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The Buyer Know-How Guide

Do Better than Google
  • Search engines like Trulia or Zillow purchase data from a 3rd party company (ListHub) that contracts with hundreds of local Multiple Listing Services.   Data is then syndicated and proves to bolster the profits of these sites by selling registrations as “leads” to Realtors®.
  • Zillow Zestimates run margins of error up to 30% with an average of 12%.
  • Only Multiple Listing Services (MLS) house all listing information for your area. These databases are created and managed directly by subscribing agents (like me).
  • Over 91% of home buyers engage and hire a Realtor®.  The internet doesn’t sell homes.

You are Not Average

A home for your familyThe investment of time, emotional energy and money you will put into this project is just short of an act of bravery.  Don’t be misled by the ease of online searching.  Identifying the right home and neighborhood should include a more comprehensive approach that the last time you comparison-shopped for a smartphone.

Direct, personal access to the MLS is my answer to the confusion of modern-day searching.  Through my mobile app, a “portal” for easy organization and live, unaltered data in the system, you will get the edge on the competition out there.  I believe that you should be able to search the same way I do and that being able to research and test data is the most reliable way for us to be on eth same page, as allies.  The average buyer does not have access to this database, and you are NO average shopper.


Buying a homeNot all lenders and pre-qualifications hold the same weight. Think of the last bad experience you had dining out, then the best one you’ve had.  Lenders also offer a variety of atmospheres, menus, and customer service experiences.
  • The lending industry is under heavy government regulation in recent years.  Most lenders don’t offer considerably different programs than the next.  Getting a full approval is also not a cake walk for most people, regardless of credit worthiness.
  • As a consumer advocate, I strongly encourage buyers to “shop” upfront for a lender and a loan program.  It should be easy to ask questions and get straight, honest feedback, even if that includes referrals to alternative experts.
  • Once you commit to a purchase contract, continuing to shop for a lender or loan can delay any progress that has been made by those working for you, and you could even jeopardize your whole deal.
  • Don’t make moves with your money, credit or job without knowing it could jam things up.  Refrain from big purchases, paying off or consolidating debt, changing employers, or lending money unless you’ve got the go-ahead from both your lender and me.
  • “Not right now” does not mean “no.”  It means you have homework to do before you shop for a home.  Don’t let credit, savings, or job history hurdles derail your vision.

The Thrill of the Chase - Pointers for Happy Searches:
  • Cruise around, get lost in the areas you think you want to live in, talk to neighbors, ask questions to folks standing outside their homes who seem friendly and approachable.
  • Visit the local grocery store, drug store, strip mall or restaurants and spend a few minutes in the parking lot watching the clientele.  These would be your neighbors.
  • If possible, drive by any homes you like before we schedule a showing.  Often driving by a property that looks good online may reveal something that would be a “deal breaker” for you.  Save you emotional energy for true possibilities.
  • Google the heck out of the place.  Google Earth the street views and aerial maps.  Any effective photographer can find ways to leave out things in photos that might pose issues for you nearby.  Power lines, backing up to busy streets, or unsightly commercial parking lots or buildings in your backyard may not be your idea of fun.
  • Is there a Homeowners Association (HOA)?  You may have questions to ask them about any restrictions or amenities offered.
  • I will handle all appointment setting, confirmation of availability, and communication with the listing agent from the start.  When you identify a home to view (or more than one), give me the next 3 windows of availability for you so that I can set a time that works for everyone.
  • New construction: Sales offices require registration by anyone walking through their model homes.  Make sure to include my contact information on any forms completed.  Please help me protect our relationship so that I can continue to represent you as the buyer of a new construction home.
  • I am your first contact for anything you are interested in.  Unless you want solicitations from alternate agents, reach out to me first for information and assistance.

The Heart Wants What the Heart Wants

Home buyingDo not underestimate that buying a home is a largely emotional process.  Often times you will want to intellectualize things that are better left to the heart and gut to decipher.   When you find the right place, it will “feel” like it; don’t let that feeling pass.  And once you lock down your perfect place and the escrow period unfolds, there may be times when you feel uncertain or overwhelmed.  That’s okay!  Talk it out with me or your go-to trusted sources of guidance.  Just remember that you should not allow anyone to have control or power over your decision making.  Everyone you talk to during this endeavor, including me, comes into it with their own experiences, fear, and ideas.

Cheers to a successful preparation process.  Breathe deeply and get excited because something new is just around the corner!

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Brian Howell
Brian Howell

HomeSmart Fine Homes and Land
140 N. Montezuma Street
Suite 201
Prescott, AZ 86301
Cell: (928) 308-5086
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Why Choose HomeSmart?

Why Choose HomeSmart?