The Everything Guide to Buying Your First Home

How to find exactly what you want, and how to work with the experts who’ll help you get it.

Home buying steps illustration
Image: HouseLogic

So you’re thinking about buying your first home. Your very own house (and mortgage). A place to call — and make — your own.

It’s a big move, literally and figuratively. Buying a house requires a serious amount of money and time. The journey isn’t always easy. It isn’t always intuitive. But when you get the keys to your new home — that, friend, can be one of the most rewarding feelings pretty much ever. 

The key to getting there? Knowing the home-buying journey. Knowing what tools are at your disposal. And most importantly? Creating relationships with experts who can help you get the job done.

That’s where this guide comes in. We’ll show you not only the major steps you’ll take during the home-buying process, but also explain the relationships and experts you’ll need along the way. We’ve even made a handy infographic that outlines the home-buying process from start to finish. 

You ready to live the dream? Here we go. 

Do Your Homework

Oh sure, everybody wants to jump right into open houses. But before you even set foot into a foyer, you should identify your list of “musts” and “wants.” This list is an inventory of priorities for your search. And there’s so much to decide: Price, housing type, neighborhood, and school district — just to name a few.

To get yourself grounded, we recommend filling out this brief worksheet.

Start Shopping

Once you know what you’re looking for, the next step is to start looking at listings and housing information online. (This part? You’re going to crush it.)

Find a Great Agent

Your relationship with your real estate agent is the foundation of the home-buying process. (And your agent = your rock.) He or she is the first expert you’ll meet on your journey, and the one you’ll rely on most. That’s why it’s important to interview agents and find the agent who’s right for your specific needs.

Choose a Lender

Once you’ve found your agent (AKA, your new best friend), ask him or her to recommend at least three mortgage lenders that meet your financial needs. This is another big step, as you’ll be working with your lender closely throughout the home-buying process.

Pick a Loan (It’s Not So Bad)

Once you’ve decided on a lender (or mortgage broker), you’ll work with your loan agent to determine which mortgage is right for you. You’ll consider the percentage of your income you want to spend on your new house, and you’ll provide the lender with paperwork showing proof of income, employment status, and other important financials. If all goes well (fingers crossed) you’ll be pre-approved for a loan at a certain amount. (Sweet.)

Visit Open Houses, and Look Around

Now that you have both an agent who knows your housing preferences and a budget — and a lender to finance a house within that budget — it’s time to get serious about viewing homes. Your agent will provide listings you may like based on your parameters (price range, ZIP codes, features), and will also help you determine the quality of listings you find online. Then comes the fun part: Open houses and private showings, which give you the unique opportunity to evaluate properties in a way you can’t online.

Make an Offer

Once you find the home you want to buy, you’ll work with your agent to craft an offer that not only specifies the price you’re willing to pay but also the proposed settlement date and contingencies — other conditions that must be agreed upon by both parties, such as giving you the ability to do a home inspection and request repairs.

Negotiate, Negotiate, Negotiate

Making an offer can feel like an emotional precipice, almost like asking someone out on a date. Do they like me? Am I good enough? Will they say yes? It’s stressful! Some home sellers simply accept the best offer they receive, but many sellers make a counteroffer. If that happens, it’s up to you to decide whether you want your agent to negotiate with the seller or walk away. This is an area where your agent can provide real value by using their expert negotiating skills to haggle on your behalf and nab you the best deal.

Get the Place Inspected

If your offer is accepted, then you’ll sign a contract. Most sales contracts include a home inspection contingency, which means you’ll hire a licensed or certified home inspector to inspect the home for needed repairs, and then ask the seller to have those repairs made. This mitigates your risk of buying a house that has major issues lurking beneath the surface, like mold or cracks in the foundation. (No one wants that.) Here’s what to expect.

Ace the Appraisal

When you offer to buy a home, your lender will need to have the home appraised to make sure the property value is enough to cover the mortgage. If the home appraises close to the agreed-upon purchase price, you’re one step closer to settlement — but a low appraisal can add a wrinkle. Not one you can’t deal with. Here’s how to prepare.

Close the Deal

The last stage of the home-buying process is settlement, or closing. This is when you sign the final ownership and insurance paperwork and make this whole thing official. There’s some prep work you have to take care of first.

When it’s all said and done — break out the rosé. You’ll have the keys to your new home!

4 Bottom-Line Tips to Decide: What Is the Value of My Home?

Here’s how to price your home to sell fast.

Your home is more than just a bunch of rooms under a roof. It’s the space where you watched your daughter take her first steps, hosted Super Bowl parties, and celebrated holidays. Those memories are priceless. But when sell your house, the warm and fuzzies can’t factor into the question: What is the value of my home?

You aren’t selling your memories; you’re selling a house.

This is where an agent can help. You’re the one who will set your listing price, but your agent has the expertise and local knowledge to advise on how to price your house so it doesn’t languish on the market.

#1 Don’t Go High Out The Gate

You think your house is great. The problem is sellers often think their house is so great that they list at too high of a price and miss the window of sales opportunity that comes with a new listing.

“By listing too high, you lose your most important leverage and timing because it’s new,” says Ali Evans, an agent in Santa Barbara, Calif. “If you overprice it, you miss out on all those buyers.”

The longer your house sits on the market, the less likely you are to get your asking price. Because buyers expect there’s a deal to be made on a house that’s been on the market for months. 

“If something doesn’t move in the first 30 days or so, then people start thinking that they’re not going to be paying full price any longer,” Evans says.

Bottom line: Listen to your real estate agent about home value, because she knows how to price your home to sell fast. She’s looking at all of the comp prices and knows what the competition is like in your market. 

#2 Don’t Assume Upgrades Will Get You A Higher Price 

You renovated your kitchen after you watched too many episodes of Property Brothers. You looooove the way your reno turned out, because your kitchen is now stunningly modern, as kitchens on HGTV are. Everyone else will love it too, right? So you want to push up the listing price.

Don’t be so sure everyone else will pay big bucks for it, Evans says.

“Upgrades that are done in very specific taste can be tricky. Updates that are neutral are going to appeal to a lot of people will see more value,” she says. “But upgrades don’t always equal value.”

In fact, research from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® shows you might recoup 59% of your costs, based on a national average, on a complete kitchen upgrade.

In other words, just because you put $65,000 into your kitchen renovation doesn’t mean you can list your home for an additional $65,000. Your agent can help you assess the market value of your upgrades and answer the big question, What is the value of my home?

#3 Don’t Set A Dollar Amount You Need To Make

Having an idea of what you want to earn from your house sale is fine, because you’re looking at your home as the giant investment that it is. But pricing your home so that you will make a certain amount of money is the wrong approach.

The number you have in your head may not be in line with the market. This is where doing research on the housing market comes in handy, as well as listening to your agent. 

“Make sure you understand the logic behind the price your agent suggests,” Evans says “It’s important to not be frustrated that it’s $20,000 below where you want to price it, and understand the thought process.”

Your agent will research the market to see what other houses in your area are selling for. He also knows the market, the inventory of houses for sale, and how your home compares to others in the area.

If you’ve listed the home too high, and you’re not getting any bites, don’t be afraid to do a price correction, Evans says. Lowering the price shows buyers you’re realistic and motivated. Adjusting the price is a key part of knowing how to price your home.

#4 Don’t Let Emotions Get The Best of You

For most people, selling a home is emotional. Whether you’ve lived in your house for four years or 40, you’re attached to it.  But it’s important to not let your emotions drive you to price your house for more than it’s worth. 

Listen to your agent on how to price yourhome. His cool-headed knowledge of the market and real estate inventory will be a wiser guide for pricing than your irrational love for the bay window in the living room, the restored hardwood floors, and the way the light shines in your beloved sunroom in the morning.

“Pricing can’t be an emotional thing,” Evans says. “It needs to be based on market analysis, which is why an outside perspective is important.”

When you ask yourself, ‘what is the value of my home,’ think with your head, more so than your heart.

HOUSELOGIC

HouseLogichelps consumers make smart, confident decisions about all aspects of home ownership. Made possible by REALTORS®, the site helps owners get the most value and enjoyment from their existing home and helps buyers and sellers make the best deal possible. 

It’s A Buyers Market

Hello Everyone,

A home buyer does not want to be caught off guard in a seller’s market . It’s one of the reasons that the most important thing a home buyer can do is trust his or her real estate agent to advise on market conditions. If it is a seller’s market, it could very difficult, if not almost impossible, to buy the first home a buyer wants to buy.

Because home buyers generally have very little interest in the real estate market when they are not buying a home, they don’t always know how the market moves from one season to another, much less from month to month. It is often uncomfortable for a buyer to be told the market is a seller’s market when the buyer may believe otherwise — especially a buyer who is trying to buy in a down real estate market.

Markets can change almost overnight. When the market changes to a seller’s market, a buyer’s home buying strategy needs to change with it. In a seller’s market, a home buyer is unlikely to be successful using the same techniques practiced in a buyer’s market.

Preparing the Home Buying Offer in a Seller’s Market

Time is of the essence. Multiple offers happen with more regularity in a sellers’ market than a buyer’s market. That’s because by its very nature a seller’s market is defined in part by low inventory and lots of home buyers. A beautiful home that is priced well can attract more than one offer. Remember, you might not be the only buyer.

  • Price. Price is not always the most important factor. But do not offer less than list price. Realize you may need to offer more than the amount the seller is asking.
  • Earnest Money Deposit. A larger earnest money deposit might look very attractive to a seller. Ask your agent for advice on the deposit; then consider doubling or tripling that amount. You’re going to pay it anyway at closing.
  • Don’t Request Favors. This is not the time to ask the seller to give you the refrigerator or washer and dryer, or part with fixtures, or paint the front door.
  • Delay Buyer Possession. If it is customary for the seller to move at closing, give the seller a few extra days to move. Another buyer probably won’t think of this maneuver, and the seller will look more kindly upon an offer that lets them move at leisure.
  • Submit Preapproval and Proof of Funds Documentation. If your preapproval letter is from an out-of-area broker or lender, get a local preapproval instead. Match your preapproval letter to your sales price and date it the same day as your offer

Ask Your Agent to Call the Listing Agent for Tips

Listing agents are often very busy. If your agent can save the listing agent some time by preparing the offer correctly, the listing agent might be inclined to recommend your offer over an offer from another agent who did not complete the offer the way the seller expects.

Think of it this way. Say a listing agent has two offers. One is exactly the offer the seller would like to sign. The other offer is not, and the other offer would need a counter offer from the seller to compensate. Should the listing agent prepare a counter offer or should the buyer’s agent revise the offer?

In this situation, it is better for the buyer’s agent to revise the offer. It is faster. During the time it would take the listing agent to prepare a counter, send the counter offer for a signature, and then deliver the counter offer to the buyer’s agent, another full price could arrive. If you want to be the first offer, the best offer and the only offer the seller will accept, your offer needs to match the seller’s expectations.

If you wait for the seller to sign a counter offer, your offer could fall by the wayside. Your buyer’s agent can find out what the seller wants by calling the listing agent or by reading the verbiage and instructions in MLS. Ask to see the agent’s MLS information sheet. The agent’s MLS printout is probably different than the information a home buyer receives.

Jump on that Seller’s Market Showing

Don’t be that buyer who wants to wait until the weekend to view a home in a seller’s market. By the weekend, that home could be sold. Try to be one of the first showings. Sellers usually don’t enjoy having buyers come through their homes at all hours of the day, so most would like to see their home sold quickly.

If you write a good offer, a fast offer and a clean offer, your chances of acceptance are far better than those of a buyer who is unprepared. It may astonish you to know how many buyers are often unprepared.

Please give us a call to speak to one of our agents today!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors

The Home Inspection

Buying a house is probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make, so it’s important to be sure your potential new home has a proper home inspection before you sign the papers. Getting a qualified home inspector can be an important first step.

A home inspector is a qualified professional who visually inspects the structure and components of a home and looks for any immediate or potential problems. They provide a written report to you with a description of problem areas and may also include recommendations for further evaluation.

You can go over the report with your real estate agent to decide how the results may affect the purchase of your potential home.

What They Inspect

Home inspection requirements vary greatly from state to state, but the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has a Standards of Practice page that outlines minimum and uniform standards that you should expect from an inspection. They include the following:

  • Structural elements. Construction of visible foundation; evidence of sagging or bowing of the structure; and window alignment.
  • Grounds. Leaks from septic tank; proper drainage; and condition of driveways, fences, and sidewalks.
  • Roof. Condition of shingles; any repairs/patches to flat roofs; clear vents; damage to chimneys; and properly working gutters.
  • Exterior surfaces. Correct clearance between ground and siding material; condition of exterior paint or siding; and properly working lights and electrical outlets.
  • Attic. Sufficient insulation; proper ventilation; and any sign of leaking or water damage.
  • Interior plumbing. No damaged or leaking pipes; proper hot water temperature; and functioning toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
  • Electrical system. Up-to-code condition and type of visible wiring, and proper function of circuit breakers, outlets, light fixtures, and fans.
  • Appliances. Proper function of stove, dishwasher, refrigerator, microwave, washer and dryer, and all other appliances.
  • Heating and cooling systems. Condition of furnace, air conditioning (temperature permitting), water heater, chimney, and fireplace.
  • Basement. Solid foundation, walls, and floors, with no signs of water intrusion or damage.
  • Garage. Solid foundation, windows, ceiling, framing, and roof; working garage door opener; up-to-code electrical system; and proper function of outlets.

What They Don’t Inspect

Again, while there is variation of what home inspectors look for, there are areas that are generally not covered by a home inspection. If you suspect any problems or concerns in the following areas, you may want to schedule an evaluation by a certified specialist:

  • Pest control
  • Swimming pools
  • Asbestos
  • Radon gas
  • Lead paint
  • Toxic mold

Finding a Home Inspector

Be sure you are comfortable with your choice of home inspector. They are extremely important and can help you detect and avoid major pitfalls in the home buying process.

Making a major purchase such as a house requires a dedicated team. Besides your real estate professional and lender, a home inspector is critical to helping make sure you are covered. Be sure to educate yourself about the process and find a home inspector you can trust.

Please call one of our sales professionals today!

Sincerely,

Scott Myers, Century 21 Scott Myers Realtors

(210) 479-1222

A Few Things To Know About Going Real Estate Shopping!

Hello,

How many times have you passed by a home you like and cant help but think how much they are asking for the property and how much will the seller actually accept?

Having a good Agent can help you evaluate the property as well as work with the Listing Agent and seller on negotiating a fair price for all parties.  To help  buyer Agents determine what the sellers might accept for the property, agents generally look at :

1.) Who actually owns the home (whether a banking institution or a private seller).

2.)How long has the property been on the market?

3.) What have other similar homes sold for recently (usually within the last 3 months)

Once Buyer agents can get a better idea of the sellers situation your Buyers Agent can recommend a fair asking price.

A good real estate agent is going to be key. They will be your go-between, and the person that does all the dirty work for you. You can discuss everything that you are looking for in a space with them, and they can help you find it! Also key is to remember how important the appraisal process is. This process is a bit different from residential appraisal in that it involves a lot more than actual inspection. There is a lot more involved, such as research of the client demographic, zoning records, the price of similar companies, etc..

Another important thing to remember is that nothing is set in stone. When you are working with the owner of the property that you wish to buy or lease, every thing is negotiable. Make sure to voice your needs and concerns so that everything can be worked out beforehand. A Letter Of Intent is what you will file when you are ready to express interest in the property. Your agent will help you to file this paperwork. You are able to negotiate rental prices, terms, expenses, maintenance and repair issues, etc. Think of everything you can before you commit.

Your real estate agent can help you decide what the proper steps will be in your unique situation. There are several different types of leases, and they are pretty confusing. This is why it is so important to have someone that you trust in your corner to help you navigate through this process!

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com

Top Duties of your Real Estate Agent

Hello ,

A few Days ago in our previous blog we talked about Tips on what to do first for the First Time Homebuyer. Many may not be aware but choosing an experienced agent can significantly increase your chances of a smooth and stress free Transaction. Today I wanted to share with everyone the responsibilities of your Realtor .

The Buyers Agent checklist:

  • Pursue the interests of the Buyer Client
  • Agency Agreement, it’s like a basic job description
  • Helps explain the process, sequence, contracts, mortgages, pre-approvals, closings
  • Reviews Closing Costs on a HUD-1 Estimated Worksheet
  • Explain Earnest Money Deposits, Escrow, and Default
  • Listen and answer questions
  • Shows client homes that client found on the internet or agent found doing research
  • Generates comparable data for Buyer to understand current pricing
  • Reviews and explains the Regional Sales Contract, Jurisdictional Addendum, Disclaimer Form, Contingencies Addendum, Additional Clause Addendum
  • Completes, with Buyer, and presents any offer to Seller or Seller’s Agent
  • Explains counter-offers, makes sure contract is ratified
  • Helps schedule home inspections, radon tests, termite inspections etc.
  • On new homes, schedule option selections
  • Gets contract to mortgage lender and settlement company
  • Gives Buyer insight into home owners insurance, locking mortgage rate
  • Makes sure appraisal has been ordered within time frame
  • Reviews Home Owner’s Association or Condo Documents and presents them to Buyer for review
  • Contacts Title Company for updates, such as title or survey issues
  • Contacts mortgage lender to make sure loan is in process, and provide any missing information
  • Helps resolve Buyer or Seller issues that may delay closing or void the contract
  • Schedules contractors to evaluate or any repair issues from inspections
  • On new homes, contact builders rep for estimated closing date
  • Schedule closing time, walk-through inspections, walk-through issues
  • Review “rent-back” agreement if necessary
  • Confirm with Title Company that Buyer’s loan documents and Seller documents are ready to be signed
  • Ensure Buyer has Certified Funds for amount due at closing
  • Be available at closing.

Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors Office offers buyers a unique prospective and outlook on effective Home-Buying.

Please call our office to discuss the Details and process for purchasing your new home today!

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner (210) 479-1222 or Toll Free (888) 868-1222
email : Scott.Myers@Century21.com

Tips for the first Time Home-Buying Process

Good Afternoon,

How many times have you thought about buying a home for the very first time only to be overwhelmed and not have a good guide as to what to expect. Having a great Agent is one of the most important steps you can take when becoming a first time homebuyer. I have shared below a few tips to guide you along the way. Century 21 Scott Myers, Realtors Agents offer buyers and suggest what available programs might be available.

First Time Buyers – What To Do First

Home buying is a very complex undertaking. For a first time buyer the process may seem overwhelming. It need not be so. Here are the basic steps leading to a successful home purchase.

1. Find an experienced Realtor to work with, one who will be your “Buyer’s Agent”. Your Realtor will be a coach and guide to what, when and how to do things. He will also manage all of the contracts, deadlines and details for you.

2. Apply for a mortgage pre-approval with a lender of your choice. This is best done face to face after interviewing a few of them by phone. Your Realtor will suggest a few lenders for you to try as well as coach you on the right questions to ask.

3. Pick an area you like that is within your price range. Also consider factors such as commuting time, schools and so on. Your Realtor will help you with information on subdivisions and price ranges. Do some independent “driving around” to compare and decide.

4. Next you will need to begin choosing. Your Realtor will provide details on all available homes in your area and price range. After you pick the most appealing ones your Realtor will arrange the showings and accompany you to each selected property.

5. When you find that “just right” home you’ll be ready to make an offer. Issues including offering price, closing date, and other terms will then be considered. Your Realtor will guide and assist through the choices and negotiations from start to finish.

6. Once your offer is accepted by the seller the closing process begins. There will be property inspections and many other details. Here again your Realtor will make sure that everything is done correctly and on time with nothing overlooked.

7. Finally, the big day comes. Your Realtor will accompany you to the “closing” and help you sort through those last minute questions. You have become a home owner and can start moving into your new house.

Please give us a call so that we may assign an Agent that will work best for you.

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner (210) 479-1222 or Toll Free (888) 868-1222
email : Scott.Myers@Century21.com

The Holiday Season – A Great Time to Sell Your Home

Conventional wisdom has it that The Holiday Season is not a good time to put your home on the market. After all, most people have their minds on family get-togethers, Thanksgiving meals, shopping for gifts, winter vacations – the last thing on their minds is buying a home. So why should you spend your holidays with the hassle of getting your home ready for sale. It just makes sense to wait until after the beginning of the new year when things pick up again. Right?

 

Actually, our experience in over 33 years in the San Antonio real estate market shows that in this case conventional wisdom is far from the reality. True, there may be fewer buyers looking between now and the new year, but those who are looking tend to be very serious (fewer “lookie loos”). This is also a time of the year when people often have out-of-town visitors, some of whom may be considering moving to our area, and plan to spend part of their visit exploring neighborhoods for a future house-hunting trip.

 

Since many sellers fall for the conventional wisdom (often promoted by real estate agents who don’t want to work as hard this time of the year), there are usually fewer new listings on the market during the Holidays. This translates into less competition for you.

 

As far as the hassle of preparing your home for showing, you are already doing that if you are decorating your home for the Holidays. If you are planning any outdoor lighting displays, think about how that “For Sale” sign in your yard would attract attention if it was outlined in lights! And your nicely decorated tree will make your home feel inviting to prospective buyers if it is one of the first things they see when they enter your home.

 

If you need to sell your home but have been advised to wait until the new year – think again. If you wait, you have potentially delayed your closing date by several weeks. When January comes around, wouldn’t you like to have a closing date already scheduled when your neighbor is just putting a sign in the yard?

 

If you like the idea of getting a jump on the competition, but have a few days when you don’t want your home shown over the Holidays, no problem. We can temporarily suspend showings anytime you ask us to. If getting your home sold is a priority, and you want to work with a REALTOR® who understands how to market your home during the Holiday Season, give me a call, e-mail me or visit my Web site.

 

 

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com

 

Keeping In Touch With Your Real Estate Agent

When selling a home, silence isn’t always golden — especially when you’re expecting your real estate agent to call. In fact, it’s one of the leading complaints among sellers in the real estate market. Often times you find an agent who is more than willing to take on your listing, but once the agreement is signed, your agent is too busy to return your calls.

We train our agents to establish with the client up front the expectation that regular communication will occur – and on a schedule and in the form desired by the client. Even if it’s just to check-in, we know that you will be more satisfied being kept “in the loop”.

Keeping the communication lines open between the two parties assures sellers that the agent is keeping them apprised of any and all offers. In addition, agents often provide valuable insight on why prospective buyers weren’t interested. Often times, an agent is privy to the buyer’s dislikes of the property. For example: “this room’s too dark” or “the kitchen has a funny smell”. This allows the agent to give the seller constructive feedback and offer important tips on how to make the home more attractive to prospective buyers.

If you’re a seller and are not hearing from your agent, be sure to keep calling until he or she gets the message that you expect regular updates. If the agent doesn’t return your calls, leave a message for the broker or office manager.

Selling a home can be a lot of work and sometimes quite stressful. It is incumbent upon an agent to satisfy the seller’s expectations of routine updates. As a seller you deserve to be kept informed on how things are going with the sale of your property. If both parties work in a cooperative effort, the selling experience will be more successful and enjoyable for both the agent and the seller involved. If you use my office to list your home for sale, you have my personal assurance that your agent will provide regular updates – daily, weekly, monthly – you determine the frequency; by phone, e-mail, social media – you determine the format.

 

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com

MOVING ON: POWERFUL TIPS FOR SELLING YOUR HOME

Maybe you’re moving to a larger home to accommodate a growing family, relocating for a new career opportunity, or purchasing a townhouse for retirement. Whatever the reason for the move, you’ll need to take the necessary steps to sell your home for the best possible price, within a reasonable amount of time. Where do you begin?

 

If you’re like most people, you’ll start by seeking assistance from a professional. A local real estate sales associate, who knows your neighborhood, can help you determine a fair market price. The sales associate should also recommend the extent to which you should make repairs or improvements to your home.

 

In order to select a real estate professional who’s right for you, ask family, friends and neighbors for referrals. Attend open houses and interview several sales associates to find out how professional or experienced they may be. Get a written outline of how they plan to market your property and the services they will offer you.

 

Once you’ve identified a qualified professional, the rest is chemistry. Is the sales associate someone with whom you would like to work closely? Do you feel comfortable with the sales associate as your partner, working with you to give you advice and acting as your representative? Does he or she practice a consultative selling approach, focusing on the long-term client relationship and on the importance of exceeding client needs and expectations, or is he or she caught up in the proverbial ‘hard sell?’

 

The brokerage firm that your agent is associated with is also important. Research the firm’s success rate and commitment to quality service. Does it survey existing clients in order to ensure customer satisfaction? What are the results of those surveys? How in tune are they with consumer needs? Do they offer guidance with mortgages or any discounts for other home-related or moving services?

 

Determining your home’s fair market value is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during the home-selling process. Your sales associate can help you set a fair price based on local market conditions. For instance, she or he will provide sale prices and other statistics for homes similar to yours that have recently sold in your neighborhood. Prospective buyers will be comparing your home to others on the market. Therefore, setting a competitive price can determine if your property will or will not sell.

 

For the first offer made, it’s rare that the prospective buyer matches the asking price. If the offer is reasonably close to the asking price, carefully consider the offer before turning it down. Curiously, it’s the first offer that can often be the best offer. If the first offer is unacceptable to you, it may in your best interest to have your sales associate respond with a counter offer. Whenever considering an offer, ask yourself if you would purchase the property for the amount being offered. Always be willing to negotiate, especially if the prospective buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage.

 

Once you decide what terms are acceptable, let your sales associate negotiate with the prospective buyer to work out the best agreement for you. You’ll need to be patient while the buyer arranges financing and the real estate company compiles and prepares pertinent documents and information.

 

Careful planning and sound advice from a real estate professional can make selling your home a very satisfying experience. If you are considering selling your home, give me a call or e-mail me and I will select one of my agents to answer your questions and help you get the process under way.

 

 

Scott Myers

Broker/Owner of Century 21 Scott Myers

(210) 479-1222 or Toll-Free (888) 868-1222

email: Scott.Myers@Century21.com