Whether it’s your first time buying or selling a home, or you consider yourself experienced in real estate, it’s always important to know what you’re getting yourself into. Buying or selling a home can be quite a task and as a Realtor for many years, I have heard about negative experiences as well as success stories that can go hand in hand with real estate transactions. I like to offer some universal pointers and reasons why I recommend relying on a Realtor instead of attempting to go it alone. It should be an exciting time in your life, so why make it overly challenging?
Choosing a Realtor you feel comfortable with is an important part of buying or selling a home. Whether a Realtor approaches you at an open house or you meet she or he at a bustling office, always check their license and credentials. Many of us in the industry hear stories about professionals still selling homes when their license has been expired or revoked. With the power of Google, searching Realtors online has never been easier. A good Realtor will have more than just a LinkedIn profile, making them appear reputable. Many Realtors have online reviews from those who have worked with them. If the Realtor is newer to the profession, they may not have many reviews but that’s okay too. The best approach is to ask around and get recommendations about any agent you are interested in working with, whether they have a large portfolio yet or not. If you feel at ease with the Realtor and feel that they listen to you, you are likely taking that first step in the right direction!
People hire real estate professionals for many reasons, but one of the main benefits of having a Realtor involved is because the home selling/buying process can be time consuming. If you are thinking you may want to put up that “For Sale by Owner” sign in your front yard, for example, be prepared for additional effort and energy that goes along with selling your home. Do you know if you are selling in a buyer’s market? Are homes sitting empty on your block already? Trying to sell your home on your own, while working a full-time job and raising a family, can be a big undertaking. Balancing your work, life, and family time can be hard enough. Adding additional time and energy required to sell your home may turn into an overwhelming experience. Luckily, Realtors can help make the process a smoother one. Realtors know all of the “tools and channels” for selling your home so you don’t have to.
A good Realtor also knows what price range to list your home within and can work in conjunction with “home stagers” to make sure any walk-throughs or open houses make a great first impression. If you are looking to buy, Realtors often know homes for sale even before they are listed, making it a smart decision to contact a Realtor when you are beginning your new home search. Having a large real estate network, Realtors specialize in knowing everything about the communities in which they work, including which home just added that in-ground pool you may be looking for in your new home!
With any real estate transaction, there is paperwork involved. Learning about the laws of your particular state that govern real estate transfers can be a lot of work if you are not experienced. Different laws mean different kinds of paperwork, and Realtors will handle everything you need to do with a simple “sign here” sticker once you’re ready to buy or sell. There may be encumbrances that are on your home or mandatory disclosure laws involved and a Realtor is happy to take the burden off of your shoulders, walking you through the entire process. When dealing with a more complex transaction, trust your Realtor and take a deep breath! Although the process may seem perplexing to you, a skilled Realtor has seen it all and will know what to do. After all, a Realtor’s reputation is at stake and they rely on your review of their services to be successful.
Finding or selling a home should be an exciting occasion, signifying a change in your life. Whether it’s a new baby, job relocation, or marriage, a trusted Realtor can help make the adventure less stressful from the legwork to the paperwork. I know there will be questions along the way, and am more than happy to share my knowledge with you. It’s better to ask every possible question than to feel confused during the home buying or selling process. Knowing the local market, I have first hand experience in what potential buyers look for in our area. Contact me for your real estate needs while the mortgage rates are still low. 2016 can be the best year yet for finding you and your family an ideal home for making new memories!