“How will you be financing this?” “Where are your funds coming from”“Have you ever lived in a rural environment” “ What is your principal balance” “Were your improvements permitted” “Have you discussed with your partner funds will be handled moving forward” “Have you received a notice of default”
If any of these questions make you feel uncomfortable, sorry but that is going to come with the territory for a successful experience. Being uncomfortable, and trust in your agent, are a must in real estate transactions.
Understanding the important goals and expectations of each party is paramount for a successful experience. Often times if these are not clearly expressed and laid out in the beginning, months or years can be wasted before even knowing why! When buying a property with another person ( or even by yourself for that matter), articulating what it is that you are searching for and why is the first step. No matter how close you are to that individual, you will have ingrained pre-conceived expectations that your other party may not share.TRUST me, it happens ALL the time. For example, it may have always been a goal for you to have acreage in the mountains to raise llamas ( or whatever) and although you have expressed that to your partner, they may not actually know what that means ( in this example that could mean the most accessible town or store may be 45 minutes away) and it may not be inline with their expectations. Or, perhaps you are a do-it-yourselfer and have a plan of buying a “fixer” and remodeling. Well, life in a rehab is not meant for all people ( trust me, using a closet sized room as your bedroom, living room and kitchen for 6 months gets old real fast), it’s important to layout timelines and expectations to see if this will be an enjoyable lifestyle for everyone.
Finances and financing questions always tend to put people on the defensive, but often times they are the most IMPORTANT. Unless you address the uncomfortable idea of bills, assets and reserves you are not prepared to make any financial or real estate related decisions. END OF STORY. No matter how much you fight it, this is always be the bottom line.
Although you may know you have an inheritance coming in, or you just know you can get a loan easily because of the online mortgage calculator, trust me, discuss the ideas and goals you have. Your agent will explain to you determining HOW to get you to your goals is the next vital step. You cannot pursue anything until you have a clear path and plan for financing this decision. I cannot tell you how many times I have met people who think they can afford one thing, and are sorely surprised after talking with a qualified lender or CPA that they in fact cannot and have to alter their expectations, timeline, or plans. Get used to it any way, you will have to fill out so many forms and verification, you’ll start talking about your funds and finances in your sleep.
Your agent is going to ask you about your “bottom line,” and believe me, it’s important. They will ultimately ask you at what point or price are you no longer a buyer or seller? This really brings it back to goals, what you want and more importantly what you need. Thinking about this question and addressing to yourself what your real needs are, is a very powerful and integral part of this process.
If you are looking to sell, and want an agent to view your home and tell you how wonderful it is rather than advise you on a competitive strategy, you may want to just invite your friends over for a dinner party. Your agent, upon agreeing to market, negotiate, and sell your home for you will need to get down to the nitty gritty when it comes to the details of your home. In order for your home to be showcased best and at the same time protect your biggest asset, your agent needs to know the details. For instance, when you added that 4th and 5th bedroom was it done with permits? That water stain, where did it come from and has it been addressed? This is both for your protection ( necessary disclosure) and pricing/marketing strategy.
These are just a few examples but I hope the message is clear. Trust your agent, and expect some personal questions. So, when your agent sits you down and says, “ I have some questions for you, where do you want to be in 10 years, “ just humor her and answer the best you can, because truly she is saving you from potential arguments and resentment down the line.
Kaelin Wagnermarsh, your Realtor® voicing her experiences