Many years ago, before the internet became the new normal, an agent had to hit the streets and the phones to look for business. Fast forward to today, and everything is on the internet for anyone that has the ability to access it.
I know what you are thinking…. why should I help my agent? Shouldn’t they be helping me? The truth is, your agent is human. A real-life individual that has a family, a business to run (being a real estate agent) and the need for personal time just like anyone else. Somewhere along the line, it became ok to contact the professional all hours of the day and night. Honestly, while we all want your business (and I sincerely mean that), we too have the need to “clock out” and be with our families. Be mindful and respectful of their time too.
So how can you help your agent you ask? Since many of the buyers and sellers today do their research online, the best way to help your agent help you is to have some basic knowledge about what it is you are trying to achieve. Are you selling or buying? If you are buying, have you looked at the neighborhoods you want to live in? So you know what your budget is? Have you talked to a lender and worked through getting pre-qualified?
Sometimes it’s just the question… where do I start? Below is a short list that you can work through and be ready when you call on an agent. We don’t have widgets to sell you. Just our time. So our time is valuable. When you respect their time, they will respect yours too. The best clients are ones that have a basic understanding of what they need to do but need the professional to help them reach the goal.
- What is your time frame for selling?
- Do you have an idea of value?
- Prepare your paperwork for a listing:
- make a copy of the deed, survey, flood insurance information if you are in a risk zone, any improvements you have done, write down any problems you are aware of (you will need to fill out a seller disclosure with your listing agent)
- Will you use an attorney or work with the buyer’s title company to close?
- You might want to consider having a home inspection on your home to work through any deficiencies before you list.
- Will you offer a homeowner warranty with the sale to provide a buyer at closing?
- Prep your home for the sale:
- have you cleaned out closets and put away knick-knacks?
- Are you selling furnished or unfurnished?
- Put away any valuables to prevent any issues during showings.
- If you are in default on your mortgage, it is important to be honest with your agent. It could affect a sale down the line.
- Talk to a lender about financing options and get pre-qualified
- What areas are you looking in?
- Have you researched school districts if you have children?
- What are your needs vs. your wants?
- Go over your own budget and decide what is really affordable for your lifestyle.
- Understand what you have for a down payment and what you have for closing costs.
- It’s ok to shop on Zillow, Realtor.com and other similar sites.
- Write down potential addresses of homes that interest you to share with your real estate professional.
- Will you hire an attorney for your sale or hire a title company to close you?
- There is no right or wrong answer to this, it is basically what you are comfortable with.
These are just a few things to consider before you contact an agent for help.
As always, I’d love to hear from you especially if you have further questions or need clarification.