Lately I have met many homeowners and homeowners-to-be who have said something curious: “It’s probably a little early for us to work with a real estate agent.”
No matter their personal situation, I couldn’t disagree more – and I’ve made it a goal to convince them otherwise. By working with a broker from the get-go, we can advise you on any number of issues that may help you save time and money in your house hunt, or get top dollar for your home when it is time to sell. Here are some of my top reasons for engaging me now:
- We offer money saving advice – Planning to sell in a year or two, but not sure which repairs or renovations will give you a good return on investment? We can give you valuable tips and even refer you to some great contractors and service providers.
- Brokers know the market today – We can tell you which neighborhoods are hot, and why. Great brokers will stay on top of market data such as inventory rates, sales to list price ratios, lending practices and average days on market. We also know what the current sales environment is like for certain areas, price points and home styles. All of these can be influential factors when deciding whether and when to sell your house.
- A broker’s CMA is the best predictor of your house value – Forget about the estimates you’re reading on various websites. A complimentary – yes, that’s free! – comparative market analysis from a professional broker compares your house to Active, Pending and Sold properties nearby that we view as similar based on many factors – square footage, location, architecture, interior updates, outdoor features being some. An updated CMA will provide you the clearest estimate of your house’s value if you were to place it on the market today.
- We will save you valuable time – We know you’ve already been searching online and will continue to do so, but we have tools to stay on top of listings from the day they hit the market to the time they go “Pending” to the (sometimes) moment they come back on the market. While you’re busy in office meetings, your broker is keeping her eyes and ears open for you, finding properties you might have never known existed. Likewise, we can wade through the sea of houses and eliminate those that we know are not a good fit for you.
- Brokers are insiders – You can read the marketing copy and view 20+ photos in an app, but only brokers can get private remarks from the listing agent or seller, access the full sales history of a property, and research applicable disclosures that might make a big difference to you. Again, this can save you time, frustration and money down the road.
- Agents get you in – If you enlist a broker from the beginning, you don’t have to spend your weekends going to Open Houses! We can arrange private appointments for you to tour a home when it’s best for you. This can be a huge advantage during a seller’s market, when houses sell within a few days – sometimes before an Open House can even occur.
- We know a little about the money stuff – Lenders, FICO scores, interest rates, down payments, FHA vs. Conventional vs. VA, cash offers…there are a lot of confusing terms used in real estate that can really add up! Brokers can answer many questions for you, and if we can’t, we can refer you to someone who can.
- We’re ready when you are – So much in real estate is about timing. In today’s market, if you see a house online or at an Open House, but don’t yet have a broker, you may miss the boat. By the time you meet with a broker, get setup for a showing, produce the documentation (such as a loan pre-approval), then submit an offer, the seller might have already received multiple offers and accepted one of them. It’s best to have all of the pieces in place so when we do find your dream house, you’re in a position to buy it!
So if you’re just starting down the road to selling your house or buying a new one, get in touch with a real estate broker. We’ll do our best to make it well worth your time!
Erin Bowersox is a broker with Windermere Real Estate in Woodinville. A Bellevue native, she’s lived throughout the Eastside and California, and now resides in Mill Creek. You can learn more about her and her approach to real estate at www.ErinBowersox.com.
Make sure you check out the original post on Erin’s website!