Tag Archive for real estate agents

Why it Makes Sense to Work with an Agent

Selling a home requires more than simply placing a sign on the front lawn.

Selling a home requires more than simply placing a sign on the front lawn.

If you have ever wondered why it’s better to work with an agent rather than listing “by owner,” you aren’t alone. Superficially, selling a home seems easy – until you actually try it.

According to statistics, nearly 80% of people give up and list with an agent after months of costly and time-consuming delays.

Here are three reasons agents matter more than ever:

Time

Showing homes, answering calls, responding to email, scheduling inspections and appraisals, and handling other logistics during the home transaction process are time consuming tasks. Because everything involved in a real estate transaction is time sensitive, experiencing delays can cause a deal to fall through — even at the last moment.

Promotion

Agents specialize in a specific location and know exactly what buyers are searching for in your area.

Not only do they know how to price right and grab the attention of prospective buyers, but many agents have an established list of buyers waiting for specific types of properties.

Successful real estate marketing requires extensive experience, time and persistence to achieve top prices in a buyer’s market.

Cost

Selling a home requires more than simply placing a sign on the front lawn. It also entails a lot of out-of-pocket expenses with no guarantee of success. Advertising can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. Listing with a “by owner” agency or Multiple Listing Service typically adds hundreds more.

Finally, it is important to remember that real estate agents split commissions between the listing agent and the selling agent. To attract attention to your home it is still necessary to split the commission with any agents who bring buyers to the table.

Working with a real estate agent is likely to save you money over the long run.

Improvements That Increase Your Home’s Value

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This year, if you’re looking to increase the value of your home but are unsure what home improvements to make, think curb appeal.
According to a recent report from Remodeling magazine, curb appeal projects, such as changes to windows, siding, and doors, lead to a higher return on investment (ROI) than interior improvements.
Over the past 30 years, Remodeling has compared the average cost of improvement projects with their value at resale, based on the experience of real estate professionals. The magazine’s 2017 Cost vs. Value Report supports the generally held opinion that today’s home buyers, while still enthusiastic about the bells and whistles, want to ensure their homes are structurally sound with all systems functioning efficiently.
Remodeling’s projects include a basement remodel, an entry door that was replaced with 20 gauge steel, and the addition of stone veneer. All of the 29 projects tracked returned on average 64.3 cents per dollar spent.
Among the trends, the higher return of curb appeal projects and projects that required the replacing of windows, doors, etc. Replacement projects generally scored higher than remodeling projects; the ROI of replacement was 74% and of remodels was 63.7%.
As in the previous year, adding loose fill insulation to the attic returned 107.7% and was the only project on the list whose value exceeded its cost. Steel door replacement and addition of stone veneer also paid off, at 90.7% and 89.4% respectively. Interestingly, these are among the cheapest projects, although their costs were up over the previous year.
Those who want to tackle an interior project might do well to consider a basement remodel, providing it’s done well; a high-end basement remodel was perceived as high value, returning 7.4% more than the same project last year, while a mid-range basement remodeling project only increased in value by 3.3% over the previous year.
Something to consider when you’re planning your next home improvement project.
 

Home Shopping? Ask the Right Questions

Family In Hallway Returning Home Together
When shopping for a new home, it’s easy to fall in love. You can find yourself dazzled by the sprawling backyard, trendy kitchen, or sky-high ceilings, and want to make an offer right then and there.
But it’s important to take a step back and take the time to evaluate the perhaps less-exciting details. These often overlooked details may ultimately lead to significant, costly issues. Here’s what to look for and how to get beyond the WOWs:
  • Windows: Does every window open? For emergency reasons, every room needs a window that can be opened. Do they close and lock securely? Is the glass intact? Is there a tight thermal seal (which is important to regulate temperature)?
  • Flooring: Look for cracks, stains, holes, and warping. Ask if there’s another layer of flooring under carpet, tile, or laminate. Is the floor level? If not, it might be an indication of water, or worse, structural problems.
  • Basement: That beautifully finished basement could be hiding a plethora of problems, from leaks to mold to holes to critter infestations. Use a powerful flashlight to carefully examine corners and walls and look behind and under finishings.
  • Roof: Roof replacements are costly. Find out when the roof was last addressed, and whether it was a patch or a replacement. Look for signs of damage from the street.
  • Neighborhood: Look beyond the obvious into the details: Is local traffic a nightmare in rush hour? Is there reliable transit nearby? Is the home near green space, schools, and recreational facilities?
  • Parking: If the house doesn’t have a garage, will the driveway accommodate your vehicles? Is there good on-street visitors’ parking?
Even after you’ve checked the details, make your offer contingent on a home inspection. A reliable home inspector can dig deeper into the details. Isn’t your peace of mind worth it?

4 Creative Marketing Strategies for Real Estate Agents

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For many realtors, the notion of marketing is simplistic. On the digital side of the spectrum, there are resources like Zillow, Trulia and Guidance Realty that enable agents to successfully connect with interested buyers and renters.

And on the physical side, agents can often get by on nothing more than excellent networking skills and referrals from past clients.

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6 Criteria in Evaluating Your Next Agent (Part 3)

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Summary: In Part 1 & 2 we shared 4 behaviors that would add meaningful value to your home search, in this post we will share the final 2 behaviors, providing a comprehensive rubric to evaluate your real estate agents.

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6 Criteria in Evaluating Your Next Agent (Part 2)

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Summary: In Part 1 we shared two behaviors (dedication and flexibility), that would add meaningful value to your home search. In this post we have added two more behaviors, check them out below.

1 Dedication

Finding a full-time agent is a foundational first step in the evaluation process. Someone who is only working in the field part time can only focus part of his or her energy on your needs. And in an industry that requires agility and speed to successfully sell or purchase a home, anything less than full-time focus simply will not cut it. Read more

Is the Housing Market Turnaround the Real thing?

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Ever since the recovery began in 2009, a weak housing market has held back the U.S. economy. The first rebound in home prices was lackluster and after only a year was followed by another dip. But the recent upturn in home prices looks like the real thing. One clear sign of a turning point: Read more