Why Do It Alone?

real estate agent

When you break a bone, you go to the doctor.  When you have a cavity, you go to the dentist.  If you have a pipe that is leaking, you call a plumber.  You get my drift here?  So, when you need to buy or sell real estate, why wouldn’t you call a real estate agent?

There are many people that try to avoid working with a professional in real estate.  Some reasons to do so may be to avoid paying the agent, it may not guarantee you save money and the thought that you just might be able to do it all alone!  Here me out, I am all about saving money—but does that really need to be the deciding factor when going about one of the biggest transactions you’ll ever make?

Real estate agents are professionals in their field.  They went to school for what they do, invested a lot into their line of work (time, money, other sacrifices), had to pass exams (state and national) in order to obtain their license, complete continuing education requirements, and SO much more!  Trust me, they do not make it easy to get a real estate license.  Each licensee is unique and has put in a lot of hard work for what they do.

If you are thinking about buying a property and want to go about the search alone, you may not catch the things a real estate professional would.  Also, a real estate professional is not only there to assist you in finding a property, but they should be there every step of the way—like helping you with finding lenders to speak to to figure out what you can afford, the negotiation process, inspections, appraisals, understanding all of the paperwork involved and more.  It is especially important if you are interested in purchasing a “For Sale by Owner” property.  The seller may have a listing price of what they want out of the property without accurately analyzing the market and comparable properties.  If you did not have an agent looking out for your best interests, you could be overpaying for a property that may also have hidden issues.  Now back to the whole saving money ordeal, buyers typically do not pay the real estate agents commission.

If you are trying to sell a property on your own for one of the reasons I discussed earlier, read the last few sentences of the paragraph above.  People truly do have a fear of purchasing from the seller directly for those reasons.  Real estate agents are meant to be the middleman, providing full disclosure to all parties and providing you with an accurate market analysis to market your home in the right price range to attract buyers.  Different real estate agents or REALTORS® have various services they offer to their clients or customers.  That is why it is important to talk with multiple before deciding on one, that way you can see which one you get along with and will provide you and your home with the most resources.  Yes, the seller does typically pay the commission, but this should not be the reason you do not work with an agent.  If your home can be marketed to more people than you can do alone, you can try to avoid legal issues, actually understand the process and paperwork involved, your home sells faster than you expected, and maybe even for more money than you anticipated, I’d say it is well worth it to work with an agent.

The point is, do not totally discount using a real estate agent and the importance of doing so before doing some research and actually talking to a few of them first.  Just because you talk to some does not mean you have signed a contract.  It is OK to check around and see what all they have to offer. 🙂

 

5 Most Expensive Homes Sold in Frankfort in October

Out of 62 homes sold this month, these were the most expensive in Frankfort!

5. Governor’s Place: Sold for $258,000     num5

4. South Frankfort: Sold for $275,000     number 4 

3. Rural Area: Sold for $340,000              number 3 

2. Two Creeks: Sold for $375,000              number 2

1. Foxley: Sold for $476,000                        number1

*All information researched through Lexington-Bluegrass Association of REALTORS®*

Winterizing Your Home

winterizeyourhome

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter weather is right around the corner.  Make sure you check these items off of your list when winterizing your home:

EXTERIOR MAINTENANCE

  • Fill in all cracks and crevices in your foundation to prevent your house from leaking heat and sucking up extra energy.  Seal hard to reach or oddly shaped gaps with expandable foam.
  • Have your chimney cleaned and inspected by a professional chimney sweep.  Before you light the first log, be sure the chimney cap is intact, and your chimney liner, firebox, smoke chamber, and damper are all in good working condition.
  • Clean your gutters, then install an ice shield on your roof to protect against ice dams that form at the edge of a roof and prevent melting snow from draining.
  • Branches that loom over rooftops, power lines, and driveways can snap under the weight of snow.  Trim your branches back to avoid the risk of seriously damaging anything beneath them.
  • Shelter foliage from falling ice and snow under a reusable A-frame structure.  Wrap twine around the middle of tall and narrow greenery to keep individual branches from breaking under the weight of heavy snow.

INTERIOR MAINTENANCE

  • Flush your water heater to clear any built-up sediment, then wrap it with an appropriately sized insulation blanket to avoid heat escaping from the unit and using more energy than it needs.
  • Bring your home into the 21st century with a smart thermostat.  Many options can modify the comfort level based on occupancy – increasing the warmth when you’re around and lowering the temperature when you leave – to save costs and simplify home life.
  • Avoid unwanted airflow in and out of your home by installing a storm door and window frames with weatherstripping.  Putting in a door sweep can also prevent chills (and pests) from entering underneath the door.
  • Stop heat from rising out of your home by adding extra insulation between your walls, attic floor, and basement ceiling.
  • Place foam insulators behind your light switch plates and outlet covers.
  • Set the rotation of your blades to spin clockwise to distribute warm air back down into the room (and take a minute to dust while you’re up there).
  • Frozen pipes – and the mess and property damage they cause – are one of the biggest headaches associated with subzero temperatures.  Use foam-rubber insulation to prevent the exposed metal from getting too cold.
  • Change your furnace filters ofter to allow unimpeded airflow and reduce energy demand.  Swap out fiberglass or paper furnace filters every one to two months; clean or change electrostatic or HEPA filters every two to four months.
  • Schedule an energy audit with your local service provider to identify any inefficiencies that you may have overlooked in your own visual inspection.  A professional assessment can lead to upgrades that can notably reduce future energy bills.
Information from Zillow Premier Agent.

Addressing the Elephant in the Room…

commission blog

What’s the main goal of any buyer or seller?  To get to closing and settle their home buying/selling process as smoothly as possible, right?  But, what about the cost to make that happen?  It’s time to address the elephant in the room…commission.  The way real estate agents get paid is through commission, but only if the transaction goes to closing.  I’ll break this into two sections for understanding: the buyer side and the seller side.

The Buyer Side

When you decide to work with a real estate agent or REALTOR®, you are making the decision to better your process in buying a property.  They are experts in the real estate industry that are supposed to represent you and YOUR best interest from start to finish.  If you were to go through this alone and call an agent that has the home listed (representing the seller of that home) that you are interested in, you are doing yourself a disservice.  They have an agreement with their sellers that they will have their interests in mind during the transaction.  Having an agent to work with will minimize the risk associated with purchasing a property.  When it comes to paying the real estate agent you’re working with, that gets done at closing and typically from the proceeds the seller receives at that time.

The Seller Side

When it comes time to list your house and you’re narrowing down who you would like to list your property with, hopefully you are not only thinking about what you’ll have to pay.  Commission is paid by the seller at closing and would come out of the sale price of the property.  It may be reflected as a percentage or as a flat fee.  According to Bankrate, commissions range from 5-6% and are negotiable.  While this may be true, there are many other things to consider when you evaluate an agent (which I’ll leave up to them to discuss with you through what is called a listing presentation).  You may have seen “For Sale by Owner” signs in the yards of homes.  Most people going this route may have been turned off by the fact that they have to pay a commission.  Before you decide to go on that route alone, find out what all goes into selling a home and think about what it looks like in the eyes of a buyer who has a REALTOR® working with them.  They may prefer a home that is listed with an agent simply because they know the transaction is more “safe”.

Buying/selling a home is the biggest transaction most of you will complete. Having proper representation can have a major impact on your buying or selling process.  Check out our blog on Choosing a REALTOR® to help you prepare for your search.