To say the internet has changed Real Estate may be the understatement of the century. Websites like Trulia, Zillow, and Realtor.com have given a POWERFUL tool to those looking to purchase or sell Real Estate. It has shifted the power of information from Real Estate agents and their access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and puts more information, photos, and details directly into consumers hands. Need to sell your house? These sites can help you to determine what homes like yours are listed for. Interested in purchasing a house? See inventory in the area you’re interested in with the features you want. Information is a GOOD thing and these tools can really help.
But… There’s a problem. Because of this power shift, consumers are waiting longer to contact a Real Estate agent. Buyers are searching for homes online and often not contacting an agent until they want to view a property and need access to it. Sellers are preparing to list their homes and not contacting an agent until they are ready to sell. This is a common today. Frankly, they’re doing it wrong.
Engaging a Real Estate agent early in the process IS the best method to ensure the a smooth transaction and does not cost a penny more! A good agent can help buyers distill their wants and needs into a firm list of “must haves”. An example is the home office. If consumers search for a home office online, they will be directed to homes with a formal home office when they may only need an extra bedroom or additional space for a desk. A formal home office is the costlier option and may not be needed. Garage parking spaces VS storage and outbuildings is another example where costs can vary greatly.
When you are ready to look for a home, a good agent can build a customized search for you that automatically emails you options within your price range, with the features you want. The search capabilities on websites are good but nowhere near as powerful as the tools agents have at their disposal built into the Multiple Listing Service.
Navigating the world of mortgages, banks and lenders, FHA loans, VA loans and other options can be much easier if an impartial agent is there to guide you. The agent isn’t trying to “sell” you a loan, they’re trying to ensure the lending channel you select will allow YOU to complete the purchase.
In the seller’s world, a good agent can advise on how to declutter and what to move/remove or haul away. If any work is required, an agent can advise on the costs VS benefits for needed repairs and remodeling.
A financial adviser is a common role engaged by consumers today. A legal adviser is someone many people have ready at a moment’s notice. Consider adding a Real Estate adviser to your portfolio. They can assist with property tax questions, appeals, and exemptions. They can give you regular advise on the value of your greatest asset and can advise on how changes and improvements to the home will affect its value.
You don’t pay an agent more to engage them early, consider scheduling an appointment with a Real Estate agent today! Not ready to commit to the appointment but want access to a powerful searching tool? Check out mine at www.welcomehomerfd.com.