100 Real Estate and Relocation Tips in 100 Days (Day 80 )
In Web 2.0 parlance, crowd sourcing is the act of throwing a question out to everyone in your social network, looking for the best, or many best answers to your query. That can be a great thing when you are looking for a recommendation on how to tweak your website, or get the best results from FaceBook. Crowd Sourcing your home purchase can be (and usually is) a recipe for disaster.
This is not to say you should not seek advice when buying a home. Quite the contrary, good, well informed advice can be invaluable when buying a home. There are, however, a few cautions on just how to go about asking for and receiving that advice.
First, make certain you can rely on the professional advice being provided by your Realtor®. If you have made a considered and informed decision on your professional adviser, then listen. If you believe your professional is giving you bad advice, or is not listening and responding to your concerns, then change your professional.
It’s probably best not to seek or accept real estate advice from your mortgage lender. Lenders make loans, few are well versed (nor licensed) in the skills necessary to provide professional assistance involving a home purchase. Family members can be a great source of advice and counsel, providing they have the advantage of good information to provide that counsel.
It is almost certainly a very bad idea to ask advice from all of your friends. You will get as many opinions as you have friends, and none of those opinions will have basis of fact. One friend, maybe two can be good, but only if they have been involved since the beginning. As a parent, I want all of the children to make good life decisions, especially when it comes to buying a house. I believe that most parents feel the same way. That does not mean that I, or any parent can, or should, offer home buying advice from 2000 miles away.
Almost every Realtor® can cite multiple stories of the jittery first time buyer bringing a friend or relative to take one last look at the buyers dream home, only to have that dear friend or 2nd cousin veto the sale based on 5 year old market knowledge. If you really want your 2nd cousin’s advice and involvement, bring them along every time you look at houses. Make your cousin part of a collaboration, not someone with veto power.
Make certain you can rely on your own best advice to yourself. Learn about the process, shop for your professional advisors, study up on the important things before you start looking at homes. Before you write a contract, learn about the neighborhoods that you want to live in, knock on a few doors, ask questions of potential neighbors, school administrators, even local business owners. Take the time to understand market values before being faced with making a pricing decision. Ask your Realtor® to explain the purchase contract before you have to sign a contract under pressure.