The Ideal Buying or Selling Experience

Buying or selling a house is a very stressful job. There are lots of things to do. Things that need to be considered. In the Philippines, the buying or selling process is very straightforward. If you are a buyer, you look for a house for sale, communicate with the seller, negotiate for the price, if both parties agreed, seller will give the keys to the buyer and the title, in return, buyer will give the money or check to the seller.

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In the US, it is different. Buyer searches for a property through various portals or listing sites. Then when he gets pre-approved for a loan or once he has obtained proof of funds, buyer needs an agent to represent him. Usually, seller’s agent and buyer’s agent will communicate. There will be exchange of offers and counter offers till both parties agree. If both agree, escrow phase begins. Then escrow closes once a new deed is recorded in the buyer’s name. On the seller’s perspective, the seller signs an exclusivity agreement after contacting an agent. Title search, property inspection and CMA report will be provided by the seller. Afterwards, the agent of the seller lists the property on the MLS and other listing sites. Then the agent of the buyer will communicate with the seller’s agent. If both parties agree, they will enter the escrow phase and same procedure will happen.

It is complicated, but if you will look at it, it makes a lot of sense. Having an agent is much better as they will be the one to do all the transactions for you. Question is, how can the buying or selling process be ideal? Here are some things that you need to ponder.

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For the buyer, you need to determine how much you can truly afford. Do not get a house that is beyond your means. You need to be pre-approved and decide which mortgage suits you the most. It is best if you will use fixed rate. You also need to think if you can pay your monthly mortgage in the long run. You can do it by computing for your monthly costs, tax, insurance estimates, HOA fees and maintenance cost. In that way, you will have an idea on how you can budget your money. Lastly, before looking for a house, make sure you know what you want. Looking for a house takes a long time especially if you don’t know what you want.

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On the seller’s side, the ideal process begins in the first part of the process. If you decide to sell your house, make sure that the house is free from repairs. Don’t wait for the inspection day wherein the buyer will go back to you and ask you to repair the damaged or broken part of your house. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Make sure you order a home warranty. It will be frustrating on the buyer’s end if he finds out that one of the appliances is not working a couple of days after moving in. He’s not gonna be happy shelling out a large amount of money if you can prevent it by getting a home warranty. Lastly, make sure that the selling price matches the worth of your property. If it’s overpriced, the transaction might be prolonged because, most likely, buyer will make a lot of demands.

If you follow these tips, for sure the stress when buying or selling a house will be minimized.

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How to Find a High-Quality Real Estate Agent

Looking for a real estate agent is not that difficult, but looking for a high-quality real estate agent is a different story. A real estate agent should be someone whom the client is really comfortable with. There are several things to be considered for a real estate agent to be of high-quality.

To get a real estate agent, you need to ask around. Ask your friends, neighbors or relatives if they know someone who is reliable and has a good reputation for being a real estate agent. A referral from the people who you know of is a sign that the agent is really good on what he does. You can also attend open houses to get to know some of the real estate agent. Talk to them and gauge them if he or she will fit in to your criteria. Do your research. Check if they have a good reputation and if they are really capable.

When you are talking to a real estate agent, you have to ask questions. You have need to know if the real estate agent has an active license. Of course, you need to know if the agent is legit and is not a bogus one. You would want someone who really knows what he’s doing, who can provide you insight and ideas on how to sell or buy a property. If they don’t have a license, then don’t deal with them. You can also ask if real estate is his full-time career, how much of their business comes from referrals or if they live in the area or not. In that way, you are aware of his background. You can also ask if he or she is a member of MLS or Multiple Listing Service. It is better if the agent is a member because he or she has access to all the listings in the area, including pictures and descriptions.

While talking to them, you should take down notes. You can’t remember all the information that the agent would give you. It is best to note everything and compare the information that you got from other real estate agents. Pick the agent that suits your need.

You should also consider what type of agent they are. There are two types of agents, buyer’s agent and seller’s agent. If you are going to sell your property, you need a seller’s agent, if you are buying a property, you need buyer’s agent. Don’t pick an agent who represents both sides. You need someone who is loyal and honest to you. There are agents who do both, so be careful as you don’t know what their real intentions are. Your selling or buying price must be strictly confidential between you and the agent only.

Choosing the right real estate agent when buying or selling a property is a must to be successful. They represent you during negotiations. It is critical for you to get a high-quality agent so you will feel confident in every step of the way.

Listing Photos Matter

There are times when the buyer doesn’t have a time to check on the property that they are interested with. Sometimes they rely on the photos found on the MLS or Multiple Listing Service. If the picture looks really good on the eyes of the potential buyer, it could really increase the level of their interest with the property. If it looks bad, then expect that the potential buyer would look for another property. So, does listing photos matter? Absolutely yes. More than you ever know. Posting photos are very in demand nowadays. A lot are looking on the internet for their potential house because not only they are busy to go to the actual property, but it also saves time rather than going to the actual house when they are not really sure yet about the property. Why waste effort when you don’t have an actual picture what the house looks like?

How do you market your property on the MLS site? It is best to use a proper equipment for taking pictures. It is best to use a decent camera for taking pictures. The camera must have a good lighting capability, has to have high-resolution, has the capability of adjusting the exposure, ISO and focus. It is fine to take photos from your smartphone camera, only if your phone can produce quality pictures. Don’t use a camera that is VGA capable only as it produces poor quality photos. You don’t want the buyers to be turned off with the pictures. Remember, the buyer has not seen the actual house yet, so, it is best to impress your potential buyers by using a good-looking photo on MLS. Properly lit, high-resolution photos are the only type of pictures you should use in a home marketing campaign. Imagine if the pictures you have posted are not properly lit, the buyers would not be able to appreciate the house. They can’t see every detail on the picture if the lighting is really bad on the photo. It is cliché, but it is really important to put your best forward. You really have to impress them!

Once you have a decent camera to use, it is best if you or your agent spend as much time and energy on the photo shoot as they do on creating curb appeal or staging an open hose. It is best to take photos when you have the best natural light. Nothing beats that. You also have to make sure you’ll capture the best angle of the house. Make sure that the house is clean and in top shape before you start taking pictures to entice potential buyers. You need to highlight the strength of the house. For example, if the kitchen or bath is newly renovated, you have to take photos of them and capture the place property.
Most often, after buyers have checked your home, they will check the photos on their computers and will take a second look. Usually, high-quality photos that show the home well will keep them interested that may lead to an offer.

Remember, first impression lasts that’s why you need to make sure that the pictures you are going to post deserve a second glance.

Home Selling Process

Before, I thought that the process for home selling is very easy. Here in the Philippines, all you have to do is to sell it yourself. Before you sell it, of course you need to prepare your house by cleaning it, repairing some parts of the house that needs to be fixed, painting the house, making sure that the house looks new. Then look for a potential buyer. Once you have a potential buyer, negotiate him or her, if the price is right, then you can sell your property in exchange of cash. All along, I thought it was simple. Never have I imagined that it is very complicated as you need to coordinate to a lot of people, even if you are going to sell it yourself.

In the US, it is very different. You need to have a lot of patience because you have to talk to a lot of people. The process is very long. It takes a month or two before you can sell the house. A similarity though is, of course, you have to prepare the house. Not only it requires cleaning and repairing some parts of the house, but you need to highlight the features of the house to make it more appealing to potential buyers. Once everything is done, you can either represent yourself when selling the house, or much better, hire a real estate agent to do the job for you. Don’t worry about the commission because selling the house is quite difficult. You need to consume a lot of time and energy. Also, you may have a hard time talking to the buyer if he or she has an agent. Imagine talking to the buyer’s agent and you are having a hard time understanding him or her because you are not on the same page. You’ll be confused that’s for sure. That’s why it is better to hire an agent so that he or she will represent you. The agent then does a title search and inspect the property to make sure the house can be sold without any issues. Once you hire an agent, call it SA or seller’s agent, SA will list your property in various portals or MLS. SA can also arrange an open house to attract more potential buyers. If there’s a potential buyer already, the SA will talk to the buyer, or usually, buyer’s agent or BA. The SA and BA will exchange offers and counter offers. If both parties agreed, a Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement needs to be signed, then escrow phase begins. For those who do not know, escrow is the holding of documents and money by a neutral third-party prior to closing. During this process a lot of paper and supporting documents are required. Once completed, escrow phase closes. A new deed is recorded in the buyer’s name.

So, you see, home selling process is not that easy. But if you follow the steps that I have mentioned, you will not have a hard time selling the house. This is tested and proven.

Home Buying Process

Getting a house is not that easy. As we all know, it consumes a lot of time, effort and energy. To some, it can be their worst nightmare. Most often than not, it may take more than a month or two just to get your ideal property. It can be much longer if you are not really familiar on how to get a house. Some are giving up already because of too much stress and frustration.

First, you need to check for a property on a MLS or Multiple Listing Service sites or various portal. Once you get have a property that you are interested in, it is best that you are pre-approved by your bank, or if you will pay using cash, get a proof of funds from your bank. it is best to get a real estate agent as well, someone who is expert in real estate industry to transact on your behalf. Usually, they will be the one to coordinate with the seller or seller’s agent. A lot of negotiation will take place. Sometimes, the seller or seller’s agent will get reject your offer. It is your agent’s responsibility to make a counter-offer to make sure you’ll get the offer.

For you to be successful, there are following steps that you need to do in order to be successful in acquiring the property. These steps will guide you to make sure that you will be in a win-win situation.

Bid smartly. You need to coordinate with your agent for prices of comparable homes in the area that have recently sold. You can use it as a basis for your initial offer. It is better to start a bit lower than those figures.

Make clear demands. Be firm when you want something extra like furniture, curtains or anything that you want to be included aside from the house.

Use the date as negotiating point. If you don’t have to move by certain date be flexible on when you move into your new home. You might be able to get other concessions from the sellers.

Ask the seller to buy a home warranty. It is better to request it to a seller, in that way, you don’t have to worry to cover extra cost of any major repairs for one year.

If you do the following steps above, for sure you’ll be able to find a house in a short period of time. You will save a lot of time especially if you hire an agent. Don’t dwell too much if you need to shell out money for your real estate agent because you will save yourself from a lot of trouble. Imagine if you talk directly to the agent of the seller, and he uses jargon words that only real estate agents are aware of, you might end up on the losing end. Let a real estate agent do the stuff for you. A lot of paperwork and legwork are needed to complete the transaction. Happy home buying!

Benefits of Open House

Looking for a property is very stressful for a buyer; same as selling the house for the seller. It takes a lot of effort, time and energy to look for a house. At times it can be frustrating. For sellers, it is very disappointing because of waiting around and the constant cleaning of the property for individual viewers who will visit the house to check on it. For the buyers part, frustration will arise because someone might have seen the house, offered something to the seller already before they had the chance to check it. One more thing, both buyers and sellers have to depend on the communication skills of their real estate agents to make arrangements for viewings which could take a of time to be honest. Hence, open house viewing is really important.

Some are maybe not familiar with this method. But just so you know, it is one of the most effective ways for buyers and sellers to get their goals, for buyers to get their ideal property and for sellers to sell their house as soon as possible. What is open house? An open house is a long-standing tradition in the sale of residential real estate to expose more people to a home for sale. It is normally done on weekends. The real estate agents put out signs on boulevards or near street corners to draw drive-by traffic and usually list the homes in the real estate sections of newspapers to bring more people.

What are the benefits of an open house for sellers?

Convenience. It would be very convenient for seller to do a one time cleaning instead of individual viewing of property. It would be tiring for the seller to clean today because an individual will visit the property later, then another cleaning after a couple of days because another prospect wants to view the property especially if the seller is very busy.

It saves time. Same with the above. Not only convenience, but you will be able to manage your time if you will have a one time viewing of your property open for public. It is hard to clean your house from top to bottom and answer the questions over and over again from different prospects.

Higher chance of a quicker sale. Yes, it is true. When you do an open house, a lot of potential buyers will view your house, hence, higher opportunity to close a deal.

You can get more money. Of course, when there are lots of people interested with your property, there’s a possible bidding war. Sellers might receive a lot of offers. When there are too many offers, a prospect may give the seller a better deal, usually by buying the house at a higher price.

What about for the buyers?

More answers when there’s an open house. Sometimes, when you deal with the seller’s agent, you tend to forget some questions you would like to ask, but when there’s open house, some questions that you want to ask might be asked by another prospect, thus, gaining a lot of information about the property.

Gauging level of interest. Buyers can gauge the level of interest much better if there’s an open house. They can get an idea what they are really buying into which means they can decide easily if they will push through on buying the property or not. .

Lastly, you’ll have more freedom to explore. If you are a buyer, you’ll be more comfortable viewing the house when there are other people checking the property as well. You’ll be more relaxed.

So, when are you going to do open house? It is never too late to try it!