1. WHY ARE YOU BUYING AND WHY NOW?
Perhaps the most basic and essential question to ask if you’re a buyer in today’s market is why are your buying and why now? Regardless of what you know from research, data, or experience — this question will help me as your real estate advisor so I may gauge your reasons for buying a home, your specific needs, and what your expectations are during this process.
Do you have plans to live on the property full time, or are you looking for more of a second home/vacation home? Some buyers may also just be looking for an investment property that they can rent out to bring in some additional income. Will you need to rent it and if so are there any AirBnB restrictions in the chosen area. Regardless of your exact reasoning, finding out the “why” behind the purchase can help us understand what you’re searching for homes that meet your specific criteria. I will send you my home buyer questionnaire in advance so all parties can discuss their goals to find the right property.
2. WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
While some may consider this a private question, the reality is that we need to be sure that all our clients can realistically afford the homes we will be shopping for before starting the process. This is especially important in today’s market where luxury homes sell for unprecedented amounts and sometimes much higher than original asking price. Each market and price points are currently undergoing a market shift, but as your trusted advisor, I feel it’s best to present the reality of a volatile seller’s market and determine if the ROI is worth the investment.
Helping affluent clients figure out how much home they can afford means looking at other aspects of one’s personal finances. While real estate professionals are certainly not financial advisors, it is perfectly common and accepted for you to ask for a mortgage pre-approval letter during an initial meeting. This demonstrates that the buyers have been pre-approved for a mortgage and are serious about their intent to buy. At Intero we offer as part of our concierge services a complimentary referral consultation with our partners at Summitry Wealth Advisors.
3. WHAT’S YOUR MOVING TIMEFRAME?
The next important step is to determine a buyer’s move-in timeline. Those who urgently need to find a property due to job relocation or pressing life circumstances (aging parents, a desired quick divorce resolution) might have fewer options. In contrast, buyers with a flexible timeline will have more opportunities to find properties that match their needs.
4. ARE YOU INTERESTED IN OTHER MARKETS?
Out-of-market purchases are not uncommon, especially for affluent buyers looking for their second home or investment properties. Do let me know if there are other areas of interest (local or out of state or international) Intero / Berkshire Hathaway has an international presence and our relocation department . However, it’s also good to discuss about other markets and lifestyle passions to present some lesser-known markets clients haven’t considered. I would be most happy to provide current researched data and market reports to explore new opportunities.
5. ARE YOU OPEN TO BUILDING OR A FIXER-UPPER?
Despite the growing labor and raw material costs to build a house from scratch, it might be worth the investment if luxury buyers can’t find anything desirable on the market. Building a custom home on an lot requires experience of asking the right questions whether if the lot is buildable. Dealing with the possibly geo-engineers (for perc tests for septic and well water availability and utilities) there are many considerations and also deciding what’s best use for the lot. Alternatively, they can opt to buy an older home that needs refurbishment, which might cut down starting cost while also allowing customization of your dream home.
Here’s an ideal lot in Bennett Valley Santa Rosa wine country on a private established paved road.
– Warehill Road Santa Rosa –
Ask me for more details
Lynne MacFarlane, Realtor
MCDM, SRES, SRS | DRE # 02066698
Intero | Berkshire Hathaway affiliate