First Time Home Buyer June 1, 2021

How Can a Real Estate Agent Help You Save Money

A tiny model of a house, some change, and a clock

When buying or selling property, many people wonder whether hiring an agent is necessary. Their logic is: why should I pay for something I can do myself? The agent’s commission is what they want to avoid. However, they fail to recognize the copious benefits an experienced agent brings to the table. And once they do, they usually realize they can’t do this on their own. Not well, at least. What is more, with some helpful advice, a good real estate agent can help you save money even. So, if you are wondering whether you should hire an agent or not, here is what you should know that will tip the scales towards YES.

An experienced agent knows all the right people

As you have already realized, whatever you need to do in this life, it takes a village if you plan to do it well. So, if you want to sell your home, it can become messy, long, and expensive without the right people on your side.

You will need an inspector, someone to help you stage your home, perhaps a contractor if there is a project to be done, reliable movers to get you out of the house and into the new one, and maybe more. Now try to imagine what it would look like and how it would feel if you had to locate all these people on your own. The endless reviews to read, people to interview, and you can never be too sure you have made the right choice.

But, with a good agent in your corner, you get access to their contacts. They will recommend the right people at the right price. It will be a massive weight off your shoulders.

A good real estate agent knows the market and the right prices

One of the greatest benefits of hiring a real estate agent is that they know the market and know what the homes in a particular location should go for. Thus, a knowledgeable agent will be of tremendous help in your search if you are looking for a home. Alternatively, if you are selling, they will know how to accurately price your home and, consequently, sell it faster. They have an insight into what specific types and styles go for, what features are trendy, and more.

An agent and a client holding a model of a house

A good real estate agent knows the market and what homes in a particular area go for.

Furthermore, they can provide comparative analysis, which will show them what comparable homes in the same neighborhood have sold for recently. It helps them set a fair price for your home if you are a seller and is a powerful negotiating tool if you are a buyer. Without such information and their help, you may overpay or undersell your home. Therefore, this is the most direct way a real estate agent can help you save money.

A real estate agent helps you save time

An agent saves you time, and time is money. Don’t be fooled into thinking that selling or buying property will demand a minimal time investment on your behalf. Contrary to what you may think, selling a house is more than posting ads on a few listing sites, taking some pictures, hosting an open house, and dealing with paperwork. If you are buying, they will find listings for you based on your budget and preferences. They will tour possible options for you and help you determine whether a particular home is worth your attention or not.

Selling and buying a home is a full-time job. If it weren’t, there wouldn’t be an entire industry dealing with real estate. Also, if you decide to go for and FSBO (For Sale by Owner) option, you will quickly realize that this endeavor is taking up your whole life. And if it is pulling you away from your work, family, and hobbies, is it really worth saving on an agent’s commission?

An agent can find fantastic deals

Real estate agents are excellent at finding fantastic deals. Perhaps they have their own listing that suits your budget and needs perfectly. Also, they may have a colleague with a home that would be just right for you. Finally, if anyone could possibly know about a property yet-to-be-listed that you may like and get to before anyone else has a chance, it’s an agent. They also have access to MLS (multiple listing service) and can help you look at properties that have been on the market for a while. Typically, sellers who have had trouble selling their properties become increasingly incentivized to lower the price with time.

Once an agent helps you find the best home for you at the right price, they will help you hire reliable movers too.

Whatever it is, they have the tools to get you a deal you would be unlikely to get on your own. And they can do so much faster. Then, all you will have to do is ask your agent to recommend a moving company to handle the transfer of bulky pieces. If you have developed a trusting relationship with your agent, you won’t have to worry about the movers’ reliability. Also, you won’t need to wonder if you are overpaying for their services.

A real estate agent can help you save money by using the home inspection to your advantage

Whether you are buying or selling, it’s always advisable to perform a home inspection. If you are selling, a home inspection will reveal issues that that will need your attention. However, it is usually not necessary to fix every single point in the report. An agent will help you determine which repairs will be beneficial and help you increase your home value. On your own, you may waste money on projects that would ultimately make little to no difference.

A real estate agent can help you save money by preventing any mistakes and negotiating the best price.

Alt: A person signing a contract and a house keychain, representing how a real estate agent can help you save money

If you are purchasing a home, you must know that even a brand-new home can hide some underlying problems, and a home inspection will put some light on them. It could be anything from minor, aesthetic issues to serious safety hazards that need repairs. An experienced agent will know how to use the findings in the report to your advantage. As we already know, agents are excellent negotiators. So, they can lower the price depending on the necessary repairs. Alternatively, they can arrange for the repairs to be dealt with before the purchase is finalized. Either way, your agent will end up saving you quite a bit of money.

Final words

In theory, saving on an agent’s commission might make sense. However, in reality, things are not that simple, and working with a real estate agent can help you save money. Therefore, call an agent you can trust if you want to ensure that you get the best deal possible, don’t waste any money along the way, save time, and most importantly, don’t regret anything a few months later when you are fixing the damaged roof or another major issue.

VA Home Buyers June 1, 2021

Top VA Loan Tips for Homebuyers in 2021

VA Loan Tips

Serving in the armed forces is one of the most honorable experiences many men and women can have. Being in the military comes with a lot of perks and benefits. One of the most overlooked benefits by both Veterans and service members buying a home through a VA loan.

A VA loan is a mortgage guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) issued by private lenders and available only to veterans, active-duty service members and their eligible spouses.

Some of the advantages of buying a house through a VA loan are: low interest rates and closing costs, $0 down payment, and the option to forgo private mortgage insurance (pmi).

Additionally, the VA did not set a minimum credit score. However, having stellar credit can help to attain rock bottom variable or fixed rates. For peace of mind, be sure to get a free copy of your credit report and check for errors before applying. If you notice anything suspicious in your report, you can hire a credit repair company to help or you can remove the inaccurate items yourself.

Even though VA loans are more popular now than before, it is still different than a traditional loan.

Here are 7 VA loan tips that you need to consider if you’re thinking of buying a home through a VA loan.

1.    Your credit score still matters, but it’s not everything

    • Lenders tend to be more flexible with VA loans

2.    You can get started without the Certificate of Eligibility (COE)

    • A COE is issued by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and is proof that you are eligible for the VA home loan benefit

3.    Make sure you have enough saved

    • You are still responsible for certain closing costs (i.e. application fees, insurance, inspection fees, real estate taxes, and more)

4.    Shop for a VA lender and get pre-approved

    • Look for reputable lenders that exclusively cater to military members, veterans, military spouses, and their families – compare all offers

5.    Find a real estate agent that’s VA-savvy

    • Contact your VA regional loan center and ask if they can recommend a VA-savvy agent in your area.

6.    Choose a property that’s VA-approved

    • Properties purchased through a VA loan can’t be used as vacation homes or investment properties; condos must meet certain requirements

7.    Close the deal only when you’re ready to move in

    • Interested homebuyers must complete the VA’s minimum occupancy requirement