Ever want to know what your agent’s REALLY thinking? This is from a recent poll of Real Estate agents…
1. Know what you want, but be willing to compromise.
There are two sides to this point:
- If you don’t have a list of “must have’s” and “would be nice” to go by, you’ll waste a lot of your time (and your agents time) searching for houses that never seem to quite fit your bill.
- If you have too many “must have’s,” it’s unlikely you’ll ever find that one house that has everything.
- A good agent will have an honest conversation with you to help determine your home criteria BEFORE you start your search.
2. Make location your #1 priority
Why? Because it’s the one thing you cannot change! Here are some things to consider:
- Commute distance.
- Does the neighborhood fit your lifestyle?
- Market conditions: Does the neighborhood resell well?
- Amenities and HOA rules.
3. Get a mortgage pre-approval before you start your search.
You want to know what you can afford before you start your search, and you don’t want to get excited about a house only to find you can’t borrow enough to purchase it. Plus, most sellers won’t entertain an offer without an accompanying pre-approval letter.
4. Compare Lenders before finalizing your loan.
A mortgage broker who doesn’t have a sharp and organized team can make your loan process very difficult, and some mortgage bankers are willing to offer discounts or special programs. It’s a good idea to get referrals from friends as well as your agent, interview them, and choose a lender who best fits your needs.
5. Search online first
With today’s online search tools, you can have access to the same information that your broker has. But make sure you’re using a service that has up-to-date feeds from the Multiple Listing Service, otherwise, you waste time looking at homes that may already be under contract.
Our company, Blue Coast Realty, has the best search engine anywhere – CLICK HERE to check it out.
PRO TIP: Have your agent set up a search portal for you. You’ll be notified by email immediately when a home that matches your search parameters comes on the market! We find it makes the search process much simpler for our clients.
6. But use a Buyers Agent
You can find a home online easy enough, but the process of negotiating a contract and bringing the transaction to a successful close is long and complicated.
An experienced Broker knows the area, will help you navigate the process, and will exclusively represent your interests in the transaction. You may not be aware, but the agent that listed the home represents the seller, so they’re duty-bound to share any information they learn about you with the seller.
Plus, using a buyer’s agent is FREE – it won’t cost you a penny! Real Estate commissions are paid by the seller, so by using a buyers agent you’re essentially getting a professional service for free!
7. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Your agent is there to help! If your agent seems unwilling to answer your questions, you should fire them and look for one who will!
8. Remember Real Estate Brokers work on commission – they only get paid when the transaction is complete.
We’re one of the only profession that doesn’t get paid until the work is 100% done. So keep in mind that when a buyer changes their mind after looking at 10 homes or decides to let their cousin list their home after the agent did the market analysis and staged the home, that agent didn’t get paid for that time.
9. Even though they work a non-conventional schedule, agents still have lives.
We all have lives, kids, family, doctor appointments, other clients, and we all need time off. Your Broker should work hard for you, but don’t expect them to be at your beck and call 24/7.
10. Hire a professional real estate photographer take the pictures for your home.
Remember that potential buyers are looking at your home online before deciding to view it, so that first impression really matters! High-quality staged photo’s can make the difference between a buyer wanting to see more, or “swiping left” to move on to the next home.
That’s why we offer a FREE HDR photo package taken by a local professional with every home that we list!
11. Hire a professional home inspector
Some buyers are hesitant to spend the money, but that inspection may save you thousands of dollars later on if you end up buying a home that has serious issues. We always recommend a home inspection, pest inspection, and a septic inspection if the home has a septic system.
12. Be honest about the condition of your home.
Some states (including North Carolina) are “buyer beware” and don’t require sellers to disclose anything about the home so it might be tempting to sweep some issues under the rug. Don’t do it. It will almost always come back to haunt you later!
13. Ask for a Home Warranty
When you’re negotiating a purchase, ask the seller to include a home warranty. Even if the seller doesn’t agree, it’s a good idea to add it because it protects you for the first year from unexpected expenses.
14. Get your home in tip-top shape before listing it
Homes that have been prepped will sell faster and for more money.
One of the services we offer is a free home analysis and staging for every listing. We do this because we want your home to sell fast and for the highest possible price.
15. Be reasonable
Sellers want to sell for as high a price possible, buyers want to buy at as low a price as possible, and emotions can run high. Just remember that there are two parties involved in the transaction.
The objective of a negotiation is not to “win” but to negotiate a price that works for both the buyer and seller.
Insisting your home be listed above market value can hurt you in several ways:
- Buyers agents will tell their clients the home is overpriced, and so they may strike it from their list and not even consider it.
- When the bank appraises the home for the loan (and all banks will do this), and it doesn’t appraise for the contract price, you’ll have to lower the price to match the appraisal.
In the same way, trying to “lowball” a home way below its value is counterproductive. Many sellers will simply reject the offer, which will make it harder to continue the negotiations from a position of strength. A buyer that is insistent on low-balling every offer is wasting their time, and their agents time.
There you have it, 15 things Real Estate agents want you to know!
Feel free to leave comments!
Tammy & Clay Ritter
Hope Street Realty
CLICK HERE to contact us about buying or selling a home!