We have become an increasingly technological society, so we already know that there are a variety of different websites on which you can find homes. For example, Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com, your local agent’s site, our ERA site, the Boston MLS to name just a few. There are so many places where you can search, including the old fashioned drive by and simply calling the real estate office phone number posted on the yard sign.
When cold calling the real estate office, when we are just dialing the number that we see on the sign, it is paramount that we learn the function of the agent or whoever has answered the phone. In order to get the most information for yourself, you need to be as clear and concise as you possibly can. To make the phone call impactful, be sure you know what street you are on, which house it is because you never know who you are going to get on the other end of the phone; you might get the other floor duty agent, you might get the real estate agent, you might get the assistant, you might get some one covering. To call and merely say, “Hey, I’m looking at the blue house on, I think, Main Street” is not overly helpful and you are going to get frustrated and think that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about all because you aren’t clear. Be aware that many real estate offices have several listings; some have ten to twelve, some between fifty and a hundred. Some agents have one to two listings, so to call and say “Hey, I’m looking at the blue house on I don’t know what street it is, might be number 12” well, that might be hard for whoever may be answering the phones to look up.
When we make calls of that nature, when we reach out to an agent to get help or have questions answered on a particular property, it is helpful for them and for you to not get frustrated. It’s simply the easiest thing to do to just make sure you know where you are before you make the call. “I am on Main Street, I am looking at number 12. It’s a blue house. I’d like to know the price.” Or “I would like to know the number of beds and baths.” Or question, “What kind of information can you provide to me about the home?” As I’ve previously discussed, there is so much more to a house then just price. Most calls originating from signage that come into a real estate agent are questions concerning the price; “How much is the house? What’s the price?” The price then determines your priced value, or gives you your next spring boarding thought as to whether the price is in or out of your personal price range. If you call and they say, “Hey, that house is $275,000,” you’ll say “Ok, well that’s in my budget,” but you may have neglected to query about the number of bedrooms and it may be a one bedroom. Or they call and say, “Ok, the house is $475,000,” and so you say, “Oh jeez, that’s out of my price range.” And again, you didn’t ask and maybe it’s a 5-bedroom house. It is important to ask some really good questions: “How many beds does it have? How many baths does it have? What school district is it in? What is the lot size? What are the property taxes? How much is the price since it has a finished basement? Is it oil heat or gas heat?” The more detailed, the better!
So, when you are driving by and that house catches your eye and you are compelled to make that yard sign call, be sure to be prepared: the address, the location, the color, have your detailed questions other than just how much it is. There is always so much more to a home and it’s value than, obviously, it’s price.
This free eGuide will answer many of your questions and likely bring up a few things you didn’t even know you should consider when buying a home.