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11 Steps to Buying the Home That's Right for You – Step 5: Do Your Homework!

computer.jpg I apologize for the delay in getting you back on track with the 11 Steps to Buying the Home That’s Right for You. Last time, we left off with Step 4: Fine Tuning Your Needs and Wants.
So, if you’re following along, you should now have a budget and a realistic list of what you’re looking for. And your REALTOR will also have your budget and your list in mind. Most likely, your REALTOR will be sending you listings that match your criteria from the MLS. This will most likely happen via email since carrier pigeons take a while to get the information to you, and sometimes they get lost. So be sure you are checking your email often. Even though properties aren’t flying off the market like they were a couple of years ago when the San Francisco real estate market was on fire, they’re still moving. And the more desirable, quaint, charming properties are still moving, and moving FAST!
However, the listings your REALTOR sends you are only as good as the information you provide. If upon determining your wants, needs and like-to-haves’s you forgot to mention to your REALTOR that you are willing to consider a neighborhood that was previously on your “no way in hell am I living there” list, your REALTOR likely won’t be sending your properties in that neighborhood. And if you change your mind and decide that neighborhood better belongs on your “I might live there if the house is damn cute” list, your REALTOR still won’t send you the listings unless you remember to communicate this change to your REALTOR.
One way to communicate this with your REALTOR is to use Zephyr MLS Direct powered by
Not every REALTOR offers this service to their clients – it costs us a pretty penny to offer the service, but for the REALTORS that use it, and for their clients, the service is priceless. a href=”” target=”_blank”>Zephyr MLS Direct provides you with access to 100% of MLS data, and allows you to create saved searches and to save and track your favorite properties. Most importantly though, it allows your REALTOR to see your searches, your activity and your favorite properties. So when you forget to tell your REALTOR that you visited your friend’s friend’s place in Potrero Hill and that you are now considering it in your house hunt, your REALTOR will be able to snoop in your a href=”” target=”_blank”>Zephyr MLS Direct activity and see that you are now searching in Potrero Hill. In a nutshell, if your preferences change, your REALTOR can stay on top of them without you even having to remember to tell her (or him).
Of course, if your REALTOR doesn’t provide you with a href=”” target=”_blank”>Zephyr MLS Direct or a similar service, you can always use websites such as or to supplement the listings that your REALTOR is sending to you.
Or another service. Not all agents provide this. (I pay for my clients to use this) your agent will be sending you listings, but you should be looking too. The more you do your homework, the more knowledgable you’ll be about the market. And the more knowledgable you are about the market, the more confident you’ll be that you’re doing the right thing when the time comes to make an offer on the home of your dreams.
But, before you start making offers, you’ll first have to get out there and look at homes for sale. That’ll be Step 6 to Buying the Right Home For You: Get Out There and LOOK! – so stay tuned to learn about looking at San Francisco properties!