Are you a first time home buyer about to enter the market, or possibly about to sell your first purchase? There are a lot of challenges, and sometimes it’s a bit nerve-wracking, but rest assured, having an agent who is responsive to your questions and fears can make all the difference. Here are some things to think about, and ideas to keep in mind as you move forward.
1. THE RIGHT PRICE
Pricing a property is a science of its own. There are a lot of components and factors, so many small details, that ultimately lead to the value of a home. Turning to sites that offer property estimates may give you an idea of the general market, but even the most popular (Zillow) can unfortunately be off by 20% or more, according to their own statistics. A Realtor will study recent sales and active listings to see how your home compares and can come up with a number that matches the current market. You do need to know your personal bottom line (how much you owe minus the cost to sell) because this can be helpful when you get ready to negotiate.
2. REFUSING TO NEGOTIATE
If you go into a sale, or purchase, refusing to make negotiations, hard-set on what you want without exception, you’re going to cause a lot of unnecessary grief and stress for yourself during the sales process. An experienced agent can help you choose where to compromise and where to stand your ground. If you’re a buyer, and the seller is unwilling to compromise at all, your agent can help you decide whether to stay in the fight or walk away. If neither party is willing to make negotiations, you’ll find yourself in a contract time and time again, only to fall apart before you can finally close on the home. A great agent can help all parties to the transaction feel like they’ve won – because at the end of the day, if you get through closing – you have!
3. REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS
When you’re purchasing a home, and you want to find a deal, you may need to discuss your budget with your agent to understand about what you might expect within your price range. Sometimes it leads to a bit of compromise, but it can also help you find out what features, locations and other items on your checklist are the most important, and which items may not matter as much. I worked with a family recently who moved here from a more urban (and more expensive!) area. They started out with what I found to be a realistic list of must-haves, but after seeing only a few carefully selected homes; I was able to show them some of the best features of our area, and they have now shifted their focus entirely! You shouldn’t scrap everything you know and love, but being open-minded can sometimes yield surprisingly awesome results.
4. YOU’RE NOT ALONE, DON’T GO IT ALONE
Don’t make the mistake of trying to handle the sales process all on your own. There is a reason that the real estate profession, and the laws around it, are as strong as they are. Real estate agents are a necessity during the sales process to ensure the right steps are taken to get a home sold. Buying and selling is a difficult process that requires knowledge and expertise that comes from a professional within the industry. From contract terms and effective negotiation, to finding homes that aren’t even listed on the market, there are a lot of ins and outs un-experienced buyers and sellers may not think about. Avoid the stress of “learning the hard way” and find a professional that can give you the guidance you need to get the task at hand completed and ensure you’re happy with the outcome.