Why Having a Good Realtor is Important
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Why Having a Good Realtor is Important

Why is having a good realtor important? If you were asked the same question, why is having a good doctor or a good dentist or a good lawyer important? Perhaps you would not give the merits of the question a second thought. Yet the same question when asked about a realtor the thought may have never occurred to you. Well here are some very good reasons why you need to have a good realtor in your Rolodex.

If you were to buy a house today, how would you know the transaction was a good or a good deal? Let’s say you paid cash. You absolutely adored the home and price was no object. So from the standpoint of affordability it would be a good deal but from a price point- was it? By the same token you were looking for four bedrooms, four and a half baths, living room, dinning room, family room, fireplaces in the living room and master bedroom, a three car garage, balcony off the master and large patio off the family room, the whole thing sat on an acre and a half of land with a nice view. All your criteria were met. To top things off it is a brand new construction with all the top of the line appliances. How do you know the sales price not the list price was correct? If you ask yourself what is the difference between the two, you have partially proven my point.

Take the same scenario as above with one exception, rather than paying cash, now financing is required. The situation just got more complicated by at least a couple of orders of magnitude. For example, how do you negotiate from a position of strength? In the same context, should you obtain a pre-approval letter? If you asked yourself what is a pre-approval letter or what’s its value during the negotiation process for a buyer financed purchase, then again you have partially proven my point. Ask yourself how does the amount of my down payment impact my strength and ability to achieve my goals? Still the question remains, how do you know the sales price was a good deal? How do you know the bank finance charge and/or the escrow fees are fair?

Let’s say rather than purchasing, take the same home, now you want to sell. How do you know the asking price or the list price is correct? Is there a difference? How do you know what is the most effective marketing tool for selling your home? Is it printed media? Is it word of month? Is it the Internet? Or is it the agent’s reputation, contacts and tract record? If all of the above what should be weighted more heavily?

How does the amount of days on market impact the sale of your home? Does your agent or the MLS network sell your home? Do you know the profile for buyers who are more likely to purchase your home and how do you get access to those buyers? Is there a list of buyers similar to a list of homes for sales? If so what real estate companies focus on having a data base of buyers and what agencies focus on having a data base of property listings? These are some of the many questions a competent real estate agent will be able to answer.

Here are some more general remarks that impact the question, how do you know the price you paid or the sales price was correct. Were you provided a list, a minimum of three homes sold within the past year of equal comparison to the property in question? If not was the reason due to no sales or are you buying or selling a “white elephant”? Do not underestimate the value of a current and accurate Comparative Market Analysis. It speaks volumes to neighborhood desirability and a buyer’s as well as a seller’s comfort level.

Request the following general information be available, on behalf of the seller as part of the listing presentation or on behalf of the buyer during the negotiation process, it will be a positive and help move the transaction forward. Have a neighborhood map available. List all major local projects that have been completed in the past two years and that are slated to begin in the next two years. Get a list of the schools in the area. Identify the student to teacher ratio and other statistical qualifiers that a realtor can not talk about but an independent objective source wouldn’t be harmful. Provide minutes from the most recent city planning meeting that demonstrate the viability of the town’s or city’s tax base.

Last but not least the seller or buyer should ask themselves how did they come to use the agent they are dealing with? Was it a random choice on the Internet or a by chance public meeting? In all cases when choosing an agent, if relocating out of state try to use an agent you trust in the state you are moving from to refer you to an agent in the state you are moving to.

Real estate agents have a vast national and in some cases international network they can draw from. In the event you can not get a referral by an agent you know and trust ask a friend or family member if they know a good agent. The point is if you are looking for a good professional, such as a doctor, lawyer etc. and already know a good professional in the field if they can not help you it is wise to ask if they know someone. With real estate there is no difference. After all the purchase of a home is probably the single most important investment decision most of us will make. So make it wisely. 

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