Scot Ulmer Real Estate

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How to Hire a Realtor

Scot Ulmer

It’s important to note that buying a home is a process, and there are many steps that you have to take if you want to be as efficient as possible and find the right home for you. Finding a realtor will help make this process easier for you and your family (if you have one). Realtors who work best with your interests in mind will help find your next home, but finding the right realtor is also a process. Here are a few ways you should go about hiring a realtor:

First, check their references. It’s always a good idea to have a realtor that somebody you know personally recommended. But, even if the agent was personally recommended, the best way to approach any hiring situation is to interview the person. According to an article published by The Real Estate Network, “Realtors are going to bolster all of their success stories upon meeting you, but how accurate are those claims? Chat with their co-workers, and ask to speak with their last five clients” (6 Tips for Hiring a Realtor). Once you have a better idea about who the agent is that you will potentially be working with, you’re one step closer to hiring.

Next, you should ask the agent for a CMA (comparative market analysis) before you even begin looking at the housing market. This way, you’ll know if the realtor is trying to sell you homes that are reasonably priced. After you ask the agent for a CMA, check the information that he or she gives you on an authoritative real estate website like Zillow, which will also have the statistics.

Another way to decide on a real estate agent is deciphering how well he or she knows the area you’re searching in. According to The Real Estate Network:

“Discovering if being a real estate agent is this person’s only job, and finding out how well they know your target area is critical. If they’re a full-time realtor, they’re less likely to be distracted and let you slip through the cracks. Also, ask how many sales they’ve done in this specific area and try to get the details of those scenarios” (6 Tips for Hiring a Realtor).

In any real estate endeavor, as you probably have heard by now, location is the most crucial factor. If you’re working with somebody who doesn’t know the area too well, you may want to rethink about hiring a new realtor. Always ask questions like, “What’s the best restaurant?” or “What are some activities the locals do here on weekends?” to get a better sense of what the neighborhood is like.

In conclusion, finding a realtor is not as easy as you may think. It is a process that takes time and effort, but it will all be worth it in the end. Having a great agent makes the home-buying process much more comfortable in the long-run.

 

5 Useful Tips For Buying Real Estate

1. Ask yourself a lot of questions

The first step in purchasing real estate is knowing what you want! It is imperative that you enter the process knowing yourself, your situation, and what you’re looking for.

A few questions that you should ask yourself before you begin your search are:

-What kind of location do you need?

-What type of property are you looking for?

-Do you need to buy, or could you lease the property?

-What’s your situation regarding cash, financing, and/or ability to make a down payment?

-How much time can you commit to the property?

-How much work are you willing to put into the property?

2. Learn some real estate vocabulary

Here are ten real estate terms you should know and understand before you start looking for a home. Educating yourself on the jargon will not only make you more confident throughout the process, but it can also ensure that you don’t miss the necessary steps that could cost you a fortune in the future.

Here are some standard terms to get started with:

Buyer’s Agent vs. Listing Agent: There are usually two agents involved when you buy a home; the “buyer’s agent,” who represents you, and the “listing agent,” who represents the home seller. One thing many people don’t realize is that when buying a home, you don’t have to pay your real estate agent; they’ll get a commission from the home seller.

Fixed-Rate vs. Adjustable Rate Mortgages: A fixed-rate mortgage has a predetermined interest rate throughout the life of the loan; the most common are for 30 years. An adjustable-rate mortgage has a variable interest rate; the most common are for 5, 7, or 10 years.

Pre-approval Letter: Before you apply for a mortgage or even start looking for a home, you should get a pre-approval letter from the bank, which is an estimate of how much they’ll lend you. This letter will help you determine what you can afford and ensures home sellers that you will be able to get a loan when needed.

Appraisal: When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will require an appraisal of the home you want to buy. A licensed appraiser will estimate the home’s value based on comparable homes that have sold in the area and an investigation of the property.

Click here to learn about more real estate vocabulary.

3. Visit and consider many properties.

Do your homework on each! Before you make an offer on the house, it pays to ask a handful of questions. While the answers might scare you off or make you rethink your bid, they could make you feel more confident that you’re making the right move on the right house. Tour as many different properties as possible, and most importantly, don’t rush anything! Figure out what works and what doesn’t about each of them for you. Consider the most important things for each one including price, location and condition. Above all, you’re searching for a “match” with your property. Your situation and needs are unique.

Here is an extensive checklist of helpful questions to ask while touring properties.

4. Find experts.

A professional has the skill and experience to guide you as first time home buyers. They have key relationships with professionals like lenders, home inspectors, contractors, etc. They can guide you from start to finish and answer any questions you may have throughout the home buying process. Their goal is for you to have a smooth real estate transaction and have a positive home buying experience.

5. Figure out your financing

If you’re like most people, you’ll need to get some financing help to be able to purchase the your new home. What type of banks, credit unions, or other home mortgage company could you use? What kind of credit do you have, and what kind of interest rate could they give you? Answering those questions will put you on the right track for the financing process.