"Why, Exactly, Should I Use the Services of a Real Estate Agent?"

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This question is often asked, especially by homeowners who consider selling their homes by themselves.

The fundamental first answer to this question is that an experienced realtor is an expert at what he or she does. Through hard work and education, they’ve acquired a set of skills that make the process of home buying and selling a lot easier than it would be by doing it yourself.

So, what are the skills in the set I’m talking about?
Well, for one thing, we have the skill of being the go-between. We’re the people who handle people and calls and separate the “wheat” (real buyers) from the “chaff” (non-buyers) without you ever having to deal with such situations. In Internet terms, we make sure you’re not “spammed” with worthless offers and target real deals for you.We’re also the ones who save you a lot of time by making sure you’re looking at appropriate properties and neighborhoods right from the get-go.

And, speaking of neighborhoods, an experienced realtor will know them inside-out or will know how to find the latest information on them. That means he or she can get you into neighborhoods where the crime rate is low or non-existent, find you ones with great school systems, rising property values, etc.

By the same token, an experienced agent will steer you away from neighborhoods where the trends are downward; that is, rising crime, falling property values, and so forth.

And what about the prices of homes? Well, some people believe that we select them for our clients. Not true! We have no way of setting prices. They’re set by the market! However, we can guide you toward properties that fit your individual needs and are comfortably within your price range. Frankly, it’s not in our best interests to put you into a home beyond your means or that’s not right for you. When that happens, we lose clients and money!
So, we’ll do our best to work within your price range and, based on current information (market supply, demand, etc.), we’ll come up with the best negotiation strategy possible. Current information can include cost-per-square-foot of homes, ratios of list-to-sold prices, knowledge of the buyer/seller, etc. All this information is gathered by the agent and used to formulate solid offers.

Another important skill experienced Realtors possess is objectivity. We have the ability to stay out of the emotional process that often occurs with the buying and selling of a home. Instead, we present your case in the best light possible, all the while holding your information confidential from any competing interests.

One realtor skill that’s often not apparent is our ability to network with other service providers (housing inspectors, title companies, etc.) Professionally, we can’t recommend one specific vendor over another. However, we do keep lists of vendors with excellent reputations as well provide references for the vendors. This service allows you to choose the best provides for your particular situation.
Now, here’s one realtor skill that everyone truly appreciates – the ability to handle tons of paperwork! Today, purchase agreements can run 10+ pages, and that doesn’t even include all the state and federal disclosure statements that are required in the current market! Heck, a real estate file can end up being 2-3 inches thick with paperwork these days!

And it’s not only the heavy paperwork handled by realtors; it’s also the attention to detail within that paperwork. It’s their job (or a lawyer’s, depending on the state) to make sure all the information is correct because if it isn’t, it can end up costing the client hundreds of dollars.

Owning a Second Home Couldn't Come at a Better Time!

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Everyone is wary at least somewhat about the current real estate market – whether it is a couple who has recently lost their main source of income, a retired individual whose family home needs major repairs or a new family looking to establish themselves in a new home but can’t afford to make the down payment. But if you’re one of the fortunate  ones who can look past what will be a passing phase through our real estate history, then your timing couldn’t be better to consider purchasing a second property. Here are a few key reasons that make investing in additional properties now an excellent choice:

Many Exceptional Properties to Choose From

The sheer numbers of gorgeous properties that are available out there is reason enough for someone in the market for a new or second home to grab the chance to go for it! With a plethora of luxury condominiums, charming town homes, picturesque golf properties and country estates that will leave you breathless – this IS the time to shop because now there are so many choices and an even greater variety within those choices.

Super Low Interest Rates That Will Lock In For Life

Interest rates are one of those things that you will end up living with for almost your entire adult life – or at least a significant part of it. With the fantastic opportunity to get the lowest rates ever on homes and properties, anyone even remotely interested or considering purchasing another would be hard-pressed not to avail the amazing chance to come out on top without paying nearly as much as normal.

Now, More Than Ever, Who Doesn’t Want to Spice Up Their Life?

Ten years ago, people were heavily into flipping homes, trying to strike while the iron was hot, so to speak, on getting cheap properties and then fixing them up for resale. That phenomenon has since died down significantly, but unlike that time when people were throwing cash around and also spending heavily on other areas in life – the trends have changed tremendously. Now, instead of vacationing in far-away places, people are opting for more economical choices. Supplemental income sources are also a great reason that people are changing the way they live and operate in terms of property ownership. Investing in a rental property, second home or a vacation home is a great way to enhance lives and, in the long run, offer affordable yet very comfortable vacation or income supplementing options.
The rough times of today will most definitely blow over and soon enough the real estate woes being experienced by many will be a thing of the past. For many people, the advantages the market presents for buyers looking to purchase despite the current economic downturn are an opportunity too good to pass up. If you can, invest now and reap the long-lasting benefits for years to come. The real estate market in 2012, or at least eventually, will emerge on top holding many promising prospects for everyone in the home and property buying arena!