The 5 Things You Need to do to Strike as a Buyer

Being a buyer, particularly in a market like ours, seems like a daunting task. Most buyers come into the process with a mix of rough ideas and very specific needs they hope to meet but are unsure how best to organize them for success. Many enter the process through the usual channels of Zillow, Redfin and general online browsing, often without help from a trusted Realtor. While there is nothing wrong with browsing, it is just that, browsing. Browsing will neither get you a home nor get you prepared to strike as a buyer when the right property comes along. Below are some of the best things to be prepared to tackle to ensure you are ready to secure your dream home.

Separate your wants from your needs:

5 tips to strike as buyerWhile you are in that browsing phase, the hope is that you will be able to whittle down a list of what you need in a home versus what would be a nice bonus. This is especially crucial to tackle early when you are buying with a friend, family member, or partner as it is highly likely that you have differing opinions on many key criteria.

Don’t be afraid to disagree, just better to work as much of that out before your landlord reaches out for lease renewal. Hot Tip – Start with a Pros and Cons list!

Get started earlier than you might think:

You also want to be sure you are taking the right steps in a timely fashion not just cohesively. Most buyers have little sense of whether they are too early to the process, too late or right on schedule. Beginning to focus seriously on your purchase roughly 6 months out will set you up with enough time to “work out the kinks” and to ensure you are able to make an offer(s) without feeling pressure to overpay or sacrifice those hard fought for needs.

There is a catch to this: if you buy too early you may be on the hook for added costs such as remaining lease payments, a house you need to sell, etc. This is another great reason to begin discussing the process and focusing sharply on what that will look like in practice. The right agent can be the perfect team member to assist with this delicate balance.

Hire the right agent:

Although you can go it alone, it is not the prevailing method of buyer shopping in the 21st century. In fact, 88% of consumers use real estate agents when buying and selling real estate. While some buyers don’t always understand the value of an agent, it is important to go through this exercise and find out for yourself what an agent can offer.

finding the right agentSome buyers believe they are better off going directly to a listing agent, as was commonplace in real estate for many decades, in hopes they are going to receive a reduced net cost. While this is not impossible, it is practiced far less than people think and you may not get the support you are told you will from that listing agent.

Having an agent who fits your personality and instills belief that they will be the difference maker in your search is an irreplaceable asset in your search. Remember, while you may pay some residual commision for your buyer’s agent, they are most often fully compensated through pre-negotiated commission between the seller and seller agent. This allows for them to stay motivated for your best interests, often without you cutting a check.

Get Pre-approved:

The age of pushy agents forcing pre-approval for service is widely frowned upon these days but make no mistake, it is and will likely never be completely eradicated. Buyers want to make that connection and receive assistance, often without going through the preconceived stress of pre-approval. Part of this reasoning are the myths that surround pre-approval which is crucial for you as a Realtor® to debunk for those potential buyer clients.

The belief that pre-approval will severely damage a buyer’s credit as well as the notion that buyer’s already know what they can afford are the two biggest factors in hesitancy. It’s helpful to convey that buyers are able to shop several lenders within a reasonable amount of time without incurring repeat credit impact. The impact from the pre-approval process is minimal to non-existent for prospective buyers and is crucial to understand your purchase power. Speaking of, the vast majority of buyers have no clue what they can afford nor grasp why even having the pre-approval is valuable. 

A wide swath of homes that hit the market are being bought, aka absorbed, within days of listing. Recent data has shown months supply in the Boston area around 1.5, when balanced market conditions are as high as 6 months. Keep in mind this is a rear facing snapshot of a broad area, there are areas with supply comfortably below 1 month! This means if no more homes came to market for 45 days, the entire supply of homes would be absorbed by buyers. This absence of available homes to buy leads right back to why homes are purchased so quickly and at the terms they are. Given pre-approvals are required for purchases made with loans, it is essential to have that well in advance of you getting swept up in the purchase process.

Stay the course with optimism:

Now more than ever, it is crucial to stay the course, see months supply above. This is not the place and time to pack it in and give up on your dreams. The average buyer in our marketplace is going to put a few offers in before they hear “offer accepted.” One of the not so apparent roles of a Realtor® is managing the wide array of emotions during the buying process. An agent worth working with is empathetic and meets you on your level while not allowing fears of failure to take over. Your agent needs to be thick skinned and always there to listen to your disappointment, while quick to point the way out of fear and paranoia and back into buying mode.

A great agent also knows when there is a need to let off the gas pedal. A buyer can be optimistic but need a break, so ensure that you find someone who is able to shift gears with your needs. This is why it is so crucial not only to have an agent, but to pick an agent based on feel and perception – not solely on their online statistics.


Being a buyer can be tough but understanding the process and being able to adapt as you go will make the possibility of striking with success a reality. Agents are overwhelmingly a key component of any transaction (good or bad), so make sure you do your homework to find the right one that will be able to work in lock step with your wants and needs to keep the process as seamless as possible.

If you’re ready to strike as a buyer, contact us today! Our licensed Realtors® are standing by and are ready to help!  

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