Step 3. We have a saying in real estate and at first it may sound offensive: "Buyers are liars." Sounds horrible doesn't it? What it really means is be truthful with yourself about what you really want. Oh and if there is a significant other involved in the looking, make sure you are on the same page.
Do you want a spanked out kitchen while he is looking for the ultimate garage? Is having 3 bedrooms on one floor important to you because you are planning an addition to the family but he wants a wet bar in the basement for the Stanley Cup Playoff parties he is planning? What about resale? Chances are that this is not your "forever" home and the most important thing to you is resale-ability. There is a lot to consider when figuring out what you are truly looking for in a home and sometimes it helps to take a pad of paper, make a pot of coffee and have a frank discussion of wants, needs and absolute must haves.
Now that you have determined what is truly important to you and you think you have a handle on what you want, we will need to sit down and make sure that it all fits in your budget. I know that you have gone to be pre-approved and the bank has given you a number, but please remember, that number is the maximum and just because you are approved to that doesn't necessarily mean you will be comfortable with that payment. So let's take a look and see if we can make your list fit within a price point that keeps you comfortable. Be prepared! You may not find everything you are looking for at a price you like. This is when you will have to decide if granite counters are a nice to have or a must have item.
Even after all of that you may still not know exactly what you are looking for. That's okay, we have a plan for that. No one is expecting you to buy the first house you walk into (yet you would be amazed at how often that happens). On the first outing with buyers who aren't sure what they want, I will often book what I call "the best of the best" at different price points within your budget and different styles of homes that way you can get a better feel for what you like and what price point is a better fit. Once we have narrowed the field we can then get serious about viewing homes so grab some slip on shoes and stay tuned for STEP 4: Showing Etiquette or Miss Manners meets Super Realtor!