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Five Signs You’re Ready to Talk to a Real Estate Broker

You’ve dreamed about homeownership. You’ve looked at neighborhoods around Chicagoland. You’ve done some initial research on the local market. You’ve started talking with your friends and family about making a move. Now, how will you know that the time is right to take the next step forward and talk with a real estate broker?

Whatever your real estate goals may be, your real estate broker is an essential partner — and the real estate professional you choose can be the most important decision you make along your real estate journey. 

Here are five signs that you’re ready to move your goals forward by reaching out to a Chicagoland real estate broker: 

1.) You’re Financially Prepared to Take the Next Step

There are many important steps you should be prepared to take in order to purchase a home, including getting financially ready. This generally includes having a downpayment; bolstering your savings for closing costs, repairs, and other expenses; improving your debt-to-income ratio; and getting a handle on your credit score. 

Of course, there are also many myths and misconceptions out there about the financial side of things, as well — for instance, that you must have a 20 percent downpayment and a perfect credit score in order to move forward. In reality, many buyers purchase their homes with less than 10 percent down, and the majority of all approved loans come from buyers with FICO scores below 750. 

Purchasing a home can feel daunting; a real estate broker is an important guide who can help transform this intricate and complex process into one that is smarter and more seamless at every step of the way.

One important financial step is getting a preapproval. Preapproval from a lender doesn’t guarantee a loan, but it tells the seller that you can afford their property, which puts you in a stronger negotiating position. Getting a preapproval also provides you with a more complete idea of your loan options and budget, as well as the buying programs you may be eligible for, allowing you to focus and make the most of your home search. 

Buying a home will never be easier if the financing end of things is a tangled mess. When you work with a Baird & Warner broker, you’ll have access to our in-house lending partners at Key Mortgage Services, giving you a One-Stop Shop for obtaining a preapproval and ultimately securing your loan at the best possible terms. And, being local, it makes it easier for them to help you navigate the preapproval and loan process and keep you informed.

2.) You Want to See What’s Out There

There’s a common misconception that looking at homes is the best way to start your journey as a buyer. With so many options on social media and so many resources out there, it should be easy to buy on your own, right? 

The Chicagoland real estate market is complex and competitive, and there are many moving parts that go into finding and purchasing a property — including combing through listings, researching the local market, scheduling showings and viewing appointments, making an offer, handling negotiations, and knowing which home inspector or real estate attorney will best take care of you. 

Each of these parts will contribute to finding you your best home option at the best possible price. It’s a complicated and time-consuming process, even under the best of circumstances — and it’s a lot to handle on your own. An experienced real estate broker can streamline this complicated undertaking, making it easier for buyers at every step of the way. 

And when you want to explore the market, your broker can provide you with unparalleled tools and access. If you’re just starting out, your broker can help you get to know the many unique neighborhoods that make up Chicagoland, so you can begin to focus your search. During your search, a broker will have access to private listing sites and other resources, allowing them to see new listings well before they ever become available to the general public. Real estate brokers also have access to a deep network of home pros and other real estate agents, and can connect directly with listing agents who might have the perfect property for a certain buyer. These unique advantages mean that a real estate broker can present you with that special listing which may otherwise fall through the cracks online, or find “pocket listings” which may not be available to those searching solo. Baird & Warner brokers can also connect buyers with our sophisticated toolkit of customizable resources that can help you narrow and focus your hunt for a new home.

3.) You’re Ready for More Responsibility

Are you constantly dreaming about painting the living room, or changing out the cabinet hardware in the kitchen? Do you wish you could spend your weekends tackling a home to-do list or working on your lawn and garden? Tired of putting in calls to a landlord or management company? All of these are signs that you’re mentally ready for the responsibility and control that comes with owning your own home. 

Even before the weekend maintenance, it’s important to remember that buying or selling a home is a major undertaking, and that you can invest time and energy into the real estate process. Whether you’re buying or selling with a Baird & Warner agent, you’ll have experience, knowledge and innovation on your side. Your broker is your real estate expert, trusted advisor, and confidant. He or she can help take the responsibility off your plate, managing all the people and moving parts to make sure you get the results you want.

4.) You’re Ready to Act Quickly and Confidently

Real estate is more complicated and more competitive than ever, particularly in the Chicagoland market. Your Baird & Warner real estate agent will take time to understand what you’re looking for and empower you to navigate through the rapidly changing local market with peace of mind from beginning to end. 

According to the National Association of REALTORS© 2020 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers report, the average buyer spent about eight weeks searching for homes in the last year; buyers looked at a median of nine homes, which typically included five properties viewed only online. 

At Baird & Warner, we know that the rest of your life doesn’t go away when you’re searching for a home. Until those keys are handed over, your life is on hold — and we get that. 

We know how important it is that your deal goes through on time. That’s why having a team that works together to get you to the closing table is so important. 

Our One-Stop Shop can get you there fast and with everything you need to make sure the deal goes through. Once you’ve found the right home, Baird & Warner agents are highly trained local experts who will help you develop a strategy to move forward with confidence. Once a deal is sealed, they’ll coordinate with your loan officer, attorney, and all other parties to make the process a lot easier for you.

Every real estate transaction is unique, and that’s why it’s so important to have a trusted attorney who understands your situation and has the right expertise. In Illinois, providing a clean title is the obligation of the seller, but you’ll want an experienced attorney working on your behalf to review the documents and help make sure the property you’re buying is free of liens or other title defects. Baird & Warner Title is rated as one of the top title companies in Illinois, with a network of 1000 local real estate attorneys who specialize in residential real estate and who are well-versed in the local laws and regulations that may impact your transaction. 

Having your loan complete and on file will also help make sure your closing goes smoothly. When you work with Key Mortgage, you get a lender who’s been part of the Baird & Warner family for more than 30 years. As an independent local lender, Key Mortgage has more flexibility than banks or national lenders, which means dozens of financing options available to help get you home. 

At every step of the way, your Baird & Warner is the quarterback, taking the stress out of coordinating and managing the process. They’ll call all the plays and keep your deal moving forward. And because your agent always has a direct line of communication all the way to the top, you don’t have to worry about miscommunication or anyone dropping the ball. Everyone is on the same team, working together to make sure the process moves forward for you. 

5.) You Need More Space for the Things That Matter Most

Over the last year, many have gained a new appreciation for home and all its four walls hold. We’ve all gotten the chance to review our homes with a fresh set of eyes — and now, many are ready for more space, a home office, patio space, a larger kitchen, smart home tech, and other new features. 

Maybe your limited storage space is full to the brim. Maybe you’re growing your family and need more bedrooms. Perhaps you’ve added a furry, four-legged friend to your pack and need more outdoor space. Or maybe you have an exciting job opportunity and you’re ready to relocate. There are countless signs that say you’re ready to start the search for a new home. 

When it’s time to stop kicking your biggest real estate goals down the line, a broker can help make every step easier — from the day you start envisioning your next home to the day you’re handed the keys.

When Home Means More, You Need a Team With More to Offer

Home is about so much more than just four walls. Buying or selling a home is a big deal, and with everything we experienced in 2020, our homes have never been more important. That’s why your local Baird & Warner agent is with you at every step of the way, from finding the perfect home to connecting you with local experts in mortgage and title. Whether it’s the beginning of a story or the end of a chapter, we’re here to help.