I have been a Real Estate Agent for over three decades. I have been a Broker for over two decades. I have been a Managing Broker & State Certified Real Estate Trainer/Educator for nearly two decades. With this experience and longevity I have seen trends and fads come and go. One trend that never ceases to disappoint and confuse me is this: When the market place is thriving Buyers and Sellers of Real Estate become “Do-It-Yourself”-ers.
Never on any of the DIY or HGTV shows do they suggest that you Buy and Sell Real Estate or write your own contracts. Even professional REALTORS will use another agent for making purchases or sales in Real Estate. We know that the transaction is the best place for us to become emotionally involved and not make intelligent or prudent choices / decisions. We can expose ourselves in a Real Estate transaction to expensive errors. Why would you think that this is the time and place for DIY and Bargain shopping?
I like the analogy of; if you were shopping for a plastic surgery face lift, would you go to a Ear, Nose & Throat specialist? I would hope not! I would hope that you would do your due diligence in vetting out Surgeons that had a history of the type of surgery you are going to have, with positive (even raving) results from past patients. A few more dollars to get the results you are expecting would be the prudent choice. Right?
So, for most of us a Real Estate purchase or sale is one of the most expensive transactions we will make in our lifetime. One that could have tragic or phenomenal results based on our decisions. Consult with, Hire a Professional and do your due diligence in selecting the one that you will use to give you the results you are seeking. This may or may not be the time for Nepotism. Do your Due Diligence.
Internet automation and Ala Carte services have a place in our society, but I say they have no place in a real estate transaction. Meet with, get to know your choice of REALTOR. Shop for the best one; the knowledge, the experience, the dedication and commitment that you are assured will bring you the results you expect. This is the best time to go Full Service Package.
Even if you have bought and sold several properties and feel confident that you can navigate the process on your own using forms downloaded from the internet, keep in mind that each property brings with it a new set of circumstances and people associated with the transaction. And you would be wise to consult with and hire an experienced professional that represents you in the transaction, every transaction. You could be engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by completing and filling in the blanks, cut and pasting sections of a contract.
Marketing is another area where I see too many properties cut corners to save money. Do you really expect Buyers to say, “I want to see that property with the horrible photos (or missing photos altogether).” In a healthy, competitive market there are several properties to look at and the ones with the best marketing write-ups/photos/videos are going to get the most attention and sell for the highest price, quickest.
I know of situations where a prospective buyer is ready to make the purchase of a property just from the marketing photos and descriptions on the MLS, show up to view the property only to have the Seller greet them and give them the “grand tour” of “their home”. The Seller ends up talking the Buyer out of considering to purchase the home. Both are disappointed with the result.
Hire a professional with raving past client reviews.
Here are some documented facts regarding For Sale By Owners:
Forty-eight percent of home owners who sell their home without a real estate agent believe that if they sell themselves they’ll have to just do a little extra work and then be able to save on having to pay a commission or closing fee. But research shows that for-sale-by-owners actually end up having to spend a lot more time than they ever imagined and tend to end up with a final selling price that is lower than comparable listings that were sold by an agent, according to research by the National Association of REALTORS®.
Eighty-nine percent of all homes sold this year were sold with the assistance of a real estate professional.
Eighty-nine percent of sellers said they sold their home with an agent, while for-sale-by-owner sales only accounted for about 8 percent of transactions (down from 9 percent the last three years).
“Although the Internet and digital technology have created several channels for sellers to market their listings to a wider cast of potential buyers, the preference to use a REALTOR® to sell a home has never been stronger,” says Chris Polychron, NAR’s president.
And when you are going to be making a purchase, once again, hiring a professional is the best choice. The majority of home buyers reported that the Internet was their first step in their home search. Still, 88 percent of buyers who searched for homes online ended up purchasing through a real estate agent.
“Although buyers between the ages of 18-24 were the most likely to use an agent (90 percent), over 85 percent of buyers in each of the other age categories also used an agent during their home search,” Polychron says. “With tight inventory conditions leading to stiff competition in several parts of the country and what’s found online sometimes not entirely accurate, buyers are turning to REALTORS® for expert advice and assistance in navigating today’s fast-moving housing market.”
Most Common Reasons for Selling Home as FSBO:
Did not want to pay commission fee: 36%
Sold it to a relative / friend / neighbor: 32%
Buyers contacted seller directly: 16%
Did not want to deal with an agent: 6%
Agent was unable to sell home: 5%
Seller has real estate license: 1%
Could not find agent to handle transaction: *less than 1%
Source: 2018 Profile of Home Buyers & Sellers, (National Association of REALTORS® – Research, 2018)
And when it comes to getting a mortgage to make the purchase too many Buyers are not doing their due diligence and this error may cost them tens of thousands of dollars, or more depending upon the mortgage amount.
Shopping around for a home loan or mortgage will help you get the best financing deal. A mortgage — whether it’s a home purchase, a refinancing, or a home equity loan — is a product, just like a car, so the price and terms may be negotiable. You’ll want to compare all the costs involved in obtaining a mortgage. Shopping, comparing, and negotiating may save you thousands of dollars.
Home loans are available from several types of lenders — thrift institutions, commercial banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions. Different lenders may quote you different prices, so you should contact several lenders (I suggest at least three) to make sure you’re getting the best price. You can also get a home loan through a mortgage broker. Brokers arrange transactions rather than lending money directly; in other words, they find a lender for you. A broker’s access to several lenders can mean a wider selection of loan products and terms from which you can choose. Brokers will generally contact several lenders regarding your application, but they are not obligated to find the best deal for you unless they have contracted with you to act as your agent. Consequently, you should consider contacting more than one broker, just as you should with banks or thrift institutions.
Whether you are dealing with a lender or a broker may not always be clear. Some financial institutions operate as both lenders and brokers. And most brokers’ advertisements do not use the word “broker.” Therefore, be sure to ask whether a broker is involved. This information is important because brokers are usually paid a fee for their services that may be separate from and in addition to the lender’s origination or other fees. A broker’s compensation may be in the form of “points” paid at closing or as an add-on to your interest rate, or both. You should ask each broker you work with how he or she will be compensated so that you can compare the different fees. Be prepared to negotiate with the brokers as well as the lenders.
I have had two to three Loan Officers that work as Brokers on my team since I was a newbie Real Estate Agent. Call me to get a referral to one or all of them. Male and Female, all of them are knowledgeable, experienced and committed to your results.
If you are in the market for buying or selling Real Estate, consult with a Professional to complete the transaction, so that you can achieve the results you are expecting.