Why Use the Services of a Real Estate Agent?

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This question is often asked, especially by homeowners who consider selling their homes by themselves.

The fundamental first answer to this question is that an experienced realtor is an expert at what he or she does. Through hard work and education, they’ve acquired a set of skills that make the process of home buying and selling a lot easier than it would be by doing it yourself.

So, what are the skills in the set I’m talking about?

Well, for one thing, we have the skill of being the go-between. We’re the people who handle people and calls and separate the “wheat” (real buyers) from the “chaff” (non-buyers) without you ever having to deal with such situations. In Internet terms, we make sure you’re not “spammed” with worthless offers and target real deals for you.We’re also the ones who save you a lot of time by making sure you’re looking at appropriate properties and neighborhoods right from the get-go. I work hard and that means speaking with 40 people a day that are looking to buy or sell a home to keep ahead of market trends.
And, speaking of neighborhoods, an experienced realtor will know them inside-out or will know how to find the latest information on them. That means he or she can get you into neighborhoods where the crime rate is low or non-existent, find you ones with great school systems, rising property values, etc.

By the same token, an experienced agent will steer you away from neighborhoods where the trends are downward; that is, rising crime, falling property values, and so forth.

And what about the prices of homes? Well, some people believe that we select them for our clients. Not true! We have no way of setting prices. They’re set by the market! An agent should know within 5% what a property should sell for. However, we can guide you toward properties that fit your individual needs and are comfortably within your price range. Frankly, it’s not in our best interests to put you into a home beyond your means or that’s not right for you. When that happens, we lose clients and money!

So, we’ll do our best to work within your price range and, based on current information (market supply, demand, etc.), we’ll come up with the best negotiation strategy possible. Current information can include cost-per-square-foot of homes, ratios of list-to-sold prices, knowledge of the buyer/seller, etc. All this information is gathered by the agent and used to formulate solid offers.

Another important skill experienced Realtors possess is objectivity
. We have the ability to stay out of the emotional process that often occurs with the buying and selling of a home. Instead, we present your case in the best light possible, all the while holding your information confidential from any competing interests.

One realtor skill that’s often not apparent is our ability to network with other service providers (housing inspectors, title companies, etc.) Professionally, we can’t recommend one specific vendor over another. However, we do keep lists of vendors with excellent reputations as well provide references for the vendors. This service allows you to choose the best provides for your particular situation.

Now, here’s one realtor skill that everyone truly appreciates – the ability to handle tons of paperwork! Today, purchase agreements can run 10+ pages, and that doesn’t even include all the state and federal disclosure statements that are required in the current market! Heck, a real estate file can end up being 2-3 inches thick with paperwork these days!

And it’s not only the heavy paperwork handled by realtors; it’s also the attention to detail within that paperwork. It’s their job (or a lawyer’s, depending on the state) to make sure all the information is correct because if it isn’t, it can end up costing the client hundreds of dollars. 

So, as you can see, there are many reasons why it’s wise to use an experienced Realtor for the purchase or sale of a home! To find out about the services I haven’t mentioned in this article, contact me today.

Understanding How Enhancements Impact Bottom Line ROI


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Everyone needs to value and protect his or her assets, especially with the current economic situation. One of the best ways to do this is to maintain, manage and make strides toward constant betterment. In a house this can mean any number of things. Whether you choose to enhance an existing bedroom, extend your kitchen, install new flooring in the basement or even replace the garage door – all these and significant others – are excellent ways to strengthen the value of your property. With these home improvement projects, you will enjoy continued returns on the investment that you make in your most cherished asset.

How Does ROI Work?

In real estate it is the formula that is used to compare the cost of remodeling projects with the value those projects will retain at resale. With a little time, energy and effort, you will undoubtedly get back lasting value, increased enjoyment and an enhanced return on your investment. In terms of home improvements, making adjustments to outdated areas of your home, will not only make the space more enjoyable to live in, but it will also increase the resale value of the property. So while it may seem costly to redo the entire kitchen cabinetry and countertops, the chance that you will recover most of the monies spent on the improvement are very high.

Home Improvement Projects Yield Great Returns

Since the kitchen is usually the area in a home that gets the most traffic, it is often one of the first aspects of a home that is judged during evaluation by buyers. Updated, modern and functional kitchens are an important selling feature. If yours is lacking in any of these areas, by embarking on a kitchen remodel project you will could see significant ROI. While the cost of improving a kitchen can be relatively high, the returns of as high as 72% make the initial investment bearable.

Doors and Windows

One of the easiest ways to change the look of a home while increasing its value at the same time is to update the doors and windows. Considering the growing penchant for energy-efficiency in homes, the installation of doors and windows with high-end, energy-efficient sealing and construction will be a welcome addition to any home. When you look at the amount of money saved each year on energy bills, that alone makes the decision to update this aspect of your house an easy one.

Also with the growing security concerns many people are feeling these days, the confidence level of homeowners (and prospective buyers) will soar with the inclusion of solid, quality entry-exit points and windows. While there is a fluctuation based on the type of doors and windows on costs recouped from the initial expense, in general the returns are significant.

A new and improved garage door is a significant change for the better in most homes and one that has seen a ROI of as much as 84%.

Systems Upgrades

In many cases the core systems of a house, like the heating/cooling system or plumbing – tend not to be changed until they break down. When considering ways to improve a property, examine the condition of these systems and, if applicable, maintain or manage them to a level of improved function. If possible, replace parts or entire ensembles. The returns on these investments will be impressive.

Cosmetic Changes

A fresh coat of paint can do more than just spruce up the look of your home. If you are in the market to sell your house, a simple yet highly impacting project like repainting the walls or installing new flooring in your home, can have an immediate impact on prospective buyers. The additional bargaining power you will get from making such adaptations will be more than worth it.

Outdoor Elements

Not surprisingly, many people give great important to the quality and condition of decks and other outdoor spaces in a home. Whether this means your patio and recreation area, the landscaping or even the type and style of boundary fence – an often underestimated aspect of properties is outdoor care. According to Realtor Magazine, a deck addition can yield as much as nearly 73% return on investment.

Structural Enhancements

This is an often overlooked part of a home since it’s not really visible as much as the elements inside the house. As is the case with system-wide functions, the structural aspects are usually tended to when there is a need for major repairs. Prevention is one way to keep a roof, for example, in top condition and ready for any sudden burdens that may arise such as a storm. Siding is also important when determining a home's overall condition and one that cannot be ignored, especially when you plan to put your house on the market. The difference between having quality vinyl siding installed versus a less-than-desired state can be significant. With an ROI of as much as 70-80%, there is an excellent financial incentive to improve these areas as well.

No matter which area of your home you decide to improve, the results are unmistakable. Not only will the quality of your life be greatly enhanced but also when it does come time to sell, the value of your home will be significantly increased, giving you an exceptional ROI as a result of those home improvements.