Define Your Needs and Hire a Professional to Help You!
Now that you have got your finances in order and have gone so far as to get pre-qualified or even better, pre-approved by a lender, it’s time to really analyze what you are looking for in your next home purchase. Many life events precipitate and narrow down your parameters for the ideal home. Commute to work, work from home, birth of a child, desire to move-up or empty nesting can trigger the need for change. In addition, the preference to diversity holdings can ignite the desire to buy investment properties. With all this said, sometimes the perfect home was not what you initially thought you were looking to buy. However, when you seriously evaluate the driving factors, the right home becomes much more apparent. One person can look at a condo near a hospital on a highway as a perfect investment property as doctors and nurses are typically moving in an out of hospitals and need quality rental options. Another buyer wants the white picket fence, cozy interior and great schools. Define that list (write it down) and it will help you narrow your search criteria. The next step is to find an agent. As I said before, this is one of the biggest purchases in your life and more and more buyers are going it alone. Would you invest on your own? Would you paint your entire house on your own? Would you take on a medical procedure without interviewing several professional? Probably not! So…… interview several real estate agents to get sound advice and to help you with the transaction. There is no cost to the buyer, so it makes sense to employ a professional. Take the process seriously and take the time to interview agents to see who has a similar or complimentary philosophy, temperament and personality. Best of all, a real estate agent has the insight, tools and connections to help speed the process and to put you in the best position to secure the home you want.
Buyers and Sellers Have Different Agent Requirements
Buyers can't be lumped into a single bucket. There are different levels of experience and requirements. First-time buyers need a lot more hand-holding. Investors want lots of data and repeat buyers want a savvy agent that knows the market and neighborhood. Most want transactional help, lots of interpretation of documents, and help with decisions.
In a vacation or resort home market, buyers need even more support. Many vacation home markets are in rural, mountain, or seaside areas. These are areas that often have strict environmental, developmental, and building codes. Out-of-area buyers need skilled representation to be sure that they aren't buying something with hidden future problems.
If you're looking for specialized properties or in resort/vacation locations you will tend to rely more on your expertise and local market knowledge. Even when it comes to condominiums, the condo rules and financial particulars are extremely important. An inexperienced condominium buyer will benefit greatly from an explanation of how condo association fees are assessed and how they can be changed in the future, raising the cost of ownership.
When it comes to investor buyers, you will need a great deal of market knowledge. You will need someone who has aggressive approach to helping you locate good investment deals and the negotiating skills to help you get a property at the right price. This real estate professional should be someone who can catch things you might have missed and bring details to your attention before an investment mistake.
If you a moving up or moving into a new neighborhood, you want a professional who has knowledge of the market, good connections, excellent negotiation skills and a “can do” attitude. It can take months to a year to find that ideal home, so your agent needs to be in it for the long haul.
The simplistic look at Sellers is that they want to sell their home quickly and at the highest dollar amount possible. It's also true that sellers are reliant on a professional to help present their home in the best way possible. A good agent will help a seller understand the areas that need to be updated, painted, remodeled or modified to secure the highest price. They can also help accentuate the positive qualities of the home. Staging can be extremely helpful in creating a “fresh” look for an older home. Compass Concierge helps you maximize your home’s value by fronting the cost of home improvement Compass concierge
. Finally, a strong marketing plan is key to a successful home sale. Needless-to-say the internet has changed everything, so a professional that understands internet marketing is very beneficial.
For All Consumers
From most important down, below are the skills and qualities of real estate agents that actual home buyers and sellers say they value:
There are others, including people skills and technical skills, but the one that is most overlooked is an agent’s knowledge and understanding of the real-estate contract and its complexities. Add in a financial advisor to explain tax implications, investment opportunites and cash flow and you have a winning team to help you make a sound decision. Remember the internet is a great way to start your real estate search and an even better way to compare and contrast properties. However, what puts the sale over the finish line is a contract of sale. The internet is great for your initial investigation, but it cannot provide a human to negotiate the sale and someone who knows the local contract and market. Spend the time to find an agent that fits your style. It’s worth it!