5 Reasons to Resolve to Hire a Real Estate Professional [INFOGRAPHIC]

Some Highlights:

  • As we usher in the new year, one thing is for certain… if you plan to buy or sell a house this year, you need a real estate professional on your team!
  • There are many benefits to using a local professional!
  • Pick a pro who knows your local market and can help you navigate the housing market!

 

Posted by The KCM Crew

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5 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying & Selling!

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey; you need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but rather have been strengthened, due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to pick up steam. 

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you acquire your dream? 

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible), to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process. 

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $245,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a lowball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying or selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

Posted by The KCM Crew

Common Mistakes Made by Homebuyers

It is hard to prepare for buying a home, especially when it is your first! Here is a survey from inman.com that highlights some of the biggest mistakes made by first time homebuyers. Take a look, so you can avoid some of these pitfalls!

Let one of our agents help you today!

5 Reasons To Hire A Real Estate Pro

Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous journey. You need an experienced Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO.

The 5 Reasons You NEED a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover.

1. What do you do with all this paperwork?

Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale, and these regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality.

2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?

According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you acquire your dream?

3. Are you a good negotiator?

So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible) to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.

4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?

It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $208,700 compared to $235,000 among agent-assisted home sales.”

Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.

5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?

There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?

Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:

“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”

Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.

Bottom Line

You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional?

Posted by The KCM Crew

The Top 5 Reasons You Should Not For Sale By Owner

In today’s market, with homes selling quickly and prices rising, some homeowners might consider trying to sell their home on their own, known in the industry as a For Sale by Owner (FSBO). There are several reasons this might not be a good idea for the vast majority of sellers.

Here are five of those reasons:

1. There Are Too Many People to Negotiate With

Here is a list of some of the people with whom you must be prepared to negotiate if you decide to For Sale By Owner:

  • The buyer who wants the best deal possible
  • The buyer’s agent who solely represents the best interest of the buyer
  • The buyer’s attorney (in some parts of the country)
  • The home inspection companies, which work for the buyer and will almost always find some problems with the house
  • The appraiser if there is a question of value

2. Exposure to Prospective Purchasers

Recent studies have shown that 89% of buyers search online for a home. That is in comparison to only 20% looking at print newspaper ads. Most real estate agents have an internet strategy to promote the sale of your home. Do you?

3. Results Come from the Internet

Where do buyers find the home they actually purchased?

  • 44% on the internet
  • 33% from a Real Estate Agent
  • 9% from a yard sign
  • 1% from newspaper

The days of selling your house by just putting up a sign and putting it in the paper are long gone. Having a strong internet strategy is crucial.

4. FSBOing has Become More and More Difficult

The paperwork involved in selling and buying a home has increased dramatically as industry disclosures and regulations have become mandatory. This is one of the reasons that the percentage of people FSBOing has dropped from 19% to 8% over the last 20+ years.

The 8% share represents the lowest recorded figure since NAR began collecting data in 1981.

5. You Net More Money when Using an Agent

Many homeowners believe that they will save the real estate commission by selling on their own. Realize that the main reason buyers look at FSBOs is because they also believe they can save the real estate agent’s commission. The seller and buyer can’t both save the commission.

Studies have shown that the typical house sold by the homeowner sells for $210,000 while the typical house sold by an agent sells for $249,000. This doesn’t mean that an agent can get $39,000 more for your home as studies have shown that people are more likely to FSBO in markets with lower price points. However, it does show that selling on your own might not make sense.

Bottom Line

Before you decide to take on the challenges of selling your house on your own, sit with a real estate professional in your marketplace and see what they have to offer.

Posted by The KCM Crew

Homes Selling Quickly Across The Country

According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) Existing Home Sales Report, homes were on market for an average of 58 days in December. This was slightly longer than the 54 days in November, but still better than the 66 days experienced in December 2014.

32% of homes across the country were on the market for less than a month!

Colorado, Utah and Delaware led all states as homes are selling in 30 days or less on average. The map below was created using results from NAR’s Monthly Realtor Confidence Survey.

Bottom Line

Buyer demand remains strong. The inventory of homes available for sale remains low. If you are thinking about listing your home for sale this year, meet with a local real estate professional who can help you take advantage of current market conditions!

Posted by The KCM Crew

10 Questions to Ask Before You Choose a Real Estate Agent

Finding a good real estate agent is a lot like dating. It can be exhausting, but when you find the right one, you’ll know immediately.

It’s all about chemistry — so choose your real estate professional wisely.

Finding a real estate agent is a lot like dating. Well-meaning neighbors, friends, and family members try to set you up with someone they know, you meet to see “if it’s a good fit,” and maybe enter a relationship — or in this case, a buyer-broker agreement.

But be wary of picking someone you’re too close to. You’ll spend a lot of time with your agent, so you need to be able to have serious conversations with them and be confident in their negotiation skills. There’s nothing worse than not being able to look Aunt Edna in the eye next Thanksgiving because you weren’t able to make it work with her best friend and real estate agent.

Besides using your own network, you can use tools such as Trulia’s Find an Agent Directory to find highly recommended agents who know how crazy the Boston real estate market is, or have a special skill set (say, speaking a foreign language) to assist you in buying.

Your agent’s personality should also be compatible with yours. Do you need someone easygoing or someone aggressive? Personally, I’m a self-proclaimed overachiever and I like working with someone similar, as long as they have a calm personality and great sense of humor. You may think you want a bulldog who will fight for a deal, but if you don’t like your agent, chances are, no one else will either.

So choose the most qualified person for the job, but also someone you think will make a good partner at every step of the journey. You need someone you’ll feel comfortable disagreeing with and that you can trust — remember that this person will become quite intimate with your home and finances.

Your ideal match will be an experienced professional who knows your market, acts ethically, answers all of your questions, addresses your concerns, and, perhaps most important, will listen to you and be your teammate throughout the entire process.

Here are 10 questions to ask a potential real estate agent or broker.

1. What percentage of your clients are sellers (versus buyers)?

Agents who mostly work with buyers will have a different set of skills from those who primarily represent sellers. You want to make sure this person is an expert at knowing how to land a home in your desired neighborhood.

2. In which neighborhoods do you primarily work?

You want someone who can spout off neighborhood stats like a true local. Your agent doesn’t just need to know the market valuations in Dallas, TX, they also need to know the valuations for each specific neighborhood, from Oak Lawn to Lakewood.

3. Will I be working with you directly?

In other words, will your agent handle all aspects of the transaction or will they delegate some tasks to a sales associate or administrative assistant? A knowledgeable assistant can be invaluable, but you want to make sure you can connect regularly with your agent.

4. Do you work full time or part time as a real estate agent?

Many agents work part time — and that’s fine. But if you expect them to respond to your queries in a timely manner, it’s worth asking how available they can be when you have questions or want to tour a property — especially if your schedule isn’t very flexible.

5. How many home sales have you closed in my desired area?

Success counts. You want someone who has a proven track record of closing deals.

6. How many other buyers are you representing now? How many sellers?

Hint: The busiest agents often are also the most efficient.

7. Is your license in good standing?

You can check an agent’s certification with your state’s department of real estate. Many states provide this information online.

8. How many years of education and experience do you have?

Experience and continuing education typically make for better agents. And it doesn’t hurt to ask if they own their own homes: A Trulia Trends study shows that 85% of brokers and agents are homeowners.

9. Are you also a broker?

What’s the difference? Well, a broker is usually someone who has pursued education beyond what’s required by state laws. This person will probably have passed a broker’s license exam, which can indicate a commitment to real estate as a career — and to above-and-beyond customer service.

10. Can you provide me with the names and phone numbers of past clients who have agreed to be references?

Insights from past customers can help you learn more about an agent and give you a greater comfort level.

Picking a real estate pro is a key decision in the home-buying (and selling!) process. So many great real estate professionals are out there willing to work hard for you, so consider the advice above as you make your selection.

Posted by Michael Corbett on Trulia