woman_on_ipadBuying a home is one of the most significant financial events in your lifetime. Just as you would never go into court without a good attorney or get an operation without an excellent surgeon, don’t face this complex process without the aide of a qualified expert. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Experience over Technology.

The real estate agents with the best technology skills are not always the most experienced professionals. An agent who responds in a timely manner is important, but don’t choose one just because he/she is the first to return your call or email. Being represented by someone skilled at negotiating a real estate deal on your behalf is more valuable to you than an agent who is quick with an iPhone.

Take the time to get to know the person you choose to represent you on this very important purchase. Make sure he/she knows the property values within the neighborhood where you want to buy, knows how to negotiate a sale and has the experience to walk you through the details . Compile a list of characteristics that are important to you in an agent and interview until you find someone who offers what you want.

Free Service for Buyers.

Many buyers do not realize that it doesn’t cost them anything to have a real estate agent
working for them. The seller of the property pays the commission to the agent they hire to market their home. When
you buy a home, the agent who represents you will recieve part of the commission that has been already agreed
upon by the seller and the seller’s agent. Some buyers think that they can only work with the agent who lists the property, but this isn’t the case at all.

Loyalty to One Agent Benefits You.

Most real estate agents are going to work harder for you once they know you
are a loyal client. If you aren’t ready to commit to one agent, be upfront about that when you ask for their
assistance, whether it be to give you information or to view a home . A mature, confident agent understands that
he/she needs to earn your business. But keep in mind that the most successful buyer/agent relationships are
usually ones based upon mutual respect and trust. Once you have found an agent you trust, let him/her know that
you will be loyal. Tell other agents you encounter at Open Houses, etc. that you are already working with someone.
Most agents appreciate and honor that honesty.

If you would like some assistance in finding an agent that is the right match for your needs, our Concierge Service specializes in agent/buyer “match-making.” We have over 200 agents from which to choose. Learn more »

Getting ready to sell? Consider these important tips on “How to Determine Your Home’s Value.”

Whether you are buying your first home or your tenth home, it is a good idea to plan ahead and make sure you follow a proven set of steps. This will make the whole process easier on you as well as the other parties involved with the transaction.

The Money Comes First
  • Get approved for the financing – it can be disheartening to look at a few homes, find one that you truly like and then realize that it is just beyond your budget. Getting pre-approved for a mortgage loan will ensure you look for a place that matches your money.
  • Shop for Homeowner’s Insurance – After you know how much you will possibly spend on the home loan talk to some insurance agents that specialize in home owner’s policies. Get some estimates for how much you will pay monthly and yearly.
Begin searching for a home
  • Talk to an experienced real estate agent – An agent can save you a world of time when searching for a home. They have their finger on the pulse of the local market. Their knowledge will be invaluable in helping you choose a particular area as well as a type of home.
  • Decide on the important aspects – Make sure you understand what you need in a home. If you are single and only have one pet, a 4 bedroom home may not be the best fit for your needs. Conversely, if you are newly married and anticipate having two children, a two bedroom home may be too small in just a few short years.
  • Don’t be afraid to think “outside the box”- Talk to your agent and explain the features you need in a home. You might find a perfect home in a neighboring community that is much cheaper than and as convenient as the current “hot spot” that caught your eye.
Make an Offer
  • Ask your real estate agent to assist with the contract – once you have looked at a few homes and decided on the best one for your needs, ask the agent to help you put together a formal purchase offer. Your agent will submit the offer to the seller and alert you to any counteroffers.
Haggling Over the Price
  • Once again, use your agent – Your real estate agent should be able to pull a comparable sale report that will give you a very good idea of the property’s true value. Some sellers get sentimental when selling a home and place a much higher value on items than is necessary. Decide on what is a true price for the home and stick to your guns.
  • Don’t lowball – Once your agent has provided you with significant information about the value of the home, don’t try to cut another $10,000 or $20,000 just because you think you can. Making an offer too low could end the negotiation and allow the seller to consider other offers.
Inspecting the Home
  • Hire a professional – unless you are buying a completely brand new home, it is wise to hire a professional home inspector to review the home. The inspector will actively look for potential problems and alert you to any necessary item.


Posted by JoJo Stanfield, Century 21 Hometown Realty