Where to Begin:
Over 70% of people looking to buy a home begin their search on the Internet. REALTORS across the country utilize multiple listing services and these services provide feeds to other web sites in order to publicize houses currently available for sale. The local multiple listing service in Middle Tennessee is RealTracs. The information contained in RealTracs can be viewed on local real estate firm web sites and individual REALTOR’s web sites or on www.realtor.com.
Driving around to learn about local neighborhoods can also be helpful. Contacting a REALTOR and discussing what you are looking for (based upon the information above) can help to streamline your search and can assist you with finding the perfect spot for your new home.
When buying a home, here’s what you can learn from a Realtor®’s knowledge and skill:
A Realtor® can help you determine how much home you can actually afford. Often, a Realtor® can suggest additional ways to accrue the down payment and explain alternative financing methods.
A Realtor® can help you determine the home best suited to your family’s needs and size, style, features, location, accessibility to schools, transportation, shopping, etc.
Realtor® has access to thousands of listings of available homes, and can match the features of currently listed homes with your needs and within your price range, saving you time and frustration on unsuitable homes.
A Realtor® can offer suggestions on how, with a few simple changes, a home could be made more suitable for you and improve its utility and value.
A Realtor® can supply information on real estate values, taxes, utility costs, municipal services and facilities, and may be aware of proposed zoning changes that could affect your decision to buy.
A Realtor® has no emotional ties to the homes he or she shows, can be objective about them, and can point out advantages and disadvantages while answering your questions.
A Realtor® usually knows his or her local money market and can tell you about financing. A Realtor® can also tell you what personal and financial data to bring with you when applying for a loan.
A Realtor® can help you better understand the closing process by explaining it all before you get to the closing table.
Buying and selling real estate is a complex matter. At first it might seem that by checking local picture books or online sites you could quickly find the right home at the right price.
But a basic rule in real estate is that all properties are unique. No two properties — even two identical models on the same street — are precisely and exactly alike. Homes differ and so do contract terms, financing options, inspection requirements and closing costs. Also, no two transactions are alike.
In this maze of forms, financing, inspections, marketing, pricing and negotiating, it makes sense to work with professionals who know the community and much more. Those professionals are the local REALTORS® who serve your area.
The difference between a buyer’s and a seller’s broker.
Suppose you sign an offer to buy a home for $150,000. You really want the property and there’s a chance other offers are coming in, so you tell the broker that “We’ll go up to $160,000 if we have to. But of course don’t tell that to the seller.” If you’re dealing with a seller’s agent, he or she may be duty-bound to tell the seller that important fact.
In most states, the seller’s agent doesn’t have any duty of confidentiality toward you. Honest treatment might require that the agent warn you that “I must convey to the seller anything that would be useful so don’t tell me anything you wouldn’t tell the seller.”
A special “thank you” goes out to Theresa Wilson and the Williamson County Association of Realtors for providing this article.