5 Steps to Hire an Awesome Realtor

TOW: 5 Steps to Hire an Awesome Realtor

Selling a home can be tricky and complex. The most important decision a homeowner makes when selling is who they will hire to sell their home. A great Realtor can make the difference between a home selling or not. Hiring an agent should be similar to hiring any employee. So here are my 5 steps to hiring the right agent to sell your home:

  • Step 1.  Invite them to do a listing presentation – Ask questions. Are they full or part time? How do they determine a home’s value? How do they prefer to communicate with their sellers? How do they plan to market your home?
  • Step 2. Request To Contact Past Clients – Yes, check their references. Make those calls. Plus, look on line for testimonials on Yelp and Zillow.
  • Step 3. Check the Realtor’s Sales History – Again, ask questions. How many homes have you sold in my neighborhood? How many homes on average do you sell a year? What percentage of your business is repeat and referral business? Ask for the list to sales price ratio as well as average DOM or days on market.
  • Step 4. What is Their Marketing Strategy – Check out their website and social media sites. Do they have a good online presence? Do they use print media? Do they do open houses? Watch out for the “post and pray” agent that puts the “for sale” sign in the yard and prays it sells.
  • Step 5. Trust Your Gut – And finally, how well do you click with the agent? Do they seem trustworthy? If they give you advice on how to cover up potential problems, then question their integrity. Just trust your gut.

Hiring the right Realtor is critical. Not doing so can be a huge mistake, and a costly one at that! Agents that are willing to invest money into marketing your home is a great advantage.  You want a Realtor that is working in your best interest. Watch out for those that just want to get the listing and bank on this market for your home to sell quickly no matter what they do.  More than likely they won’t get the best value your home can bring.  They should be skilled at negotiations and working hard for you. If I can help with a preapproval for your next home loan or give you referrals to awesome agents I know and trust, then give me a call. Thanks for joining me for another Your Home Connection tip and I’ll see you next week.

Rate Shopping Can Kill the Deal

TOW: Rate Shopping Can Kill the Deal

Did you know that shopping for the lowest mortgage rate can actually kill the deal? It can, and here’s a little story to explain.  I had a client that went to their bank, filled out the application, and got approved. But they didn’t like the loan officer so they went to another bank and did it again. They got a higher rate, so they went to a mortgage banker. And, yes, filled out a third application. They were declined. Then their realtor referred them to me, and they filled out another application. When a loan officer sees they have been declined, they can’t really see the reason.

It’s not always apparent as to why someone is declined for a loan. Luckily, we were able to get the deal done for the client because we could drill down and see that it was because of multiple credit pulls. That we could explain once it was apparent, but it took a lot of time to get it through underwriting. Unfortunately, in this situation, the borrower didn’t get the lowest rate they could have because the credit pulls worsened their credit scores.  Ultimately, they ended up with a worse rate than the second lender offered.

Shopping for the lowest rate can be a good thing, but once you sign disclosures or that application you are giving the lender the right to pull credit. It’s better to ask for the rates without filling out the application. The rates will vary once you pick your lender, fill out the application and supply your financial documents. Plus, it takes time to get approval.  Once you are approved, you can lock a rate in. That rate may be better but it can be higher.  But if you were totally honest with the loan officer and gave them as much accurate information as possible, the rate should be close. If your Realtor recommends their preferred lender, make sure you aren’t getting on the lending treadmill if you’ve already been approved and are happy with your loan officer.

The moral of this story, is rate shopping is a good thing done right.  Finding the right lender that you want to work with is just as important.  So get your preapproval early for that home loan and go shopping.  We are more than happy to discuss rates and the trends to give you an idea of what we have to offer. Don’t hesitate to call us.