Why is it important to hire a real estate ‘detective’?
What is so important about having a neighborhood guide?
How does a home buyer manage all of the buying challenges?
The Bay Area real estate market conditions have never been more difficult for home buyers, at least since 1970 when I started keeping records. With the inventory of homes for sale are at historic lows, Buyers are scrambling to compete with multiple offers, all cash purchases, prices going over asking, and homes not appraising for what Buyers are willing to pay. It is a crazy time for Buyers and they need to know what to do and not do. Time is not on their side as the Seller’s market of 2013 marches forward. Their nerves are frazzled, they often have lost hope of snagging their next home because of the jump in prices, and are scrambling to find some small advantage that will allow them to “win” with the purchase of a home.
I realize I am biased, however, it is critical for a home buyer to hire the best Realtor they can find in order to get that competitive advantage in this crazy Seller’s market. Here are my list of six reasons why to hire a Realtor today.
#1: Your personal real estate detective: Find a Realtor who is very well connected within your community. Their network of other professional Realtors is an invaluable asset. They have the inside track on homes that are coming up for sale before they ever hit the market. You want to be first in with your offer so you limit your competition from other buyers. And, your real estate detective will provide a reliable internet source for search homes for sale.
#2: Neighborhood knowledge: Experienced Realtors know the neighborhoods they serve; desirability, re-sale history; schools, and much more. ( In a more balanced real estate market this is actually by Number One on the list.) Do not underestimate how critical it is to hire a Realtor with ‘deep and wide’ knowledge of the community.
#3: Strategies beat rules every time: Hire a Realtor that actually has proven strategies when dealing with a Seller’s market, where Bay Area home prices are rising, and multiple offers are the norm. When you are interviewing Realtors ask them to list the strategies that are actually allowing their clients to ‘win’ in today’s market conditions. The Realtors who are delivering the expected results to their clients are typically at the top of their game when it comes to effective strategies, excellent negotiating skills and being discrete.
#4: Your pricing guide: In the world of multiple offers it is common today for home buyers to pay over the asking price of a home. It is critical for any buyer to clearly understand what is an appropriate price range, and what is excessive. An experience Realtor has all of this information at their fingertips. Many of the home purchases today are being done without an appraisal contingency. This is dangerous ground if a buyer does not have a clear understanding of the comparable sales of similar homes from the past four to six months.
#5: Chief problem solver: Once a buyer has an accepted purchase contract on their dream home, the other 50% of the work begins. During the escrow period of disclosures, inspections and lending contingency removals, there are non-stop hurdles (problems) that will need to be addressed. The paperwork alone is daunting. Successfully closing an escrow is a very stressful event in the best of circumstances. So, how do you know if a Realtor is a ‘chief problem solver’? Ask for references and actually contact them.
#6: A network of other service professionals: One of the top assets a Realtor has is their network of professionals; inspectors, mortgage Brokers, tradesmen, and others that are critical contacts for any home buyer. Don’t underestimate this asset that a Realtor provides their clients. They have spent years assembling this group of proven professionals. And, when hiring the right Realtor they are all at your disposal.
My guess is you may a few more reasons to add to my list. Feel free to add them in the comment section. My list will at least get you started when looking for the qualities of a top real estate professional to help with your next home purchase. And, we would be delighted to apply for the job. Until next time…Jim Walberg