7 Reasons to Work with a Realtor
REALTORS®aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS®and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR®difference for home buyers:
- An expert guide.
Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
- Objective information and opinions.
REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORS®can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.
- Property marketing power.
Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR®will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
- Negotiation knowledge.
There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step.
- Up-to-date experience.
Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
- Your rock during emotional moments.
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
- Ethical treatment.
Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters.
Questions to Ask Yourself
These questions will help you decide whether you’re ready for a home that’s larger or in a more desirable location. If you answer yes to most of the questions, you may be ready to move.
1. Have you built substantial equity in your current home?
Check your annual mortgage statement or call your lender to find out how much you’ve paid down. Usually you don’t build up much equity in the first few years of your mortgage, as monthly payments are mostly interest. But if you’ve owned your home for five or more years, you may have significant, unrealized gains.
2. Has your income or financial situation changed?
If you’re making more money, you may be able to afford higher mortgage payments and cover the costs of moving. If your income has decreased, you may want to consider downsizing.
3. Have you outgrown your neighborhood?
The neighborhood you pick for your first home might not be the same one in which you want to settle down for good. You may have realized that you’d like to be closer to your job or live in a better school district.
4. Are there reasons why you can’t remodel or add on?
Sometimes you can create a bigger home by adding a new room or building up. But if your property isn’t large enough, your municipality doesn’t allow it, or you’re simply not interested in remodeling, then moving to a bigger home may be your best option.
5. Are you comfortable moving in the current housing market?
If your market is hot, your home may sell quickly and for top dollar, but the home you buy will also be more expensive. If your market is slow, finding a buyer may take longer, but you’ll have more selection and better pricing as you seek your new home. Ask your real estate professional what they see happening locally.
6. Are interest rates attractive?
Low rates help you buy “more” home, and also make it easier to find a buyer for your current place.
7. Is the effort and cost of maintaining your current home becoming difficult to manage?
A REALTOR ® can help you decide whether a smaller house, condo, or rental would be appropriate.
To Do List
Here are a few items to take care of before listing your home. This can make the sale process quicker and easier in the long run.
- Consider a pre-sale home inspection.
An inspector will be able to give you a good indication of the trouble areas that will stand out to potential buyers, and you’ll be able to make repairs before open houses begin.
- Organize and clean.
Pare down clutter and pack up your least-used items, such as large blenders and other kitchen tools, out-of-season clothes, toys, and seasonal items. Store items off-site or in boxes neatly arranged in the garage or basement. Clean the windows, carpets, walls, lighting fixtures, and baseboards to make the house shine.
- Get replacement estimates.
Do you have big-ticket items that will need to be replaced soon? Find out how much it will cost to repair an older roof or replace worn carpeting, even if you don’t plan to do so. The figures will help buyers determine if they can afford the home, and they’ll be handy when negotiations begin.
- Locate warranties.
Gather up the warranties, guarantees, and user manuals for the furnace, washer/dryer, dishwasher, and any other items that will remain with the house. It may seem like this task can be left until closing, but you don’t want lost paperwork or last-minute scrambling to cause the deal to fall through.
- Spruce up the curb appeal.
Walk out to the front of your home, close your eyes, and pretend you’re a prospective buyer seeing the property for the first time. As you approach the front door, what is your impression of the property? Do the lawn and bushes look neatly manicured? Is the address clearly visible? What do you see framing the entrance, if anything? Is the walkway free of cracks and impediments?
Jacobs Real Estate Group
Licensed Brokers Oregon
Premiere Property Group, LLC
5000 Meadows Rd. Suite 150
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035