Monthly Archives: January 2011

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Realtor when Buying a House?

 It is a buyer’s market and you think you can get a good deal on a home and save money on taxes and rent.  Good idea.  You have looked online and drove around a bit and see some homes you like.  What now?  Should you get some help or try to do this on your own?  The answer is – GET SOME HELP!!!!!  Here’s why….

1.  IT’S FREE!!  How many times in life does someone give you professional advice, protect your interests and help you save money…. and you don’t have to pay them?  A buyer’s Realtor is paid by the seller – whether it is a bank or an individual or the government.    You pay nothing and you greatly benefit – see below…

2.  Save Money.  A Realtor can provide you with updated information on how much a house is worth and comparables on what has sold and what is on the market, sales history of the house, listing time, etc.   Even if you are the best negotiator in the world, you need to statistics and information to help you decide which homes are a good deal and which are not.   And a Realtor can help you negotiate the price.  They do it every day.  Without this information and experience, you may offer too much for a property.  A Realtor will ensure you get the best deal.

 3. Information about Properties.  Realtors have access to the MLS and can gain access to view properties.  Yes, anyone can see listings on the internet, but you may not know if they are still on the market or if there is information you need to know.  Today’s market is very complicated.  There are bank-owned properties, auction properties, government-owned properties, short sales, etc.  You need someone who keeps up to date on everything so you know which homes to avoid and which ones to see. 

4. Easy Access to Properties.  Not everyone has access to view properties.  Realtors do.  Banks and government entities, not to mention individual homeowners don’t want just anyone walking through their properties.  Realtors have private access cards and codes that anyone will not have access to.  They may help you out and show you the property, but it will be on their timetable.  Your Realtor is on Your Timetable.

5. Protect Your Interests.   You can call the name on the sign in front of the house or on the internet and get a showing or information.  Yes you can….BUT…. that person is the listing agent and while bound by certain laws of truth and disclosure, they work for the seller and their job is to protect the seller.  As the buyer, they can represent you, but who do you think their loyalties will go to?  Don’t you want someone whose sworn job is to protect you?

 6.  See Beyond.    Realtors see dozens of houses in a week or month and some can help you see not what the house, but what it can be.  How it can be fixed up to retain value, etc.  What it would look like if this or that were done.  Not all Realtors have this kind of experience, but many can help you see what is not there…what could be so you don’t pass up a diamond in the rough.

7.      Paperwork.  There are volumes of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction and many bank and government entities who own property these days require every T is crossed and I is dotted or you could have to do it multiple times and could lose the deal to someone else who has a Realtor.  Plus, who wants to do it.  Realtors Do!

8.   Time.  Looking for properties, calling to see if offers are received, following up on things.  If time is money and this is FREE, use their time and not yours.  Don’t feel bad – that is their job.

 9.      Resources.  Do you know a good mortgage lender, a trustworthy contractor, real estate attorney, and an inspector?  Realtors Do!  While it is against the law for any Realtor to get or give kickbacks or incentives to anyone they refer to, like an inspector, contractor, lender, attorney, etc., Realtors work with these people every day and they know who is good and who isn’t.  Using them means access to their resources that will save you time, money and hassle and ensure you are getting the best price and the best service for your money.  Plus, these resources will always give preferential treatment to the customers of their Realtor, as they will give them more business.  If you call right out of the phone book, you may not get that VIP treatment.

 10. Why Not???  Use of professionals is an average everyday occurrence that most people have for everything.  If you want the best job – you use a professional.  Most people don’t operate on themselves, represent themselves in court, or even cut their own hair.  Why, because they are not experts and they want someone to ensure they are not taken advantage of.  And the only reason someone does anything themselves is to save money.  THIS IS FREE!   So – let’s review….saves you money, doesn’t cost anything, protects your interests and ensures you get the best deal.  Plus, they give you the benefit of their time, resources, experience, information and knowledge.

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A lot of people in buyer and seller forums are questioning whether they should sell now or wait.  Often, for whatever reason, these people want to buy something smaller or less expensive, but they will need to sell first.

I encourage people to try to sell now and buy as soon as possible.  Here is why…

You would buy at the lowest price.  On the place you buy, you will be paying longer on interest, taxes, etc.  So it stands to reason that you want that price to be the lowest.  That time is now.  

Why wait?  Trying to guess the exact right time to sell is harder than trying to guess the stock market.  It is just as volatile and even worse, because you have people’s emotions wrapped up in it. 

But this is not going to be for everyone.  You need to crunch the numbers and make sure it is the right move for you financially and personally.

Get a CMA done on your house by a few Realtors.  It is FREE.  Ask what they think your house will sell for and what the current market is.  And ask them how much they would recommend listing for and what they think you can reasonably get.  Don’t ask how long it will take to sell – no one has a crystal ball.  

Also give them your criteria to buy and ask what is available and what you can expect to pay for another home.

Then look at the amount you owe on the house and what you would walk away with.  Even if you have no equity or maybe a little underwater, it may still come out OK.  Look at the amount you pay monthly, including taxes, insurance, etc. and look at the amount you can expect to pay for someplace else.  The house you will get will increase in equity in several years, so you still may come out ahead.  And your payment reduction may go a long way to making up lost equity. 

The bottom line is there may be a better situation out there for you.  It doesn’t cost anything to put your home on the market and you will never know until you try.  There could be a buyer out there right now for your home – or maybe in a few months or weeks. 

And look at what is on the market in your criteria.  You don’t need to view the properties, but you should at least have an idea of what is out there, if you sell sooner than later.  But otherwise, don’t give up and don’t get discouraged.  It doesn’t hurt to try and it could be the best thing that happens to you.

Top 10 Reasons to Use a Realtor when Buying a House?

It is a buyer’s market and you think you can get a good deal on a home and save money on taxes and rent.  Good idea.  You have looked online and drove around a bit and see some homes you like.  What now?  Should you get some help or try to do this on your own?  The answer is – GET SOME HELP!!!!!  Here’s why….

  1.  IT’S FREE!!  How many times in life does someone give you professional advice, protect your interests and help you save money…. and you don’t have to pay them?  A buyer’s Realtor is paid by the seller – whether it is a bank or an individual or the government.    You pay nothing and you greatly benefit – see below…
  2.  Save Money.  A Realtor can provide you with updated information on how much a house is worth and comparables on what has sold and what is on the market, sales history of the house, listing time, etc.   Even if you are the best negotiator in the world, you need to statistics and information to help you decide which homes are a good deal and which are not.   And a Realtor can help you negotiate the price.  They do it every day.  Without this information and experience, you may offer too much for a property.  A Realtor will ensure you get the best deal.
  3.  Information about Properties.  Realtors have access to the MLS and can gain access to view properties.  Yes, anyone can see listings on the internet, but you may not know if they are still on the market or if there is information you need to know.  Today’s market is very complicated.  There are bank-owned properties, auction properties, government-owned properties, short sales, etc.  You need someone who keeps up to date on everything so you know which homes to avoid and which ones to see. 
  4.  Easy Access to Properties Not everyone has access to view properties.  Realtors do.  Banks and government entities, not to mention individual homeowners don’t want just anyone walking through their properties.  Realtors have private access cards and codes that anyone will not have access to.  They may help you out and show you the property, but it will be on their timetable.  Your Realtor is on Your Timetable.
  5.  Protect Your Interests.   You can call the name on the sign in front of the house or on the internet and get a showing or information.  Yes you can….BUT…. that person is the listing agent and while bound by certain laws of truth and disclosure, they work for the seller and their job is to protect the seller.  As the buyer, they can represent you, but who do you think their loyalties will go to?  Don’t you want someone whose sworn job is to protect you?
  6.  See Beyond.    Realtors see dozens of houses in a week or month and some can help you see not what the house, but what it can be.  How it can be fixed up to retain value, etc.  What it would look like if this or that were done.  Not all Realtors have this kind of experience, but many can help you see what is not there…what could be so you don’t pass up a diamond in the rough.
  7.  Resources.  Do you know a good mortgage lender, a trustworthy contractor, real estate attorney, and an inspector?  Realtors Do!  While it is against the law for any Realtor to get or give kickbacks or incentives to anyone they refer to, like an inspector, contractor, lender, attorney, etc., Realtors work with these people every day and they know who is good and who isn’t.  Using them means access to their resources that will save you time, money and hassle and ensure you are getting the best price and the best service for your money.  Plus, these resources will always give preferential treatment to the customers of their Realtor, as they will give them more business.  If you call right out of the phone book, you may not get that VIP treatment.
  8. Paperwork.  There are volumes of paperwork involved in a real estate transaction and many bank and government entities who own property these days require every T is crossed and I is dotted or you could have to do it multiple times and could lose the deal to someone else who has a Realtor.  Plus, who wants to do it.  Realtors Do!
  9. Time.  Looking for properties, calling to see if offers are received, following up on things.  If time is money and this is FREE, use their time and not yours.  Don’t feel bad – that is their job.
  10.  Why Not???  Use of professionals is an average everyday occurrence that most people have for everything.  If you want the best job – you use a professional.  Most people don’t operate on themselves, represent themselves in court, or even cut their own hair.  Why, because they are not experts and they want someone to ensure they are not taken advantage of.  And the only reason someone does anything themselves is to save money.  THIS IS FREE!   So – let’s review….saves you money, doesn’t cost anything, protects your interests and ensures you get the best deal.  Plus, they give you the benefit of their time, resources, experience, information and knowledge.