And as one of those FTHBs (First Time Home Buyers), you may not think you need educating, but a little schooling at the start will help you on this new, exciting journey… And you KNOW there’s going to be homework assigned. There’s the bell – class is in session!

Today, buyers are much more savvy, thanks to the internet and online opportunities to gain access to any information wanted. What are the basics that need to be explained?

How about:

Loan Pre-Qualification BEFORE home tours. Know your buying power PRIOR to spending a day driving around town looking at houses. Why? When you find the “THE house” and want to submit an offer, you don’t want to waste precious time gathering your documents needed for your lender to put your numbers together.

What you fell in love with today may be the same place someone with a pre-qualification letter already in hand… fell in love with yesterday!

What are your five top must-haves? Location? Price? Size? Amenities? Gated community? Think about what you really want.

Now, drill down a little more: what are the three things you HAVE to have in yur home? Realize that every house will always have that ‘one thing you don’t like’, there’s no such thing as a perfect home, but it can be a perfect place if you understand the difference between structural and cosmetic, Want versus Need, TV shows versus real-estate reality.

Remember that a paint color can be changed easily, it’s not a reason to walk away from a house. Carpet can be pulled, fixtures can be updated and yards can be cleared or added to.

FTHBs aren’t some cult of people who are puzzled by the property possibility- quite the contrary! You’re interested in being a part of the purchasing process!

As your Realtor®, it’s my job to be the source of information, and know when to be the source of the source. If I know the answer – I’ll tell you. If I don’t, I’ll do everyone a great service by finding the answer and teaching everybody included.

I’m the Realtor, excelling and continually educating myself in real-estate. There’s going to be things that I don’t readily know and that’s okay because I’d rather be a master of one or some things than a master of none.

You want lending advice – ask the lender. You want accounting advice – ask your CPA. You want to know about specifics – I’ll put you in the right direction, because I’m not doing you any favors if I put you on the wrong path.

Lastly, it’s important for your real-estate agent to keep everyone involved, just like an upcoming family reunion! This is one of those times when personal and business seem to collide for you, the client. It’s big stuff and you’re excited, so some things can – and do – get blurred.

‘Why is it taking so long to get an answer’? ‘Why won’t the sellers do all the requested items that we asked for in the inspection report’? ‘Does the lender need to talk to the real-estate agent, the title specialist, Mom and Dad’? ‘What does Title Commitment mean’?

Here’s where the REAL in REALtor comes in – open lines of communication throughout will make for a smoother transaction and will solidify trust, continued support and future business. Happy partners continue business ventures over and over again! Here’s to future business!

Elizabeth Cherry is a Buyer Specialist with Excelsior Associates at United Real Estate Southern Arizona, Tucson, AZ. Contact her at 520.808.1313
Find some of her current real-estate listings at:

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