When it comes to buying or selling your home there are lots of pitfalls to avoid. Using a real estate agent has a number of advantages (whether buying, selling, or both). Using a local realtor is by far the best option. One of the biggest investments (or sales) that we are likely to make in our lives, home sale and purchase is daunting enough. Add to this the emotional nature of the process and you have two reasons why an experienced detached professional is worth the investment! While investors in the property market are most likely to take a hard-headed business approach to both sales and purchases, this is far more difficult to do when you are buying a home for your family.
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Be Ruled by Your Heart
In recent years, despite the downturn in the property market, there has been increasing emphasis on buying property as an investment. This is not always the wisest route if you’re buying a home. You do need to fall in love with a property if you’re going to live in it and a quality realtor will understand that this is part of the process. Good quality local agents should ask a lot of questions – some practical and some more personal – in order to get an idea of what you need from your next home, or what you need to achieve from a sale.
If you’re selling you’ll have a good idea of the price you want to achieve. However, the property market is difficult at the moment from a seller’s perspective and sadly what you paid may not be what you’ll get back. A local agent will have a thorough understanding of the local market, what prices comparative properties are achieving and also a realistic sale price for your property. They can also factor in your needs – whether that’s a quick sale or the best price. If you’re prepared to wait then a higher price may be possible. Local agents can give you clear, accurate appraisals of both your property and the price you can achieve in either case. They may also be able to advise on changes, improvements or tailor their marketing to attract the best potential buyers in a specific demographic.
Inside Information for Buyers
For buyers much of the above is also true. Even if you know an area well (and even more so if you don’t) a real estate agent who has experience in a specific neighborhood will be best placed to find the perfect home. They’ll know what is available and what the price ranges are. They should also have an idea of which properties have been available for longer (and may, therefore, be open to competitive offers). There’s no substitute for local knowledge when it comes to moving to a new area or neighborhood and this is what local agents have in abundance. The chances are they’ll know the schools well like the facilities and the infrastructure, plus any future developments and how these might impact on future property prices.
It’s all About Who You Know
When selling, realtors will often have a list of clients already looking for your type of home. This means that they can quickly act to get interested parties through the door. Local contacts with other realtors and professionals in similar fields can also be invaluable. Some realtors will arrange open houses for either potential buyers or other agents acting for buyers. The latter can in particular generate a lot of interest quickly and make the selling process fast, smooth and trouble free. Again, these advantages work well for buyers, meaning that hours spent searching for the perfect property can be cut down significantly. For those with little or no local knowledge, property details on the web can be deceptive; a home may tick every box until you arrive to find a chemical plant lurking in the background. If you’re working with a good agent they’ll take into account your needs and help to sort the good from the bad and the ugly.
A good, local and experienced agent can be particularly useful in today’s climate for those looking to buy, as Agent Harvest point out. They should be able to help identify neighborhoods that are rising and decreasing in popularity. They’ll understand what factors have changed in the past and influenced an area’s popularity or otherwise. Given the nature of the market at the moment, good local knowledge can also help to identify areas where prices are historically low, but likely to rise again in the future. A fixer upper in what might not seem like the best neighborhood can be off-putting, but a little local knowledge can make it seem like a hidden gem. It’s this depth of knowledge that makes a local realtor an invaluable tool in your search for a home, or in selling one and moving on.
About the author:
Property investor Matthew Rivera has worked with a range of agents in the past and recommends local realtors as the best possible choice.
Photo credits: ddpavumba – FreeDigitalPhotos.Net