Tuesday, January 5, 2010

DIARY OF A FIRST-TIME BUYER

Dear Diary:

Met with the real estate broker who was referred to me today. His name is Dale Becker. Been selling real estate for 15 years, I get the feeling he knows what he’s doing.

Started with an initial consultation, about one hour long. He began by asking me questions. He wanted to know about my hopes, my fears and my concerns. The conversation put me at ease.

Then he talked about the market. It’s a lot different than what you read in the papers. There are at least three different markets right now, depending on price point, and the reality for someone buying or selling a home below $250,000 is going to be a lot different than for someone at the high end of the market.

We talked about interest rates, too. He seems pretty convinced they’re going higher. He should be a chart that illustrates how the government has essentially doubled the money supply in the past 18 months, and another chart showing me how the Denver market is outperforming the rest of the country. I’m glad to be here, and not in some of those places where the housing market bubbled up and now is crashing down.

Buying a first home has had me freaked out – it seems so stressful and I don’t want to make a mistake. But Dale explained the contract, told me how I have contingencies for the inspection, the appraisal, HOA documents, title work. Heck, I can even get out if I don’t like the financing!

I feel a lot better tonight. Sometimes you can get overwhelmed with what you don’t know, but now I feel like I have a lot more clarity about the road ahead.

One last thing – I really liked his conversation about working relationally, instead of transactionally. I had to let it sink in for a few minutes, but then it became clear.

Dale says that over 80% of his new business comes from personal referrals. And those referrals happen because he really focuses on taking care of his clients, not just slapping “deals” together. (I think that’s what happened for a lot of my friends!)

Dale educated me, he gave me a clear idea of what’s going to happen next, and he showed that he cared about building a relationship that will last long after I’m in my new home.

That’s really all I could have asked for. Now I’m ready to get started.

Homes are affordable, interest rates are low… the government is even offering me a tax credit of up to $8,000 if I have a home under contract by April 30.

Today was a good day!