Finding the Right Agent
Not all agents work the same way. The most important attribute of an agent is that he is well connected to the real estate industry.
Your agent should know the market and provide information on past sales, current listings, and have a written marketing plan for your review, (NEVER settle for just open house and newspaper ads!) In addition, you also want to look for an agent that is honest, assertive, and one that best understands your needs.
If you are still unsure about how to find the right agent, work with a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). This is the highest Designation awarded to sales associates in the residential sales field. Less than 4 percent of the more than 1 million REALTORS® working today can call themselves a CRS designee. This group represents the elite performers in residential real estate.
When reading an offer, keep in mind that you are out to get the best price AND the best terms for you. If you focus solely on the price, you may overlook terms that could be favorable to you as a buyer.
Some terms that may work in your favor:
- Higher-than-market-interest in a second mortgage for your home
- The buyer will pay for most or all of the closing costs
- The buyer will take care of any repairs
- Quick close – the buyer is pre-approved and ready to close in a time that best suits you
- All-cash deal
When reading through offers, remember to look at the whole package. Take the time that you need to assess what is being offered and if it meets your needs.
Insist on a Home Inspection
A professional home inspection protects both you and the buyer. It allows both you and the buyer the opportunity to learn about the property’s defects.
A home inspection usually covers the following:
- Plumbing conditions – if there is leakage or clogging
- Roofing conditions – the extent of deterioration, if there is leakage
- Electrical conditions – if there are inadequate circuits or potential fire hazards
- Structural problems – if there are problems with the underlying foundation of your home
As a seller, the home inspection reports protect you because it establishes the actual condition of the property at the time of sale.