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Having the Right Buyer's Agent Can Make a HUGE Difference.
As a former real estate recruiter, trainer and manager, I've
seen the full spectrum of agent representation. And there IS a difference. And
you SHOULD care. And you SHOULD ask for referrals, talk to homeowners who have
bought or sold in the neighborhood you are interested in, interview many
agents, spend time with several agents and select and work with only ONE agent.
Your dedication and open/honest communication with your chosen agent will pay
In today's real estate market it is crucial to work closely
with an agent that is entrenched in the current lender and market trends. Loan
programs are changing DAILY. The Southern California
mid-range market has completely shifted from "mostly bank-owned and short sale"
listings to "mostly standard sale" listings. We have an increase in Active inventory and therefore are seeing price reductions as sellers compete for your business. However, because these are equity sellers, they are not motivated by a distress sale, so lowball offers are no longer part of the equation. Every single facet
of today's market requires an immense amount of education, experience and negotiation
to successfully navigate. Selecting the right agent can make the
difference in getting your offer accepted.
Buyers today have more information at their fingertips than
ever before. That's a good thing. Unfortunately the information is limited and
what looks great on the internet may not contain all of the "right"
elements for your family. Working closely with the right agent will enable that
agent to quickly identify which properties match your loan scenario, timeline,
neighborhood desires, family lifestyle and price.
When a property IS priced right there will be multiple bids. Let's say
that 5 offers came in overnight. Let's
suppose that your offer was written by a relative - a part-time agent who
doesn't keep up with the daily shifts and had no idea that the FHA loan limit was recently reduced to an amount less than what you need. They wrote the offer based on your decision to offer
quite a bit less than the asking price because you've been reading too much
ill-advised media and they wrote it without reading the listing agent's
specific requests for submission. Guess what? Every other offer on that listing
agent's desk is not only written at a higher offering price, but each and every
one of their buyers are now better-qualified financially than you are, because
they're using loan scenarios that actually exist and you aren't. Your offer
won't even be submitted to the bank for a counter offer because it wasn't
submitted in proper format as requested by the listing agent.
Had you used an experienced, educated and “present” agent, they would
have gone above and beyond to represent you, such as:
FIRST found you a
successful financial scenario and obtained written pre-approval;
on the fact that you would need to bid above asking price in this particular
instance (and therefore lowered the initial price-point that you
"shopped" in to accommodate this adjustment);
Based on their
discussions with the listing agent PRIOR to preparing the offer, they may have
advised you to offer above asking price or full price, depending upon the
requested concessions or repairs;
intricacies of the hurdles that you would need to work through specifically for
this listing, such as obtaining pre-approval from the listing agent's lender or
writing the offer on their specific form and ensured that your offer was
prepared precisely in the manner that was requested;
Remained in touch
with the listing agent throughout the following week to find that the bank
countered all offers, but none of the initial buyers and agents either
submitted their offer in proper format or hung around long enough to re-counter
through the next few phases, leaving the property available for negotiation
Now that all of
the competitive riff-raff is out of the way, your agent can submit an offer
that will have a high likelihood of being accepted without a counter.
That's a true story, by the way. And it highlights only a
FEW of the many items that come into play to demonstrate how important an
exceptional agent can be. And that was just BEFORE and DURING the offer. Just
imagine how much time, money and legal headaches that same agent can save you
throughout the negotiations of an actual escrow! Knowing neighborhood nuances,
septic issues, constructions issues, etc. are just a few of the other items
that a local agent can help you with that the internet cannot.
Please, please continue to use the internet to get a great
idea of area, price and what you want in a home. But please also spend just as
much time researching local agents to find that exceptional someone who will
make your real estate investment a success. You know . . . someone like me!