What To Know When Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent

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From beginning to end, it is a real estate agent helping you select, negotiate, and legally purchase your new home. Choosing the right real estate agent to help guide you through the whole process isn’t easy. Here’s an overview of what you need to know.

THE AGENCY RELATIONSHIP

Real estate agents are licensed by the State of Connecticut to represent a person in the purchase, sale, exchange or lease of real property. The Agency Relationship is based on one person representing the interests of another person.
The responsibility of the real estate agent is defined by the state law relating to agents, the REALTORS®’ Code of Ethics, and general principles of agency law.
The type of relationship formed between the agent and the client is called a fiduciary relationship. A fiduciary relationship is one based on trust because the agent owes the following duties to the client: Loyalty, Obedience, Diligence, Disclosure, Confidentiality, Accountability and Reasonable Skill & Care.

THE FOUR TYPES OF AGENCY RELATIONSHIPS

BUYER AGENCY
A Buyer’s Agent represents the interests exclusively of the buyer in a real estate transaction.
A Buyer’s Agent:
o        Arranges property showings that meet the buyer’s needs.
o        Provides information about the home or property, community, schools, taxes, utilities, and zoning.
o        Discloses any information about the property that can be obtained from public sources.
o        Prepares a competitive market analysis on the property.
o        Counsels the buyer on what price to offer the seller.
o        Shows what other buyers are paying for property in the area.
o        Assists in writing an offer with the buyer’s interests in mind.
o        Negotiates the best price and terms for the buyer.
o        Keeps the price capabilities and objectives of the buyer confidential    and maintains anonymity, if desired.
o        Assists with the loan application process.
o        Monitors all dates, events, and requirements.
o        Attends the closing with the buyer.

SELLER AGENCY

A Seller’s Agent represents the interests exclusively of the seller in a real estate transaction.
A Seller’s Agent:
o        Prepares a competitive market analysis of the seller’s home or property.
o        Develops and implements effective marketing strategies for the seller, including asking price, staging, and positioning.
o        Informs the seller how much other homes and properties have sold for in the area.
o        Presents all offers and counsels seller on what price to accept.
o        Negotiates exclusively on the seller’s behalf.
o        Updates the seller on market conditions.
o        Prepares an estimate of closing costs.
o        Works closely with seller to assure a smooth closing.
o        Monitors all dates, events, and requirements for the seller.
o        Represents the seller’s interest at the buyer’s walkthrough inspection.
o        Attends the closing with the seller.

DUAL AGENCY

Legal in all 50 states, Dual Agency occurs when a buyer’s agent shows a property to a buyer that is also represented by that REALTOR®’s firm, or when the Listing agency shows real estate to a buyer that is also represented by the same firm. In dual agency situations, both the buyer and seller will be asked to sign a consent agreement.
A Dual Agent owes both the buyer and seller equal representation and must:
o        Treat both parties fairly.
o        Not knowingly represent one party to the detriment of the other.
o        Disclose facts each party needs to make an informed decision.
o        To assist, as the buyer and seller are empowered to negotiate on their own behalf.
o        Assure confidentiality on each party’s price, terms, and personal information.

DESIGNATED AGENCY

Buyers and sellers have an option when the real estate brokerage firm is a dual agent. That option is called Designated Agency. In designated agency, the real estate brokerage firm will designate a salesperson to represent the buyer and another salesperson to represent the seller. The designated buyer’s agent will act as an agent for the buyer as described in “buyer agency” above. The designated seller’s agent will act as an agent for the seller as described in “seller agency” above. This is the case even though each of the salespeople is from the same real estate brokerage firm.

The seller and the buyer must each agree to having a salesperson designated for them, and the real estate broker in charge of the brokerage firm must make the designation.

UNREPRESENTED PERSONS
A person is Unrepresented by a real estate agent unless he or she has signed a representation agreement with that agent.
The real estate agent cannot provide advice or counsel to an Unrepresented Person on matters pertaining to real estate, including real estate financing. An Unrepresented Person has the responsibility to protect his or her own interests.

All real estate agents are obligated by law to treat all parties to a real estate transaction honestly irrespective of whom they represent in the transaction.

This information is reprinted courtesy of:

CONNECTICUT ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, INC.

ct-realtor

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How To Make an Offer on Your First Home

Buying your First Home depends on negotiating a satisfactory Purchase & Sales Contract with the seller, not just making an offer.

How to Determine Your Initial Offer
Unless you have a Buyer’s Agent, which we strongly recommend, keep in mind that the Dual Agent gets paid by the seller. Make a point of asking this agent to keep your discussions and information confidential.

If you have a Buyer’s Agent, listen to your REALTOR’s advice, but follow your own instincts on deciding a fair price. Calculating your offer should involve several factors
♦  How much of a mortgage have you been Pre-Approved for
♦  What similar homes sell for in the area    Get Pre-Approved
♦  The home’s condition,
♦  How long it’s been on the market,
♦  Financing terms
♦  The seller’s situation.

By the time you’re ready to make an offer, you should have a good idea of what the home is worth and what you can afford. And, be prepared for give-and-take negotiation, which is very common when buying a home. The buyer and seller may often go back and forth several times before they can agree on a price.

Making an Offer
Your REALTOR will assist you in making an offer and in preparing the Purchase & Sales contract 3Contract which will include the following information:
♦  Complete legal description of the property
♦  Price you are offering
♦  Amount of earnest money deposit
♦  Down payment and financing details
♦  Home Inspection Contingencies
♦  Mortgage Contingency Date
♦  Proposed Closing date
♦  Length of time the offer is valid
♦  Attorney review of the contract
♦  Other details of the deal

The Purchase and Sale Contract is a legal document. In addition to the agreed upon price, it stipulates as specific timeline as to what you and the seller must do to complete the sale. It would be prudent to have your attorney review this contract to ensure that your interests are well protected and to be prepared to assist you with any glitches that may occur during the whole process.

Similar Stories:        http://www.richmond.com/realestate/resources/article_43dc062c-abad-11e4-9d9b-4f6d478b87bc.html

What Not To Do When Buying Your First Home

referralDeciding to buy your First Home is not an everyday activity. There’s a steep learning curve, which explains why mortgage professionals see the same blunders over and over again. Here are six common — and costly — mistakes many First Home Buyers make.

1.  Believing the Listing Agent is Your BFF –  Unless you hire your own buyer’s agent, the agent selling that house works for the seller

2.  Setting an Unreasonable Time Table – Assuming you’ve been Pre-Approved for a mortgage and it’s a fairly simple deal, you may be able to close in 30 days, but 45 to 60 is more common,. Foreclosures may take 75 to 90 days and short sales have been known to take 6 to 9 months.

3.  Financing – One and Done – There should be a chemistry that develops between you and your loan officer. Educate yourself on the complicated mortgage process and the whole home buying experience

4.  Trash Talking as a Bargaining Technique – If you’re making an offer, you want to stress what you like about the place, Don’t forget: You’re a guest in someone’s home. Forgetting to be polite is a common home buying mistake.

5.  Believing You Can’t Afford Professional Advice – Sometimes the right professional advice from an attorney, home inspector, insurance agent saves far more than it costs. Do not hesitate to ask for it.

6.  No Reserve Fund – Many home buyers are tempted to stretch as far as possible – and drain all available savings just to buy their dream home. There are going to be some unforeseen circumstances that arise, either personally or with the house. Plan to keep an emergency fund available after closing to address those unforeseen situations that might arise, either personally or with the house.

Read more: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/real-estate/mistakes-homebuyers-make-1.aspx#ixzz3a7khAOUj

10 Tips On How To Chose a Good Real Estate Agent

home shopping
The Spring 2014 Home Buying Season is coming soon. Here’s a follow-up to my previous blog on How to Chose A Good Real Estate Agent. Choosing the right real estate agent will make your home buying experience a whole lot easier. Not all home buyers are alike nor do they look for the exact same things in a new home or in a relationship. Here are some factors to consider when looking for a real estate agent to assist you in your home buying process:

1. Check for Recommendations – There’s no limit to the amount of information you can get on the internet and referrals from past clients is one of them. Friends and family are a good resource for the name of an agent, but testimonials to the level of service they provided to previous buyers is what really counts.
All agents have a link to their listings. However the absence of a broader on-line presence might indicate a lack of experience or the savvy to keep abreast with the dynamics of the marketplaceNational Association of Realtors.
2. Look up Licensing – State and regional Boards of Realtors control the licensing, education and disciplining of local agents. Check with these supervisory agencies to verify that your agent is licensed and if he has ever encountered any problems in the past.
internet3. Make sure your agent has a solid online presence – Statistics show that 85% of all home buyers claim to have seen their house online before contacting any agent for a showing. A real estate agent that is up-to-date with the tech-side of the home buying process may not be the best choice for Millennials looking for their First Home. Most of my clients prefer emailing and texting rather than spending a lot of phone time with me. A savvy agent should be connected at all times too.
4. First Home Buyers, Bet on Experience –A good track record and solid industry and local market knowledge are key, especially First Home Buyers that aren’t familiar with the entire process and don’t know what to look for.
5. Look for Buyer’s Agent – A Buyer’s Agent works exclusively for the home buyer and usuallyco-sign gets paid by splitting the commission on the sale of the house with the listing agent. I’m not saying that a dual agent is a bad choice. What I am saying is that it is important to understand which party in the transaction your agent has a contractual obligation to represent as it has an effect on the negotiating process.
6. Where To Meet – My mantra is “When You Work With a Professional, You Get Professional Results.” I meet my clients where they feel most comfortable. In my office, their home, or at MacDonald’s. The best agents I work with do the same. A good agent should be available on your terms and be willing to accommodate your busy schedule and comfort level.
7. Look for a Local Agent – A local real estate agent might have a better sense of what’s going on in town. He’ll have the experience to know how to handle clients and would already have sufficient connections in the area to join your home buying team.
8. Is He a Full-Time Agent – This might be important to know when you have a question aboutnegotiation the process that he’ll be available to negotiate your contract or if a snag arises with the property. I’m not suggesting that a part-time agent is less professional, but he is working for you and you should know what level of commitment you can expect.
9. Meet Several Agents – The one that can convince you without doubt that he should be your top choice is the one you should get! Besides market knowledge, you need your agent to be persuasive; if he can’t convince you to hire him, how can you expect him to convince a seller to give you a better price?
10. Is the Chemistry Right? –  it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable working with as you navigate the many steps of the home-buying process. Your agent should respect and understand your individual needs as a buyer, and be able to provide you with the level of attention and care that gives you confidence in your home buying experience. 

Home for SaleYour real estate agent is the backbone of your home-buying team. From beginning to end, it is the real estate agent who will help you to select, negotiate, and legally purchase your new home, The right agent  should be able provide you with a level of attention and care that gives you confidence in your home buying experience.

Choosing the Right Real Estate Agent Will Make Your Home Buying Experience Easier

Choosing the right real estate agent to help in your home purchase isn’t as easy as opening the phone book or dialing a number advertised on a park bench. Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know.

In addition to your mortgage professional, your Real Estate Agent is the backbone of your home-buying team. From beginning to end, it is a real estate agent helping you to select, negotiate, legally purchase, and finance your new home. When it comes to finding the right real estate agent, however, things get can get overwhelming quickly.

Who do you choose? The person whose name is on the sign outside your dream home? The smiling woman wearing a suit jacket whose picture seems to be on every park bench in town? What about that business card in your wallet from a co-worker who sold his house last year? Are all of these people equally capable of getting you into the best home for you and your family? Will their personality “fit” with yours? Michigan State University Extension highlights a few quick tips to get you in the right frame of mind when you’re looking for an agent:

First, the basics. Remember that a real estate agent is a state-licensed professional who has been trained and certified to sell houses, other buildings, and land. Furthermore, an agent who advertises as a Realtor® is a member of the National Association of Realtors and subscribes to its code of ethics. This means that both your state real estate commission and your local Association of Realtors chapter can be valuable resources in both obtaining quality referrals in your area and checking on the professional record of referrals you get elsewhere.

• Second, make sure you know who your agent is working for. While a real estate agent’s job is to match buyers and sellers, and all agents can represent both parties, some choose to specialize.
      A listing agent, or the seller’s agent has a contract with the seller of a house to advertise the  property for sale and represent the seller when offers are made (this would usually be the person’s name you see on a lawn sign). They get paid by the seller out of the proceeds of the sale.
      A buyer’s agent, meanwhile, works exclusively for the buyer and gets paid by splitting the commission with the listing agent, or sometimes directly by the buyer.
     Finally, a dual agent legally represents the interests of the seller and the buyer in the same transaction, usually requiring both parties’ written consent. Regardless of whom they are representing, the agent has a legal obligation to deal fairly and honestly with both parties, and must disclose everything they know about the home they are selling. Still, it’s important to be aware of which parties in the transaction the agent has a contractual obligation to represent, since it has an effect on the negotiating process.

Third, don’t be afraid to shop around. While it’s important to not take up too much of an agent’s time if you are not serious about buying, you should not hesitate to interview and look into the credentials of more than one real estate agent when making your decision. Despite what Buyers and Sellersagents may tell you, any agent can sell you any home in your area. Therefore, it’s important to find someone you feel comfortable working with as you navigate the many steps of the home-buying process. Your agent should respect and understand your individual needs as a buyer, and be able to provide you with a level of attention and care that gives you confidence in your home buying experience.

Keeping these simple tips in mind, you will be better able to make a smart, informed selection from the number of real estate agents available to help guide you on the path to home ownership.
http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/choosing_a_real_estate_agent_finding_the_best_fit_for_you_during_your_home