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You never forget your first:

Buying a home is an emotional process. Fear, love, stress, joy — you run the gamut. Never is this more true than when you purchase your first home. It’s like your first kiss or your first love. No matter how prepared you think you are, you only learn by doing.
I work with a lot of first-time buyers, and they’re great. They’re excited, curious, and optimistic. However, they’re also often overwhelmed. As if the stress of the biggest investment of their lives isn’t enough, they also have to deal with free ‘advice’ from all sides: parents, friends, co-workers, HGTV. I usually spend half of our first meeting calming them down and letting them know that it is completely normal to feel nervous. I also make it a point to effectively tell them to forget everything they have heard about buying a home.
There is a lot of misinformation out there, with much of it coming from well-intentioned family and friends. It’s like getting relationship advice from your distant cousin, only worse. The fact is, unless those individuals have purchased a home in the last six months in the same market and price range, there is virtually nothing of value they can tell the first-time buyer. The market and lending rules change too quickly. It’s certainly invaluable to have the support of loved-ones as you embark on this adventure, but once you’ve decided to purchase your first home, it’s time to heed the advice of professionals: your mortgage broker, your real estate agent, your inspector, and your lawyer.
That said, often times these people are complete strangers. How do you find them? And, more importantly, how do you decide to put your faith in them? This element of the industry never ceases to amaze me. Your relationship with these professionals is just that — a relationship. It requires research, nurturing, and trust. Yet most people put more thought into what movie to see or what restaurant to dine at than they do into whom they should work with for the biggest transaction of their life!? Think about it. Before you shell out $50 at the cinema, you watch previews, read reviews, check Rotten Tomatoes, ask those who have seen the movie, consider the actors’ past work, etc. You should at least be willing to do the same when hiring real estate professionals!
But it doesn’t stop there. I always tell clients that this is a team effort; their goals are my goals. As such, chemistry and rapport are important. You need to feel that you can call your professionals anytime and ask them anything. Not just today, but five years from now when you have more questions or when you’re moving again. You need to know that once you have committed to them, they are committed to you. And, most of all, you need to feel that your first time is just as important to them as it is to you. Because after all, good or bad, you never forget your first.
T. CHANDLER HALIBURTON