Finding The Right Real Estate Agent
By Barbara Thorp
Buying and selling real estate can be a tedious and stressful time. At some point during your search to buy or sell real estate, you will need the services of a real estate agent. Selecting an agent can be confusing.
There is a way to determine who is most likely to succeed in helping you get your most favourable price and terms when selling, or finding the perfect house when buying.
QUESTIONS TO ASK A REAL ESTATE AGENT
Do you work full-time or part-time as a real estate agent?
How do you market your properties?
Do you have a full-time assistant to see that no details are overlooked?
How do buyers contact you?
Are you marketing real estate for sale on the Internet?
If I choose to auction off my property, are you experienced in such transactions?
In what ways will you encourage other real estate agents to sell my home?
Do you have a system to follow-up with other agents so that we get valuable feedback after every showing?
How many properties have you sold within the past 30 days? 90 days? 6 months?
Do you have a list of references whom I may check?
Are you available in the Internet so that my real estate property is exposed to millions of buyers instantly?
What is my property worth?
What price do you recommend?
How did you arrive at that price?
Can you assist me in purchasing other homes for sale?
Do you have a written marketing plan designed to sell my real estate property quickly and for top dollar?
Do you guarantee my satisfaction by allowing me to exit the selling agreement at any time if I am not happy?
If the agent you are interviewing does not answer the above questions to your satisfaction, find another agent who does. Hundreds of reputable real estate agents are out there, with brilliant track records and willing hearts. Get your contacts through word of mouth, or if you want to be a little techie about it, consult real estate classifieds.
You have no control over the location of your present home, and your home's location and setting influences its value to some degree. OzFreeOnline.com has rental properties if you are between houses with numerous listings in many areas.
For instance, a home inside a quiet court or a new subdivision may sell for more than the identical home on a busy street or close to a freeway or railway line.
Remote country areas typically sell for less than inner suburban and well-established homes. Even streets in the same area may have different values too. Views, rivers, and trees, schools, churches, and shopping centres all come into play when homes' prices are determined.
Your home must be priced within the appropriate range. You must actually 'sell' your property twice: first to the purchaser and also to the property appraiser. The buyer is more subjective and compares the amenities of your home to those of the home they live in at present and other homes in the same price range.
The appraiser is more objective and compares age, size, and cost-identifiable features in your home against other real estate properties, which have been sold in the area.
Good real estate agents use their experience and expertise to fine-tune the price by taking into consideration all of these variables.
Most uninformed home buyers go about the process backwards. That is to say that they spend several weeks, months and sometimes years, looking at real estate ads, driving neighbourhoods and attending open houses looking for the perfect homes for sale.
Once they've found the house of their dreams, they place an offer to purchase it subject to obtaining finance. Then they shop around for a loan. More often than not, it is above their means and they lose the house because they can't afford it.
New homes enjoy a marketing edge over resale homes because they are shiny and clean. Builders enhance their appeal by offering model homes for sale, clean, bright, and decorated in popular colours and amenities for prospective buyers to examine on display.
Finance and Basics
These days, buyers of Australian real estates are wising up on the correct way of purchasing homes.
The 'savvy' buyer of today shops for finance first and only when they know exactly how much they can afford will they inspect a real estate property for sale that are only within their affordable price range.
There are two methods of doing this. The standard way is to call or meet with a loan agent, whether it's the bank or building society. Tell them your financial and credit history, have the agent do a check on your credit rating , after which the loan agent discusses with you the amount you qualify for.
Sometimes though the borrowers 'forget' to reveal late credit card payments, their new boat payment or car payment or they may even resort to inflating their income figures beyond reality.
The preferred method is to complete an application, provide income, taxation and employment records. The loan agent runs a credit check, and then submits the file to a lender for countersigning and approval. Then they will provide a commitment for a loan to you.
This is also a powerful negotiating tool when presenting an offer to purchase. Real estate sellers prefer to accept an offer from a buyer who already has a loan commitment than from those without.
So to wrap up, here's the correct order when you set out getting a new real estate property: Get a loan commitment first, and then find your dream house. It' up to you if you're going to sell your house through a real estate agent or by yourself. Lots of free online classifieds are out there where you can list your home for free. The advantages of selling your house on your own is that you have full control of all aspects and details, and you get to keep the profit all to yourself because you don't have to for commission.
But if you don't want to spend the time and effort in putting up your homes for sale, then a real estate agent will gladly do the job for you!
About the Author
Barbara writes articles and press releases for http://realestate.ozfreeonline.com - which offers a comprehensive list of office & commercial real estates, homes for rent or sell and an apartment finder to thousands of properties in Australia.
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