Home Buying 411 with Carol Dorey

Home  Buying 411 with Carol Dorey

With winter a distant memory and weather continuing to warm up, many in the Lehigh Valley will start itching to house hunt. But pump those brakes before driving curbside because we sat down with seasoned realtor, Carol Dorey of Carol C. Dorey Real Estate, Inc. in Springtown, to discuss home buying secrets that will make the process run smoothly. Whether you happen to be a first-time home buyer, or trade zip codes as frequently as Grey’s Anatomy has seasons, Dorey’s more than four decades of experience is knowledge worth sharing.

Marketplace: First, congratulations on 43 years in the real estate business, Carol. That’s very impressive.
Carol Dorey: Thank you. I really love what I do.

MP: So, let’s get started. What is the best time of year to purchase a home?
CD: I always say, when you’re in a position to buy. As far as time of year, sellers think spring because flowers are in bloom, but winter buyers are often more serious.

MP: How important is realtor or real estate agency selection?
CD: It’s very important. Look for someone who has been in the business for awhile, is willing to listen, is available anytime, and an agent familiar with the neighborhood of interest. Agents need to advise on agreements of sale, contingency offers, and keep track of application dates.

MP: What nuggets of advice would you give to first-time home buyers?
CD: 1. Prequalify with a bank to find out the price range you can consider and stick to that amount. There is nothing worse than having customers fall in love with houses only to find out they are out of reach.

2. Go to 8, 10, or 12 open houses in that price range. By then, the buyer will have seen more homes in that range than the realtor and the agent can help with comps.

3. Always go to the home inspection. The inspector reviews important details that may have been missed at showings. If termites are found, for example, treatment arrangements can be made in advance of settlement.

4. Make a clean offer. The fewer things to negotiate, the better!

5. Always go to the home inspection—it’s worth repeating since many people just don’t go. For most, it’s the largest purchase they will ever make, so it only makes sense to check out the property before closing.

MP: Is there a bias towards some properties that has changed over the years?
CD: Yes. Look at houses that have been on the market for a long time (multiple years) as potential opportunities. Often, these homes just need updating or are priced too high.

MP: Have there been many changes to the real estate industry during your 43 years of experience?
CD: Oh, my goodness, yes! The biggest is the Internet. Before, we would get calls asking about proximity of power lines, neighbors, barking dogs, and now people can check Google Earth and get most of their answers. Zillow, and similar sites, have helped the industry tremendously. Buyers can search any location, at any time of the day or night, and see photos of properties. They can even do a drive by to see if there is enough interest for a showing. Years ago, we had to rely on other realtors, or the MLS (multiple listing service) to find houses for clients. The Internet has helped us know our market better.

MP: What are the current trends in home buying?
CD: Smart houses are big right now. Buyers want to check houses from afar, turn lights on and off and check security from their cell phones. Kitchens and baths are always important, but more so now. We are seeing big open spaces for kitchen and great room combinations that bring people together. Outdoor entertaining is also trending, and people have been spending more time and effort on pergolas, outdoor grills and kitchens, ponds, and waterfall features that spill into swimming pools.

MP: Any last words for home buyers?
CD: Yes. Don’t make ridiculously low offers on homes. It’s insulting to the sellers, and they tend to think poorly of you as a result. And always go to your home inspection! (Laughter) To reach out to Carol Dorey and her team for assistance in finding the perfect home for your family, contact them at:

Carol C. Dorey Real Estate, Inc.
3136 Main St, Box 500  |  Springtown

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