Real estate is a funny business. Most people buy and sell houses infrequently, but when they do, it’s a high stakes game! The money is big, moving is challenging, and timelines are rushed. There’s a mountain of paperwork and tensions simply run high.
So when you’re making what’s likely the biggest purchase of your life, you want someone acting in your best interest…you want someone you know and trust.
Because of this, good real estate agents look to make lifelong relationships with their clients. They want to answer their clients’ questions and provide value over the many years between when you buy and sell real estate. As such, many agents provide a lot of very valuable services for free.
Now, I can’t speak for all agents…but The Ferguson Team members will always be happy to make time to help you with these services.
1. Provide the REAL market value of your home
If you already have a home, there are a lot of reasons to want to know the value. Some great reasons:
- To calculate your net worth
- To see if you can drop Mortgage Insurance (note, if you don’t check with an agent first, you may pay for an appraisal only to find your house value isn’t high enough)
- To see if it makes sense to refinance (same as #2–you might pay for an appraisal only to find a refi won’t help)
- To determine if it would be good to sell
- To feel great about the money you’re building by being a home owner!
We also know market direction and have good insight into forecasts.
Can you just use Zillow Zestimate?
You certainly can, but Zillow has many limitations and can be pretty far off in certain conditions. If you’re about to do something big, don’t rely on Zillow. It has an outstanding algorithm to figuring out value, but it can’t see inside your home. And it works best with cookie-cutter neighborhoods. If you live in somewhat of a custom area, get a professional valuation occasionally (for free).
How to determine if your real estate agent is good at pricing
Look for an agent that does professional opinions (called BPOs or Broker Price Opinions). These agents sell valuation services to banks and other companies. They have refined skillsets in valuing homes and understand how appraisals work. You can also see how many houses they sell. If they sell many homes a month, they have a great pulse on pricing.
We at The Ferguson Team do this and can provide you a free valuation using these same skills and methods. Our reports are professional and thorough…and free.
2. Determine which home updates will pay off
Pink walls? Sure…just know you might need to repaint before you sell.
Are you thinking of doing some landscaping, a kitchen remodel, or even painting your house? Well guess what…many home improvements add value to your home. Especially if they’re done the right way.
Good real estate agents look at houses all day every day. We know what buyers want. We know what adds value. Surprisingly, it can be simple items that don’t cost much.
So before spending money on your home, give your favorite real estate agent a call! Have them over and ask what they think.
I regularly recommend improvements and updates to my friends and clients, and I’m always happy to stop by to provide some advise.
Some improvements, of course, may just be for your particular taste and you want to do them regardless of the impact to your home’s value–but it’s good to have an understanding of that prior to taking on the work.
3. Take you house shopping…or even just curiosity browsing!
Do you want to have a look at some houses for sale? Even if you’re just browsing? Well, you’re in luck…good real estate agents will always be happy to take you shopping.
If you ever want to see a home, call your favorite real estate agent (PS – we’re always available at 970-573-6441). We love looking at homes and we’d love to take you.
We know once you’re serious about buying a home–even if that’s 6 years down the road–you’ll use us, so developing that relationship over time is never a problem.
By the way, when you do buy a home, our fee is almost always paid by the seller. It is built into the contract they signed when they put their house on the market. They will pay a fee to the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent. So they are already expecting to pay an agent to represent you.
That’s awesome! That means you can pick a real estate agent to fully represent your best interests on the biggest purchase of your life, and you do not pay them.
Should you call the phone numbers on for sale signs?
Partner up with an agent you trust from day 1.
You won’t have to worry about only going to open houses, calling on “for sale” signs, or reaching out to the agent selling the house. By doing this, you’ll end up having to chase down a bunch of people, they may be hard to reach, but most importantly…they are representing the seller. If they work with you, they will sign paperwork saying they simply broker the transaction and much of the negotiation falls on your shoulders. Also, this won’t save money–the listing agent will typically take both the buyer and seller commissions.
I highly, highly, highly recommend partnering up early with an agent who will represent you throughout the entire home buying process. Someone who will only have your best interests at hand. And someone who will help you find the perfect house.
4. Negotiate and represent you in new home construction purchases
Are you thinking about buying a new home? You can simply walk in to a new home sales office, sign a contract, and 15 minutes later be on your way to buying a new home.
But, just like in number 3, you’ll be represented by the same person that is selling the home and working for the home builder…on a huge transaction.
What happens if you have questions about the contracts, paperwork, negotiations, title, etc? And what if you need to get out of the contract? There are so many questions that come up and having your own agent to represent you helps ensure you’ll get the best deal with the best piece of mind.
Before I was a real estate agent myself, I went to buy a new construction home. Fortunately, I used a real estate agent to represent me. We had many problems with the construction process and ultimately had to bail. It was a tough process, but my agent fought for me at every step of the way. I was so thankful!
As with number 3, the real estate agent typically gets paid by the new home seller for an amount that is already established at the point the home (or plan) is initially advertised. This means you typically won’t pay more or less for a new construction home because you have an agent. You simply get solid help through a complex process.
Real estate agents, and especially The Ferguson Team, look to build long-lasting relationships with their clients and friends. Because of this–and since we love real estate–we provide a wide variety of services for free. Take advantage!
And as a bonus, this also helps you find an agent you trust…an agent that will be there for YOU during the biggest purchases of your life.