Should Buyers Use a Real Estate Professional?

Do you really need a real estate professional to represent you? Absolutely.

Think of it this way, when you go to an unfamiliar place, sure you could do a self-guided tour. However, your tour is much more rewarding and enriching when you have someone who is familiar with the location to guide you along because he or she has inside knowledge on the history, culture and stories that you may not have otherwise received.

The same can be said about sales professionals. Their role is more than someone to drive you around from property to property. They can be a great resource, especially to homebuyers relocating from other communities. He or she knows the local area including home values, taxes, utility costs, and school data, and may even be knowledgeable about resources pertaining to your special interests or needs. For instance, should you require help relocating an aging parent with you, your real estate professional may be able to direct you to local services or organizations for the elderly.

A sales professional can familiarize you with the processes involved in buying a home, alert you to potential risks, help you determine how much house you can afford, explain alternative financing strategies, as well as provide tremendous moral support.

Another benefit is having a strong advocate during the negotiating process. Sales professionals can help you objectively evaluate an offer then work to negotiate a favorable contract. During the process, he or she will review the contract and obligations before you sign, explain how contingencies and release clauses work, and so on.
And something easy to overlook is our familiarity with the complexity and risks inherent in the process. In the years I have been practicing I have been continually amazed at how quickly a seemingly simple transaction can grow legally complex and risky. When complex questions arise, a sales professional can help you quickly locate an attorney or other licensed professionals whose services you may require, such as home inspectors, engineers, surveyors and lenders.
As your single point of contact, a sales professional can manage the entire transaction including coordinating inspections, keeping in touch with the other real estate professionals, managing the documentation for the loan process, monitoring deadlines associated with contingencies, providing applicable paperwork, estimating closing costs, and helping prepare for a smooth and uneventful closing.
If you’re about to begin the process of buying or selling a home, consider involving a real estate professional. When the stakes are high, it’s comforting to have a specialist by your side.

The Calling Card That Can Sell a Home

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Your yard is your local home’s calling card. A dated or overgrown yard can be a huge turnoff to potential buyers – just as an appealing one can trump other objections.

Landscape designer Cynthia Bee knows this well. “Landscaping often makes the difference,” she says, “between a prospective buyer getting out of the car for a closer look or simply driving on by.”

The same goes for Internet prospects as they scan through listings in search of a SoCal’s home to buy. An unappealing yard can detract from your all-important curbside glamour photo — and cause them ‘to drive on by’ your listing. The backyard is not as important in attracting buyers, but often proves vital in holding their enthusiasm.

To help sell a home in Stevenson Ranch this spring, right now is prime time to consider some yard-focused dos and don’ts:

DON’T allow ornamentation designed to create character — that ‘character’ may be hard for prospective buyers to see past. In this category are mirrored globes, plastic fauna, and (definitely) gnomes of all varieties.

DO consider maintenance issues when you plan front and backyard updates. To sell a SoCal’s home that appeals to the widest swath of prospects, avoid intricate garden plantings that shout, Weed me! Water me! Trim me!

DON’T let original planting design make an otherwise appealing property feel dated. It used to be considered elegant to have flat-toped and rounded bushes alongside pathways – but that was the 50’s. Today, the vast majority of buyers appreciate the natural look (and native plants).

DO consider who your likeliest prospects will be – and how your yard will fit their family. If you are going to sell a home with four bedrooms, a back yard with plenty of playing space for the kids is a good idea.

Sometimes it can be the smallest details that determine how quickly you sell a SoCal’s home. It’s my job to help in figuring out which and what those are likely to be. If you are getting ready to sell a home in Stevenson Ranch, I hope you will call me to put my knowledge to work!