When it comes to buying and selling property everyone wants to use the ideal Realtor, one that will be upfront and honest in all things, one that can almost read your mind. You use a Realtor because you want someone in your corner working on your behalf and advising you when things get critical. A good Realtor is part teacher, part therapist, and really, really good investigators. There’s some things they aren’t, however, and it’s important to keep those in mind.
1. They are not property inspectors. Not trained in property inspections, don’t expect your Realtor to do a thorough inspection when they show you around a property.
2. They’re not your banker or anyone else’s. They won’t tell you if you can afford or not afford any house you may be interested in. By getting preapproved at the lending institution you’ll know ahead of time what you can afford.
3. When it comes to negotiations with a buyer or a seller, they won’t tell you whether to accept or not accept an offer.
4. Your Realtor may not know the area as much as you’d like. Do your own research ahead of time and find out how far away the schools, doctors, banks and shopping are.
5. Take your Realtor’s advice when it comes to setting the listing price of your home. They’ve done their comparable market analysis and know what your home can sell for. They’re not about to tell you if you’re way off base and won’t listen to them.
6. Not all Realtors will be upfront with you about what you need to do to help your home sell fast for the amount you’re offering. It pays to do your homework online and learn about curb appeal, making the interior appealing to all types of people, and cleaning out the clutter!
7. Some agents will overprice the home to get the listing but that doesn’t mean the house will sell. A Realtor won’t tell you that the price he’s listing at may be unrealistic. Ask yourself – do you want an unrealistically high price or do you want to sell your house?
8. Under fair-housing laws, an agent can’t discuss the type of people in a neighborhood or whether it’s a “good” area, or even the quality of the local schools. But an agent is able to supply data and information about a community’s demographics, crime statistics and school ratings.
9. To get an estimate of property values around the area check out Zillow.com. They provide an assessment of how nearby homes with similar square footage have sold.
10. It might make more sense for you to rent a home. It may cost you less and provide you with the flexibility to move later when you’re more familiar with the area. Check out the long term vacation rentals that are available at Alan Holden Vacations.