FINDING A CAPABLE AGENT TO MEET YOUR REAL ESTATE NEEDS

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, selling your current home or relocating to a different part of the country, the support of a qualified, knowledgeable real estate agent can alleviate many of your concerns and ensure a smooth transaction.   A professional agent can market your present residence, help you locate the home of your dreams and assist in making your transfer to an unfamiliar area easier.

To find a trained sales associate or broker, you may need to look no further than your own neighborhood or home town.  If a well-established brokerage is involved in many listings and sale, this is a god sign.  Speak with some of the agent’s past customers about the quality and integrity of service and performance.  Successful real estate agents rely heavily on customer referrals and will therefore strive to provide the very best in customer service and satisfaction.

Set up appointments to “interview” agents and brokers much like an employer world interview a prospective employee.  Inquire about their training, marketing programs and specific service policies.  Also determine how many years of experience they have, the number of listings they have had, and the number of homes they have sold within the past few years.  More importantly, find out how well they know the area.  Ask for references, and check them out.

Your goal is to determine just how knowledgeable the agents are.  Question them on financing, closing costs and/or local market conditions, depending on whether you’re a prospective home buyer or seller, to determine their expertise.  If they know their stuff, they should be able to answer your questions effortlessly.

If you’re selling your home, learn what they will do if you decide to list with them.  How do they plan to market your home?  Will they provide you with a market analysis to help you determine the most effective listing price for your property?  Will they supply regular progress reports and assist with negotiations once you’ve received offers?

If you are relocating to a different part of the country, is your agent connected with a national relocation service that will not only expose your present property to incoming transferees, but assist with your search for a new house?

Ask for a written guarantee that everything promised will be delivered.  The CENTURY 21® organization, for example, backs its listings with the CENTURY 21 Seller Service PledgeÔ.  This 11-point written commitment covers everything from furnishing the seller with a marketing plan to monitoring pre-settlement activities throughout the closing process.  It also gives the seller the right to terminate the listing if the pledge is not fulfilled.

A qualified real estate agent should be able to answer all your questions and provide you with qualify service that is courteous and responsible.  Finding the right person may take time and patience, buy when purchasing or selling a home, the selection of a dependable agent should be tops on your list.

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POWERFUL TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME

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Maybe you’re moving to a larger home to accommodate a growing family, relocating for a new career opportunity, or purchasing a townhouse for retirement.  Whatever the reason for the move, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to sell your home for the best possible price, within a reasonable amount of time.  Where do you begin?

 

If you’re like most people, you’ll start by seeking assistance from a professional.  A local real estate sales associate, who knows your neighborhood, can help you determine a fair market price.  The sales associate should also recommend the extent to which you should make repairs or improvements to your house.

 

In order to select a real estate professional who’s right for you, ask family, friends and neighbors for referrals.  Attend open houses and interview several sales associates to find out how professional or experienced they may be.  Get a written outline of how they plan to market your property and the services they will offer you.

 

Once you’ve identified a qualified professional, the rest is chemistry.  Is the sales associate someone with whom you would like to work closely?  Do you feel comfortable with the sales associate as your partner, working with you to give you advice and acting as your representative?  Does he or she practice a consultative selling approach, focusing on the long-term client relationship and on the importance of exceeding client needs and expectations or is he or she caught up in the proverbial ‘hard sell?’

 

The brokerage firm that your agent is associated with is also important.  Research the firm’s success rate and commitment to quality service.  Does it survey existing clients in order to ensure customer satisfaction?  What are the results of those surveys? How in tune are they with consumer needs?  Do they offer guidance with mortgages or any discounts for other home related or moving services?

 

Determining your home’s fair market value is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the home-selling/buying process.  Your sales associate can help you set a fair price based on local market conditions.  For instance, she or he will provide sale prices and other statistics of homes similar to yours that have recently been sold.  Prospective buyers will be comparing your home to others on the market.  Therefore, setting a comprehensive price can determine if your property will or will not sell.

 

For the first offer made, it’s rare that the prospective buyer matches the asking price.  If the offer is reasonably close to the asking price, carefully consider the offer before you consider turning it down.  Curiously, it’s the first offer that can often be the best offer.  If the first offer is unacceptable to you, it may in your best interest to have your sales associate respond with a counter offer.  Whenever considering an offer, ask yourself if you would purchase the property for the amount being offered.  Always be willing to negotiate, especially if the prospective buyer is pre-qualified for a mortgage.

 

Once you decide what terms are acceptable, let your sales associate negotiate with the prospective buyer to work out the best agreement for you.  You’ll need to be patient while the buyer arranges financing and as the real estate company compiles and prepares pertinent data.

Careful planning and sound advice from a real estate professional can make selling your home a very satisfying experience.