James E. Cumisky's Blog
If you intend to buy or sell a house, it frequently pays to hire a real estate agent, and for good reason.
A real estate agent can offer expert insights into the housing market. Plus, he or she can respond to any concerns or questions that you may have as you proceed along the homebuying or home selling journey.
When it comes to hiring a real estate agent, however, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are exactly alike. In fact, there are several factors that differentiate an ordinary real estate agent from an outstanding one, and these include:
1. Industry Experience
Regardless of whether you plan to buy or sell a house, you should definitely spend some time evaluating a real estate agent's industry experience. That way, you can find out how long a real estate agent has been working in the industry and choose one who knows how to overcome potential homebuying and home selling hurdles.
Ideally, you should employ a real estate agent who possesses many years of industry experience. This housing market professional likely understands the ins and outs of buying and selling houses and can help you get the best possible results.
2. Communication Skills
The right real estate agent will be a great communicator. As such, this housing market professional will be able to keep you informed at each stage of the homebuying or home selling process.
To learn about a real estate agent's communication skills, it often is a great idea to meet with a real estate agent and interview this individual. During a face-to-face interview, you can get a better idea about what a real estate agent is all about and ensure you feel comfortable working with him or her.
In addition, a real estate agent should have no trouble communicating with you in good times and bad. He or she will be prepared to provide honest, unbiased feedback, and by doing so, help you make your homebuying or home selling dreams come true.
3. Client Feedback
Reach out to a real estate agent's past clients before you hire this housing market professional. With client feedback at your disposal, you can learn what it's like to work with a real estate agent.
A real estate agent usually will be happy to provide you with client referrals. Then, you can contact an agent's past clients and learn about their homebuying or home selling experiences.
Lastly, if you're uncertain about whether a real estate agent is right for you, it sometimes is valuable to find out how this housing market professional will approach the homebuying or home selling process. Explaining your goals and learning how a real estate agent will help you accomplish these aspirations can make it easy for you to find the right agent, at the right time, every time.
Start your search for a real estate agent today, and you can move one step closer to buying or selling a home.
Want to make your homeownership dream a reality? Get pre-approved for a mortgage, and a first-time homebuyer can move closer than ever before to acquiring his or her ideal residence.
Ultimately, there are many reasons to receive pre-approval for a mortgage, including:
1. You can establish a realistic homebuying budget.
Entering the housing market for the first time can be challenging. In fact, many first-time homebuyers struggle to establish realistic expectations before they begin their home search. And as a result, these homebuyers may end up spending too much for a house.
Fortunately, getting pre-approved for a mortgage enables a homebuyer to enter the real estate market with a budget in hand. This ensures a homebuyer can avoid the temptation to overspend on a residence.
Pre-approval for a mortgage also allows a homebuyer to map out his or her homebuying journey. With a plan in place, this homebuyer may be better equipped than others to acquire a top-notch residence that matches or exceeds his or her expectations.
2. You can speed up the homebuying journey.
Although a first-time homebuyer can always submit an offer on a home without a mortgage in hand, doing so may be tricky. In some cases, it may even slow down the homebuying process, especially if a homebuyer has to allocate significant time and resources to find a mortgage lender.
On the other hand, a homebuyer who gets pre-approved for a mortgage should have no trouble accelerating the property buying cycle. This homebuyer will know exactly how much money is at his or her disposal, and as a result, can speed up the homebuying journey.
3. You can gain a competitive advantage over rival homebuyers.
In many instances, a home seller may be more likely to accept a proposal from a first-time homebuyer who has been pre-approved for a mortgage versus an offer from a buyer who still needs to obtain a mortgage.
A homebuyer who has a mortgage likely won't have to wait too long to acquire a house. Conversely, a homebuyer who needs to apply for a mortgage after an offer has been submitted may need to wait many weeks or months to complete a home sale.
Clearly, there are many great reasons for a first-time homebuyer to receive pre-approval for a mortgage. For homebuyers who want to ensure the best results possible, it certainly helps to collaborate with an experienced real estate agent too.
An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will do whatever it takes to help a homebuyer streamline the property buying journey. This housing market professional will set up home showings and negotiate with a home seller on a property buyer's behalf. Plus, he or she is happy to provide honest, unbiased recommendations to help a homebuyer make his or her homeownership dream come true.
Take the next step to acquire your dream residence – get pre-approved for a mortgage today, and a first-time homebuyer can get the necessary financing to purchase his or her ideal house.
As you go on the house hunt, you’re likely to attend many different open houses. After awhile you can get confused as to what you have seen and where you saw it. Each open house or home showing is only a short window of time. As a buyer, you’re trying to get the feel for a house. Being an observant home shopper can help you to avoid a lot of problems down the road. Check out some of the biggest red flags that you need to look out for when you attend an open house.
The Candles Are Burning Bright
You walk into an open house and see a lovely candle lit on the kitchen table. While it may make you feel all warm and fuzzy, it’s not always a good sign. Candles are a great way to mask odors. There could possibly be a musty odor coming from the sink, the basement, or another part of the house. This spells hidden damage and possible danger for you as a homebuyer. While the home inspection should pick up on things like this, you don’t necessarily want to get that far in the process. The art of masking odors could be a sign that the sellers are trying to hide something.
Be Your Own Inspector
As you walk through the home do you notice squeaky floor boards, cracks in the walls, cracks in the ceilings, or a drippy faucet? Maybe you see some patches on the walls or mirrors and paintings that seem out of place? These are all issues that could be signs of a greater problem. Keep in mind that no house is perfect, but you should do a little investigating on your own while walking through the house at showings.
The Home Doesn’t Appear Cared For
Curb appeal is one thing, but a home that looks unkept is a sign of a larger problem for you. Has the lawn been mowed? Is the fence in disrepair? How does the home appear from the outside at first glance? There are plenty of ways that you can fix up a home to make it your own once you buy it, but the question is just how much of a challenge are you up for? There is always a chance that you’ll have large maintenance costs when a home hasn’t been properly maintained by the previous owners.
Searching for homes and going to open houses can be fun. It can also be an educational experience to help you narrow down what you’re looking for and what you can handle as a homeowner.
Ready to sell your condo? Ultimately, listing a condo can be simple, particularly for condo sellers who plan ahead.
Now, let's take a look at three questions that condo owners need to consider before listing their properties.
1. What do I need to do to sell my condo?
Condo rules and regulations vary. As such, you should consult with your homeowners' association (HOA) to find out if there are any requirements related to selling your condo.
For example, an HOA may require a new property buyer to receive HOA board approval to purchase a condo in a particular community. Or, if you have outstanding condo fees, you probably will need to pay off these charges before you can sell your property.
2. How much is my condo worth?
Although your condo community likely hires landscapers to help keep your property looking great, it is important to understand that a condo's interior plays an important role in the property's value. Thus, you should allocate the necessary time and resources to upgrade your condo's interior. This will enable you to improve your condo's interior and help it stand out to property buyers, thereby increasing the likelihood of a quick condo sale.
In addition, completing a property appraisal usually is an excellent idea. A property appraiser will inspect your condo and evaluate various housing market data to help you pinpoint the value of your residence. Then, you can obtain a property valuation that can help you establish a competitive price for your condo.
3. Do I need to hire a real estate agent?
When it comes to selling a condo, it often pays to hire a real estate agent. However, it is important to note that no two real estate agents are identical, and you should try to find a real estate agent who possesses extensive condo selling expertise.
Let's face it – a condo is very different from a house. A condo owner does not have to worry about property exterior maintenance in the same way that a homeowner does. Conversely, a condo owner must follow HOA requirements; otherwise, this property owner may face steep penalties.
A real estate agent with condo selling expertise understands the pros and cons of owning a condo. Therefore, this housing market professional knows how to work with condo sellers and ensure these individuals can achieve their desired results.
Typically, a real estate agent will meet with a condo owner and learn about his or her property selling goals. After the meeting, a real estate agent will help a condo owner map out a successful condo selling journey.
Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent with condo selling expertise is ready to respond to a property seller's concerns and questions. This housing market professional also will go above and beyond the call of duty to exceed a condo seller's expectations.
Take the guesswork out of selling your condo – consider the aforementioned questions, and you can speed up the property selling process.