Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent

If you are looking to either buy or sell a home there are a few questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent. First, you want to concern yourself with the agent’s level of experience. You want to find out how long they have been in business. It is also important to know how often an agent works in the area your area if interest. After all, an agent can have a lot of experience in one locale but not have much local knowledge in the area you want to move to.

Experience means that you need to find an agent who sells a lot of homes in your price range. Experience also means finding the right agent for your area of need. This means finding a residential real estate agent if you are looking for or to sell a home, someone who specializes in land if you want to purchase or sell a vacant parcel, or a commercial agent for commercial space.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Real Estate Agent: For Buyers

When you are looking to buy you want to find out how well your agent can represent you. This means asking questions about some of the agent’s negotiation strategies. How can they present your offer in the best light? In a competitive market this is a lot more than simply offering the largest amount of money. There are a variety of ways to make any buyers offer stand above the rest. Additionally, once you are under contract how will your potential agent support you? Will they continue to advocate on your behalf through inspection and appraisal, or will the next time they speak to you be at the closing table?

For Sellers

As a seller your needs and desires are different than that of a buyer. This likely boils down to two things. You want someone who can sell your home in a timely fashion and for the greatest amount of money. Sellers need to find out how well a potential agent knows their market, and their area. It is also important to understand what methods an agent uses to arrive at a price to list your home at. Money is just one aspect, time is also a vital factor.

For you this could mean a quick sale, or maybe you need a longer amount of time to determine your next move. When it comes to questions to ask when hiring a real estate agent you want to find out how they will remove road blocks during the under contract process to prevent delays. An experienced agent brings with them a specialized team of people, from inspectors to contractors to make repairs. Sometimes we can even negotiate to have the buyer use our preferred local lender to avoid the fly by night online operations which always result in delays. Find out if the agent you are interviewing has access to these types of professionals.

If you need help interviewing a great agent anywhere in the world we would be happy to find a great fit for you. Contact Us and let us ask the important questions so that your interests can be best represented.

Tips To Make A Competitive Offer

Home buyers get ready for a wild ride this spring.  We are shaping up to have another spring buying season that has low inventory and a high number of buyers.  With this being the case, it is important to know how to navigate this market. In order to put you in the best position to win when you write an offer on a home.  Here are 5 tips to make a competitive offer.

Listen to your real estate agent.  

Connect with an agent you trust and let that agent guide you.  Do not trust you emotions.  Your agent can help you stay focused on what is important to you and not allow you to compromise on your must haves or your financial needs.

Tips To Make A Competitive Offer, Know your budget.

It is important to know how much house you can afford.  It is also vital to be pre-approved before you start looking.  Only 44% of today’s prospective buyers are pre-approved.  This alone can help you stand out as a strong, serious home buyer.  It can give you an edge in a competitive offer situation.

Be ready to make a decision.

When you find a home you like be ready to write an offer right away. According to The National Association of Realtors the average property sold today is receiving three offers and is only on the market a total of a few weeks. That is from when it goes on the market to closing.  That means that you do not have the ability to “sleep on it” or you will not be sleeping in the home you love.

Tips To Make A Competitive Offer, Make a fair offer. 

This is where the agent for the buyer should call the listing agent to find out what is important to the seller so that those wishes, if possible can be included in the offer. This is not the type of market for a buyer to get a “deal.”  Your agent can help you arrive at an offer that is based on the market value of the home, based on the location, condition and recent sales in sales in the area.

Be a flexible Negotiator.

Once a seller has received your offer they can accept the offer, reject the offer or counter with their own changes.  In a competitive market it is important to be flexible.  The seller may want a different closing date or want to keep the washer and dryer for example. Being flexible, can mean success for you in the negotiation process. Now what is important and also be ready to walk away if the seller is asking too much.

During the emotional time of buying a home trust your agent to help you keep you on tract, navigating  the market so in the end you end you becoming a home owner. Contact us so that we can guide you through the process.

How To Buy Your First Home

Congratulations!  You have decided to buy your first home.  That means you need to get connected to a great Realtor.  It is important that you get to know your agent and your agent gets to know you.  That means you should have a sit down meeting with the agent you are considering working with. Here is an example of some questions that you might be ask.

  • Why do you want to buy know?
  • Are you working with a lender?
  • How many houses have you looked at? Moreover, what did you like and not like?
  • So, what would you do if we found the perfect house tomorrow?
  • What is your favorite room of your house?
  • How important is outdoor space?
  • Who will we be shopping for?  Do you have pets to consider?
  • How long do you think that you will live in this home?
  • What is your preferred method of communication?

When your agent gets the answers to these questions or questions like them, your agent will start to get a feel for you and what you feel is important.  This will help your agent find the home that is right for you.  Of course your agent will also be interested in the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and if you need a garage.  Moreover, the more information you share with your agent the better. 

It is helpful for your agent to know what you love about where you live now.  If you hate everything about it, tell your agent that too! It is vital to communicate both the things you love and hate so your agent can find you the best options out there.

Now that you know how to buy your first home you are ready for the hunt for the perfect home for you.  Additionally, make sure to enjoy it! Contact us to help you with your home search today.

Where To Start When Buying A Home

If you are interested in beginning your home search, but you are either a first time home buyer, or someone who hasn’t bought a home in a while we want to shed some light on first steps and provide you with insight into the process. So, where to start when buying a home. The very first step is to find a lender to work with. We have a couple of recommendations here.

Once you select a lender

You will likely begin by filling out a loan application in order for your lender to be better able to understand your financial situation. You will answer a number of personal financial questions. The process might feel a little uncomfortable. Rest assured it is confidential and will stay between you and your lender. When complete your lender will be able to tell you how much you can spend on a home. It is always up to you to choose to spend less, but you cannot spend more.  This is because this number is tied to your debt to income ratio. This is the amount you earn vs the amount you owe on other liabilities like car payments.

Your lender might also need to do some credit repair in order to boost your credit score. They can tell you exactly which things should be paid off in which order and which accounts you might be better off closing for good. Once you begin this process do not buy a car, or close accounts without first discussing it with your home lender. This can completely derail the process and set you back to square one. For more information see our blog post What Not To Do When Applying For A Mortgage.

Where To Start When Buying A Home, Process Continued

As soon as you have your number from your lender they can provide you with a lender letter that is required with any offer you submit. This letter acts as the proof that you can afford the home you want to buy. When you have this letter in hand you and your real estate agent can begin to look at homes and figure out what specifically you want and need. We can narrow it down together until we find the home you want to buy. That is how you begin the home buying process. We hope that clears up where to start when buying a home. If you have specific questions, contact us. We would be happy to help.

10 Steps to Buying a Home

When you break it down there are 10 steps any buyer must go through in order to move from looking at houses online to moving into a new home.

The 10 Steps to Buying a Home

  • The first of these steps is to begin working with a lender. This is an important first step because your lender will let you know how much home you can afford. They can also work with you to build or repair credit which can be a time consuming process, best to start early.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is New-Home-683x1024.jpg
  • Once you know your price range the next step is to find a good agent. This is important as a good agent has access to a vast knowledge of the market. They can let you know what to expect, help you find homes that match your criteria, and may even know of some listings that are coming up and might be able to get you in to see them before they hit the MLS. For this step you’re in luck you are already on the best real estate agent in Northern Colorado’s website, head over to the contact tab and let Lestel know how she can help.
  • It’s time to step up from Zillow. Now that you know your price range and are working with Lestel you can begin to look at houses.
  • Eventually you will find your perfect home. For some people this happens on their first outing, for others it may take several weeks, but eventually you will find the next home for you.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Buying-a-Home-1024x683.jpg
  • Have your agent write an offer. A great offer is not only how much you are willing to spend but also the timing of closing and possession. Sometimes allowing the seller to have possession for a few days or weeks after closing, meaning the seller only has to move once, may be worth thousands to them.

Additionally

  • During this phase you may go back and forth between you and the seller in order to negotiate price and terms and get offer accepted. Lestel is one of the best real estate agents in Northern Colorado because she is an experienced negotiator.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Welcome-Home-1-683x1024.jpg
  • After you go under contract you will need to have the home inspected. The inspector will provide you with a list of issues with the property. Touring the home with the inspector can also provide invaluable information on where critical systems within the home are located and how things work.
  • After the inspection you will have Lestel negotiate the condition of the property and what items the seller will fix or replace prior to closing.
  • If you are getting financing on the home the Lender will require an appraisal to be completed. This is simply to insure that the home is worth at least as much as you are buying it for. It protects your financial interests as much as the lender.
  • When all is said and done you will need to attend closing. This will take place at the title company and you will likely have your hands cramp up from signing so many documents before the seller passes on the keys to you.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Move-in-Day-1024x683.jpg
    Finally, it is time to move in and make it your own. For this we can recommend great moving companies, and a long list of great home service providers should you need an outlet repaired or garage door fixed at any point during the time you own your home. Those are the 10 Steps to Buying a Home. Lestel is always just a phone call away to help connect you with the right person to help.