Real estate often seems like a puzzle to many of us. We see the “For Sale” signs posted in the front yards and understand agents help us find our dream home, but we rarely get a glimpse into the mechanics behind a real estate transaction. Whether you’re buying or selling, you most likely want the best deal possible. Dozens of agents have their own style of doing business and many promise a lot. But the biggest question lies at this: Do you have enough information to make the right decisions? There’s a lot more to buying and selling a home than there is to buying almost anything else. It’s one of the largest financial assets you’ll ever own, which makes it highly emotional.
Getting the Right Information with the Right Questions
To make sure you receive the best deal, it’s important you understand the “behind-the-scene” acts of real estate. For retirees in the Villages, clients often come to us in a variety of ways. They often know little of real estate and trust us to be almost like a “son” to them — to help them out. For us, the process begins with the right questions. We need to understand your situation and what you’re looking for before we can help. But the questions shouldn’t only come from our end. You should be asking away too. Would you trust a doctor who has only done surgery 4 times in his life? How about an agent who has only sold 4 homes in his life?
To get the best deal, you should be ready to make sure you have the right agent helping you, but you should also be ready to be honest with us. Tell us the whole story, so we know exactly how to meet your desires and dreams. This is the part where agents become problem solvers. One client of ours was faced with a conundrum. She loved living in the Villages. Her friends were there and she enjoyed the lifestyle. However, the mortgage payment on her current home was too much (with community fees). Family was pushing her to sell and find a home outside the Villages, but for the client, it was her life. Everything was there. She didn’t want to leave the community. So, we found a solution for her. We sold her home and found a cheaper one for her that nearly cut her costs by half. She still got to live in the Villages and got to enjoy the active lifestyle.
What to Know Before Buying or Selling a Home
When it comes to buying a home, it’s important you have the right expert helping you. Asking questions is the first step, but also make sure they are working in your interest and no one else’s. Make sure they have the required skills to get you the best possible deal. In today’s market, with new rules financing, insurance, and mortgages, it’s important you have an agent who is up to date with the times.
For home sellers, they often make 2 mistakes. First, they let their emotions dictate their actions — often around the selling price of their home. Rightfully so, it’s the place where you hold lots of memories, but it’s important to understand the market and know what homes are selling for first. The second mistake a lot of sellers (and agents) do is relying solely on the comparative market analysis (CMA). It’s a report that reveals other similar homes like yours and what they’ve sold for in recent months.
But just because the home is similar to yours, it doesn’t mean it determines the value of your home. Other homeowners may have had to sell quickly or under stress, so they offered a lower price. Others may have not marketed their home appropriately. There are many factors that determine the selling potential of your home. That’s why it’s important to ask the right questions and have the right agent representing you.
Cracking the Real Estate Code
If you’d like to read more about strategies other real estate experts use, we suggest reading the full copy of Cracking the Real Estate Code. Inside is over a dozen experts’ opinions and suggestions in selling and buying real estate. See how you can make the most out of every real estate opportunity!