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4 Qualities of an Exceptional Buying Agent

If you need a real estate representative for your next home purchase, there are four qualities to look for if you want to hire the best possible agent.

When it comes time to buy a new home, how can you be sure that the agent you’ve hired is well-suited for the job? There are four key qualities to look for when evaluating an agent’s fitness for your transaction: 1. How much experience does the agent have? About 90% of the homes in our market are sold by about 10% of the active agents within it. What’s more is that the average agent only sells between three and five homes every year. A truly experienced agent will be much more active than this. Find someone who is not only very active, but is also providing quality service to their clients. Zillow is a great resource for finding active agents—they have profiles set up on the website, and clients can leave reviews for you to look at. You can even check out our Zillow profile by clicking here. On average, agents on our team typically sell between 18 and 30 homes a year—five times the number of the average agent. 2. What negotiation skills does the agent have? Most brokerages provide contract training, but training on negotiation isn’t as typical. However, negotiation skills are extremely important, since it’s through negotiation that you can determine how much equity you’ll end up with at the end of your transaction. Everyone on our team is a certified negotiation expert, all taught with the same curriculum used at Harvard Law. We’re very effective in getting our clients homes for the lowest possible price.

Everyone on our team is a certified negotiation expert, all taught with the same curriculum used at Harvard Law.

3. What resources does the agent have? A good buyer’s representative will offer you some off-market properties in addition to what can be found on the MLS. Almost 25% of the transactions that take place today involve homes that never made it the MLS. Those transactions are brokered between the top 10% of agents mentioned earlier. In addition to getting you access to more listings, a top agent can provide other resources like vendor referrals for movers, painters, contractors, and more. 4. Can you click with their personality? Over the course of the transaction, agents and clients tend to form an intimate relationship. We’re helping you build your dream of moving into your new home, so of course you’d want to work with someone you actually enjoyed working with. If you’re in need of an agent to represent you during your next home purchase, we’d be delighted to interview for the opportunity to help you find your dream home, so feel free to reach out us. We’ll be right here, ready to help you create a better life through real estate.

Don’t Forget These Home Buying Costs

When buying a home, it’s sometimes easy to forget about certain other costs that come with it. Here are five such costs that you need to remember to budget for.

As a homebuyer, here are five costs that often get forgotten about that you need to remember to budget for: 1. The down payment. Most people don’t actually forget the down payment, but they forget about what kind of difference how much you put down makes. In our area, you can put down as little as 3% for any property up to $700,000. Above that price, you usually have to put down a minimum of 10%. To get the best interest rate from your lender, you’ll have to put down 20% or more. 2. Your financial reserves. You’ll need at least six months’ worth of mortgage payments and property tax payments saved up when you buy a home. 3. Moving expenses. Unless you’re doing it all yourself (which I don’t recommend), moving isn’t cheap. A good moving company usually costs between $2,500 and $4,000, and we can refer you to several movers who will take great care of you.

Unless you’re doing it all yourself, moving isn’t cheap.

4. Furniture. Buying a new home is exciting, and once you move in, odds are you’ll want to fix it up exactly the way you want it. This usually means buying new furniture. Also, don’t forget about the essential items you might need to buy, like a new broom. 5. Home updates. If your new home has an old bathroom that you want to fix up, you’ll have to budget for that. How much this will cost you can vary, so we’d be happy to come to your home, give you an estimate, and recommend some excellent contractors. If you have any more questions about these costs or you have any other real estate needs, feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email. I’d be happy to help you.

How to Sell Your Home for 18% More Money Part 5: Negotiations

In today’s fifth and final installment into our latest series, we’ll be discussing the last component of earning more money for your home: Negotiations.

Welcome back to our series on how to sell your home for 18% more money. Today’s episode is the last in this series, so be sure to check out our previous episodes: Episode One: How to Prepare a Home for Sale Episode Two: How to Present a Home on the Market Episode Three: How to Strategically Price a Home Episode Four: How to Promote a Home Now let’s move on to our fifth and final topic: Negotiation.

Having a skilled negotiator who can think outside the box will be very helpful for you in any real estate scenario.

There are four strategies that I recommend all sellers employ when it comes time to negotiate a deal for their home sale. These strategies are the last piece of the puzzle in earning 18% more for your property when it comes time to sell. 1. Encourage preemptive offers. This strategy entails capturing interested buyers before your home technically hits the multiple listing service by marketing it as “coming soon.” Typically, it’s advisable to put a list price that’s higher than your expectation at this point in the process. I can tell you from experience that because of our low inventory, buyers are tired of getting beaten out and will be willing submit a preemptive offer that is at or above your price expectation when you follow this strategy. 2. Price for multiple offers. If you didn’t earn the price you’d hoped for during the “coming soon” phase of your listing process, it’s time to price your home in a way that represents a great value and encourages multiple offers. When buyers see your listing as an exceptional deal, they will be more likely to compete over it. This will ultimately drive up the price and help you net more for your home. 3. Determine your best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BATNA). More simply put, this strategy essentially serves as the “Plan B” you should fall onto in the event that your original negotiated agreement is somehow compromised. This will ensure that if anything unexpected happens during the course of the deal, you will still have an idea of how you’d like to proceed. 4. Be creative. If you’re close to getting the results you want but just aren’t there yet, you should consult with your agent about possible solutions. As an example, we had a seller recently whose minimum bottom line for their home was $1 million, but whose buyer had a loan approval that was maxed out at $990,000. To compensate for this $10,000 disparity, we advised the seller to credit the buyer with $5,000, with the understanding that the credit was to be explicitly dedicated toward lowering the buyer’s interest rate on their loan. The buyer was able to lower their interest rate from 4.25% to 4%, which raised their mortgage approval up to just over $1 million. As a result, the buyer was able to secure the home and the seller was able to net their desired price. Having a skilled negotiator who can think outside the box will be very helpful for you in any real estate scenario. Ultimately, the bottom line is that doing many little things right throughout a transaction can make a big difference in your success. If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give us a call or send us an email. We look forward to hearing from you soon.