So, the Stone Oak lifestyle is calling your name. You want to settle in this part of north-central San Antonio because of the great schools, safe neighborhoods, and amazing amenities. Who could blame you? Searching for a house comes with certain expectations as far as how you conduct yourself as a home buyer. Keep these unwritten "rules" in mind when you go through the home buying process so as not to offend your agent or a seller and lose your chances of owning your dream home.

How to Be a Conscientious Stone Oak Home Buyer

Sign a Buyer-Broker Contract Before Looking at San Antonio Homes

How to Be a Conscientious Stone Oak Home Buyer - Search homes for sale in the San Antonio areaFinding a REALTOR® you feel comfortable with should be one of your first priorities as a home buyer. They know the area and can help you narrow your focus to only those properties that fit your "must have" list. Once you sign a contract with a specific agent, then you can ask them to show you San Antonio homes for sale. They only get paid for their time when a sale is complete. A contract defines the buyer-broker relationship. Since you can only work with one contracted agent at a time, asking another agent to show you homes is rude to your current agent and unfair to the other agent. If you find that your agent is difficult to get a hold of or you're unhappy with their services, you can always void the contract and find someone else.

Always Contact Your Agent First

Many home buyers turn to the internet to search available houses for sale in the San Antonio real estate market. But, if you see one you like online and wish to see it in person, contact your real estate agent, not the listing agent. This way, your agent can contact the seller's agent. In turn, they contact the seller to make arrangements for a showing. Why go through this communication chain? The listing agent represents the seller. They have their client's best interests in mind, not yours. That doesn't mean that they want to take advantage of you. But, it helps to have someone on your side to represent your best interests, especially when it comes time to negotiate.

Tardiness is NOT a Virtue

When you make an appointment with your REALTOR®, be on time. They may have other showings set up for the day. Your tardiness could create a scheduling problem for those other showings later in the day. It also shows a disrespect towards your agent. If you're running late or need to reschedule, contact your agent right away to let them know.

Get Your Financing Straight Before You Submit an Offer

Every home buyer should make sure their finances are in order before they even start looking at Stone Oak homes. Many agents won't submit an offer without a mortgage pre-approval letter accompanying it. This shows the seller how serious you are about buying their house. Since it can take a little while to go through the pre-approval process, contact your mortgage company as early on in the home buying process as possible so that you're ready to pounce when you find a San Antonio home you love.

Just Looking? Say So.

Finally, a home buyer needs to be honest if they're in the "just looking" phase. Going to open houses or making your way through a Parade of Homes event is perfectly acceptable. This helps you get a better picture of what you really want in your next home. But, don't pretend to be a serious home buyer if you aren't ready to be one yet. Enlisting the help of a real estate agent without letting them know you're just looking could take their time and focus away from a serious buyer. Since they only get paid when a sale is completed, this means taking money out of their pocket. And you wouldn't be happy if someone did that to you, would you?

LUX Move Up* by Christine Aldrete Banks, CRS, SRS, RSPS