The work of a real estate agent is hard. Buying and selling homes is a stressful process for both parties; large sums of money change hands and emotions can run high—creating a high pressure environment for agents.
While there is no way to completely remove the stress from buying and selling homes, here are five things your agents want you to know that may help you navigating the buying and selling process:
Your timeline needs to be flexible
Whether you are buying or selling, home transactions take time and both parties need to plan to be flexible. Aside from the time a home sits on the market, sellers also need to give ample time for preparing their house to sell, which can take 2 weeks or more depending upon the condition of the home. Both parties should anticipate that negotiations can take up to a week or more and that closing takes 30-45 days. Give yourself plenty of time and be flexible with your expectations.
Be smart about money
Large amounts of money are at stake in home transactions for buyers and sellers. Sellers need to listen to their agent when pricing their home. Real estate agents know your neighborhood, they have seen your home, and they understand the housing market in your area, all of which make them more qualified to place a value on your home than a website will be. Price your home to sell. Homes that languish on the market become less and less likely to be sold for a fair value. Agents want buyers to know that low-ball offers reduce your negotiating power and that effective negotiations should start with a reasonable offer. Both parties should listen to their agents.
Pre-qualified and pre-approved aren’t the same
Being prequalified for a loan means that a buyer has gone to a bank, told the lender their income status, and the bank has issued a letter stating that the buyer could theoretically borrow some minimum amount. Pre-approved means that the loan process has begun. The borrower has applied for a loan, the bank has verified financial information, and the bank has promised to loan a specific amount at a stated interest rate.
Agents want buyers to be cautious about their finances during the buying process. Many buyers obtain a pre-qualification from the bank and immediately go out and apply for loans or stack up new credit balances before the closing process is finished, only to find that their new credit status precludes them from borrowing the amount they anticipated and the transaction is unable to close.
Cash is King
Further to the above, while taking out a mortgage is still standard practice for most buyers, if you want to ensure that you get your dream home, having cash in hand is not a bad idea. Even if you are extremely qualified, a bank will only lend the amount of money that the home is appraised for, so you wouldn’t be able to offer over asking price in most cases.
In competitive markets, that often means having the extra available in your bank account. “If you are financing your purchase through a home loan, you can really only pay over asking price out-of-pocket.
Agents are people, too
Be considerate of your agent. They have families. They need to eat and sleep like everyone else. Don’t begrudge them their commission as they are performing an important service for you and have the right to be compensated. Call and text during normal business hours and be mindful of their time.
Whether buying or selling a home, your real estate agent is your most valuable tool in securing a successful, mutually beneficial transaction resulting in you owning the home of your dreams.
Thinking of buying or selling a home? The Merenda Real Estate Group can help. With 20+ years of industry knowledge and a client-forward approach, let The Dealmakers get you the results you want and the experience you deserve. Contact us today or call 416-240-SOLD (7653).