Our Services Sellers Seller Benefits EasyRelease
Make a wish list
What does your dream house look like? Before you start
make a list of qualities you must have in a house, and those you'd
like to have but can do without if you must.
Among the qualities to consider:
· Ideal price (A lender or REALTOR® can help you figure out how
much house you can afford. However, a rough guideline would be
that your monthly housing cost -- including mortgage payment,
taxes, insurance and other fixed expenses -- should be no more than
28 percent of your monthly income.)
- Minimum number of bedrooms/bathrooms
- Age of house
- Square feet of house
- Lot size
- Type of neighborhood
- Eat-in kitchen
- Separate dining room
- Family room/Den
- Pool/Patio/Other outdoor amenities.
What you should know about real estate agents
There is a difference between a real estate agent and a REALTOR®.
A real estate agent or broker is someone licensed to negotiate real estate transactions for payment. A REALTOR® is a
broker who belongs to the private organization, the board of REALTORs®, and follows a code of ethics.
The most important thing to remember is that unless you have hired a buyer's broker, the real estate agent is working for the seller and must look after the seller's interests first and
foremost. Do not confide to the agent that you love a house so much, you would be willing to pay more than asking price. The agent, strictly speaking,
is obligated to report that information to the seller.
However, if in your house hunting you encounter an agent you like,
he or she can be of great help. You have no obligation to this agent,
but striking up a good working relationship with someone who takes
the time to understand your needs can speed your search. Although
the agent's obligation is with the sellers, he or she wants to be the
one to sell you a house and make that commission. An agent will
probably work harder to help you if he or she is the only agent
you work with.
You may also hire a buyer's broker, whose obligation is to you
rather than the seller. Buyer's brokers are paid in various ways --
such as hourly or by commission -- and sometimes the seller will
pay. This is all negotiated up front in your contract with the
Should I buy from the owner?
Buying from an owner, otherwise known as
FSBO (for sale by owner)
is an option, especially if you're knowledgeable about real
estate transactions. You might find a bargain this way. (On the
other hand, you might also find people who think the sentimental
value they see in their house should translate into dollars.)
However, if you're venturing into real estate for the first time, or don't
feel secure in your knowledge, you're biting off an awful lot in
terms of negotiating, understanding your contracts, finding financing,
and other challenges. Consider hiring a Realtor®, who
can work as your "Buyer's Agent", representing you, instead of
If you find a FSBO you absolutely must have, be sure you
know real estate values in the area, have the house inspected, and
attorney before signing anything.
Note: These tips are not intended as a substitute for advice
from financial, legal or
other appropriate professionals.