As most St. Cloud homeowners would agree, buying a house is dissimilar from any other kind of shopping—and that’s not just because of the price tag.
When you set out to shop for most everyday items, you usually pick which store you’ll visit first, then survey what they have to offer. If the goods aren’t what you had in mind—or the price seems too high—you hit the next store. We do this without a second thought.
For more important purchases, you’re apt to do some research first. You might search on the web or read magazine reviews to see which brands have the features you want. You may check out customer comments, paying more attention to the ones which sound reliable. You compare prices and delivery specifications, then buy online or find the nearest St. Cloud store. When you have the time, this kind of spadework pays off in the quality and value gained.
Buying a St. Cloud house differs considerably. If you have any doubts about that, it’s easy to verify. Just compare the process of buying a house with how you approach any other major purchase. Think about buying a new car…
When you’re in the market for a new auto, unless your brand loyalty is unshakeable, you’re likely to visit several car dealers, check out prices and features, take a test drive (or many test drives—given today’s prices, that’s not a bad idea!); then sit down and talk turkey with the showroom salesman. If you’re a seasoned buyer, you’ll probably wind up having it out with the sales manager before the deal’s done.
When you’re buying a car—even a Rolls-Royce, which costs more than some houses—no one brings along their agent. When buying a house, you should!
It’s true that some buyers consider letting the seller’s agent put together the deal, but that’s bound to be a huge mistake. That agent is employed to represent the interests of the seller. As buyer, your interests are hardly the same. If someone were suing you, you’d never consider hiring their lawyer to represent you—but when one agent is in charge of the whole process, that’s what happens. It doesn’t make much sense, especially since having your own agent costs you no more (both agents’ commissions are paid from the seller’s proceeds).
When you buy a new car, if you insisted on having your mechanic check out the engine, the dealer would wonder what part of “new” you fail to understand. He would think you’d lost your mind. Yet buying a house without providing for your own thorough inspection would be a very risky move. Although skipping the inspection might save a little money, St. Cloud home buyers expose themselves to an array of future problems when they do so.
It’s awkward to go about financing a new car before you know what you want, which is part of the reason dealers have a financing department. When you’re buying a house, the opposite is true. Since some people have an unrealistic idea of their total financial picture (and an incomplete understanding of lending practices), it makes any buyer stronger to appear with pre-approval in hand. Sellers know you’re for real!
If buying a house in St. Cloud is on your agenda, having me in your corner will help make it one “shopping expedition” that’s both a pleasure and a success. I hope you’ll call me!