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Buyer & Seller Tips

With numerous things to consider when selling or buying a property, you’re bound to receive loads of informative, helpful information. What about tips for those things you may want to stray away from doing? Here are a few to avoid:

  • paying a transaction fee
  • posting real estate thoughts or concerns on social media platforms
  • talking directly to a seller or a buyer before or after an offer is submitted
  • choosing an agent and company that does NOT meet your needs and expectations
  • choosing NOT list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) and/or choosing NOT to place a sign in your yard
  • believing everything you see on home improvement shows or read online, all markets are NOT the same
  • NOT disclosing all information to your listing agent (easements, encroachments, liens, possible defects, etc…)
  • choosing a lender that is NOT local and NOT following their advice (quitting or changing jobs, buying big ticket items, large, unexplained deposits and NOT exercising caution with credit)
  • taking a low offer personally
  • avoiding pre-qualification prior to looking at homes and/or NOT shopping for a loan
  • NOT following your agents professional advice
  • NOT hiring a buyer’s agent if you are buying a home; rely on your agent for advice, NOT family or friends
  • making alterations to your property once it’s under contract
  • waiting to shop for insurance
  • waiting to see everything on the market and holding out for the perfect home

What sort of questions should be asked before choosing an agent to list my property? Here’s a list to get you started:

  • how long has the agent been selling real estate
  • what is the ratio of sellers to buyers that the agent services
  • what is the average time/number of days the agent’s listings spend on the market
  • what is the agent’s list price to sale price ratio
  • does the agent have a personal assistant or a support staff
  • ask to see the agent’s resume and/or any materials that speak to the agent’s skill set and experience as well as any professional designations and/or references he/she has
  • does the agent understand the corporate buyout clause and what it entails
  • what does the agent know about the area and has he/she sold any properties in the area
  • will the agent disclose all paperwork and contracts that you’ll need to sign, for your review
  • how does the agent intend on communicating with you during the listing and transaction process
  • what is the agent’s standard length of a listing
  • why should you list with this particular agent over someone else

On the flip side, what should every buyer ask their agent? Check this list for informative questions:

  • how does the agent select the homes you will look at
  • will the agent show you homes listed by their company only or homes listed by their company and other companies
  • once you find a home, what comes next
  • what is the earnest money deposit (EMD) for
  • what materials are needed to apply for a loan, what can be done to ensure the loan process is as quick and efficient as possible and what are points
  • how long has the agent been selling real estate
  • ask to see the agent’s resume and/or any materials that speak to the agents skill set and experience as well as any professional designations and/or references he/she has
  • will the agent be working for your best interest

We are a seller’s agency, but we are also a buyer’s agency.

It’s important to know that people selling their homes are represented by the agent listing their home (the seller’s agent or the listing agent), but people buying homes also have the opportunity to be represented; by a buyer’s agent. Representation is not only important for selling in the real estate market, but also for purchasing properties. Without proper representation, you may miss out on integral pieces of information. Traits and services that a buyer’s agent possesses can include: negotiating and what to negotiate on, information disclosing issues with properties and/or surrounding neighborhoods/areas, contacts important in the home buying process such as inspectors and lenders and, last but not least, for looking at/touring properties. You cannot tour properties requiring entry (commercial buildings, homes) without an agent present. When vacant land is concerned, it is always recommended that you look with an agent. Each seller and property is different; there may be rules and restrictions set in place that you wouldn’t otherwise be informed about without the assistance of an agent.

Upon representation by a buyer’s agent, look for these items on the contract(s) you sign:

  • representation of the buyer’s best interests
  • search for all properties that meet the buyer’s needs
  • run comparative market analysis on properties a buyer is considering making an offer on to prevent overpaying for a property
  • negotiate price, terms, possession, contingencies, inclusions and exclusions
  • disclose all known information, as per state or federal law, whether it is positive or negative, on or about the property or properties in question
  • keep all confidential information about the buyer, as per the law, from the seller or the listing agent
  • the buyer’s agent will not accept payment from other parties or vendors in correlation to the property purchase without informing and receiving consent from the buyer
  • the buyer agrees to provide personal and financial information that is truthful and accurate to the best of his or her knowledge
  • the buyer agrees to work solely with the agent and will not work with any other agent during the time of the contract

A buyer’s agent is compensated by a commission percent or rate paid by the seller of the property a buyer purchases. Services rendered by a buyer’s agent are free of charge to a buyer.

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