While there a number of advantages to using a real estate agent in the Greater Boston Area to find you the house of your dreams, thanks to the internet it is possible to find the house of your dreams without the help of a real estate broker. While this process will be longer and will take more effort, you may be able to negotiate a lower price with the seller, because the don’t have to pay the real estate brokerage fees for the buyer’s broker.
|Image credited to justnewlistings.com|
Methods for Searching For the Perfect House
- Drive Around: Like a specific neighborhood, drive around it and keep an eye out for a “For Sale” sign. Once you find one, call the number that is listed, or ring the bell. If you are lucky the owner might be present, you might get an additional discount since the owner will not have to pay brokerage fees as well.
- Open Houses: One option is to use the internet (trulia/zillow/etc) to find listings of open houses in the area you like. Once you find one, make a visit; this will allow you to check the house out from the inside, talk to the owner or the owner’s agent to make an offer.
- Friends and Office Colleagues: Use your social network to your advantage, if your friend or a friends friend is selling a house, you like it, call them up and set up a meeting to check the house out.
- Coffee House: If you like a specific neighborhood, spend a little bit of time in the local coffee shop. Chances are the most of the people who visit will live in the area, have knowledge about the houses that are on sale. So chat up everyone who you meet there and check the community boards that are present inside the shop.
- Newspapers: Sunday newspapers are a treasure trove of information as far as real estate is concerned. Most offer listings of homes, analysis of the local market and other news. So get as many as you can and go through them (Make sure to check for any local neighborhood paper, if they are published, read them as well).
- MLS Services: While in the past such services were exclusively for brokers alone, today many are freely available on the internet, depending on the local community, or for a small fee through a licensed agent who won’t represent you in the purchase but will do so for providing access to listings. Nevertheless, before you check the house out, ask about the legal obligations you might be obliged to if you see the house. This is important because in many states, even though you might be dealing with the owner, you might be legally obligated to pay the brokers fee.
- Craigslist: While searching Craigslist for possible houses might be difficult, it is nevertheless an immense source of information. No matter the city, chances are that you will find listings for houses made by the owners themselves.
- For sale by owner: Various FSBO web sites connect owners directly with buyers. All of the properties listed are from owners who wish to work directly with buyers to come to a realistic price of sale. By far the best resource available to you, you should spend as much time as you can on these web sites.
While searching for your house will require time and effort, it is a fun process, one that will save you money.