Why It Pays to Use a Buyer’s Agent

These days, a click of the mouse can open a world of dream homes to you.

But when you’re facing down a determined seller or trying to figure out what to offer, it literally pays to have a buyer’s agent on your side.

Real estate is all about negotiation.

On one side there’s the seller and his or her listing agent, who is bound by a legal agreement to represent the seller’s interest.

On the other side is the buyer – you – who wants to walk out a winner,

having paid a price you’re comfortable with for a home you love.

To get there, you’ll need comparables to establish a fair price; an educated perspective on the local real estate market; connections to home inspectors, lawyers and mortgage brokers; and someone who is bound by a legal agreement – a buyer’s agreement – to represent your interests and yours alone.

That would be the buyer’s agent. He or she puts you on level ground with the seller.

In tough negotiations with multiple offers, you need someone who will advise on strategy and is required by law to treat everything you share in confidence.

In “as is” situations or home inspections that turn up expensive surprises, you need a professional to advise you.

Even when things are going smoothly, another perspective is often important.

An agent can also negotiate unemotionally and professionally on behalf of the buyer.

Effectively, your buyer’s agent is your new best friend. Don’t leave home without one.

Selling a Property Quickly? What You Should Do

If you’ve just purchased your dream home and have to sell it because you’ve been transferred to another city or you’re overmortgaged and sinking fast, there are a few things you should not do.

First, don’t go it alone. Second, be careful not to overprice your home.

Sellers are often tempted to sell their homes themselves, particularly if money is tight.

It’s best to resist the temptation, though, especially if you are in a hurry to sell a home.

It’s a fact that homes that are sold by their owners often take longer to sell than those sold through a real estate agent.

As well, selling yourself takes up a lot of your valuable time.

And time, as they say, is money.

Overpricing is the main reason many homes are slow to sell.

Sellers often have an exaggerated idea of their home’s value.

They may be blind to its faults and overestimate its good points.

For a reality check, visit neighborhood open houses.

It’s also wise to review local listings for prices of similar homes in your area.

Your best bet to move that house quickly is to find a local real estate agent who can bring special expertise about your neighborhood.

Such an agent will have networks of contacts who may be looking for properties in your area.

Sellers should listen to their real estate agent.

The agent will know the comparables and be able to advise you on changes that could make the property more salable.

The real estate agent will also study comparable properties to establish the true value of your home.

That way you can price it correctly and develop a marketing strategy that will work for you.