1. Select an Agent to Represent You
As you may be aware, all of the brokerage firms on San Juan Island are members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service; therefore, any of the agents can assist you with any of the properties listed with Coldwell Banker or other brokerage firms. One of the first steps in purchasing real estate on San Juan is to select an agent to represent you. Ideally you should select ONE agent that you feel will provide you with the level of customer service that you require.
It is important for you to understand the Law of Real Estate Agency. The State law allows for three types of agency representation:
Buyer’s representation is when the agent is representing the buyer and intends to obtain property at the lowest possible sales price.
Seller’s representation is when the agent has a listing with the seller and is attempting to obtain the highest possible sales price.
Dual agency is when the agent shows a buyer one of their own listings and the buyer decides to purchase it. In the case of dual agency, the agent represents the seller as well as the buyer.
2. Determine Your Source of Funds
Cash at Closing
1031 Tax Exchange
If you intend to finance your purchase, it is prudent to meet with your lender and determine the maximum loan amount you are qualified for. This amount, coupled with the cash you have allocated, will determine the maximum sales price. We have numerous lenders that are active with financing in the islands if you are interested.
3. Determine the Type of Property You Desire to Purchase
One of the best ways to do this is to develop a list of your desired property features, and a list that details how you intend to use the property. Then prioritize those lists. For example, when I am working with a waterfront purchaser, I obtain the following information:
Is beach access required or is high bank OK?
Do you have a boat? Do you plan to buy a boat?
Bay protection or west side open with current?
Bay view or expansive wide open?
Do you want to be near crabbing and clamming?
Do you want to see the whales, boat traffic and/or sunsets?
Amount of trees, direction of sun exposure and amount of privacy?
The responses received may direct me to property in different locations on the island. However, it may be that until a buyer has an opportunity to view the various types of properties, they may not be able to narrow down or develop their priorities.
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