Subject: What Can a Real Estate Professional Do For You?
Let's say you've decided to remodel. Although you may be somewhat handy, you know you're better off hiring an expert, someone who knows the ins and outs, who's familiar with regulations and red tape. After all, why take a risk and go it alone when this little venture may drain your checkbook of a few thousand dollars?
Now consider a home sale transaction. In this case, a buyer or seller may have many reasons for involving a professional. Given the sizeable monetary outlay-possibly the single largest financial transaction in a person's lifetime-it seems reasonable, even smart, to call in a specialist. Not surprisingly, most Americans do. According to the National Association of REALTORS (2000 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers), close to 4 out of 5 existing homes in the U.S. have been entrusted to real estate professionals.
What can real estate professionals do for you? Sales associates have evolved from being singularly focused on the purchase or sale of a property to being multifaceted and hands-on, where they typically provide countless services to ensure clients a painless transaction. For example, a sales associate may introduce buyers to new neighbors and assist with registering children at school. A relocation specialist may act as a single point of contact to coordinate all aspects of the move, provide a relocation kit as well as personalized relocation counseling, arrange and lead an area orientation tour, and more, depending on client need.
Sales associates rely on specialized knowledge and experience to move easily in and out of these various roles during a single transaction:
· Marketing Manager-To position a home to sell quickly and at a profit, a comprehensive marketing strategy needs to be developed. Successful strategies generally include sharing information through the local multiple listing service, promoting the home to other sales associates, placing ads, featuring the home on the broker's website, developing fact sheets, installing a yard sign, and planning and conducting open houses. A sales associate can handle calls, schedule appointments and show the home for you.
· Transaction Coordinator-As a single point of contact, a sales associate can manage the entire transaction including coordinating inspections, keeping in touch with the other agent, managing the documentation for the loan process or following up on the progress of the buyer's loan, monitoring deadlines associated with contingencies, providing applicable paperwork, estimating closing costs, and helping prepare for a smooth and uneventful closing.
· Community Consultant-A sales associate 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 sales associate may be able to direct you to local services or organizations for the elderly.
· Property Specialist-A sales associate can assist buyers with identifying houses that meet their needs and provide objective information about each property. For sellers, a sales associate can determine a realistic selling price based on comparable sales, local market conditions and motivation to sell in addition to advising sellers on how to prepare the property to be shown.
· Skilled Negotiator-Buyers and sellers benefit from working with a strong advocate during the negotiating process. A sales associate 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.
· Trusted Advisor-A sales associate can familiarize you with the processes involved in buying or selling 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.
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.
"Real Service in Real Estate." For a personal consultation on buying or selling real estate, Janis Peterson, GRI, CSP Realtor® can be reached at (610) 642-3744, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Prudential Fox & Roach Realtors® is an independently owned and operated member of The Prudential Real Estate Affiliates, Inc.