By Manuel Couto, CRS,CRB
(201) 997-7860 x116 (as originally published in www.NJMLS.com)
The nice thing about Real Estate is that everyone can do it! With the advent of the technology age, so much information is available to the general public. The internet offers a wealth of information on how to market your home and get the most money. Any local bookstore sells books explaining to buyers what to look for when searching for their first home (Home Buying for Dummies). Banks fill newspapers and monthly checkbook statements with EZ loan programs and LOW down payments. All you have to do is take YOUR time to review and search and read and look up and open envelopes and fill out “request for information” on web sites, ads and flyers. Real “EZ” stuff buying your first home, isn’t it?
It’s like looking through all the medical websites, going to all the bookstores, and asking all your friends how to take out your own appendix.... It doesn’t always work for everyone. Most people opt for the professional opinion of a doctor, a lawyer, a surveyor, or an accountant. Why not your local REALTOR®***
Most Real Estate offices are local and in your neighborhood. Realtors® believe in the “American Dream of Home Ownership” and work hard to make it possible for you, the buyer. Today’s REALTOR® is well versed in technology. They use email, faxes and web searches to keep you posted on the newest listings and price reductions. They invest in web sites and in MLS services to help promote and sell your home. REALTORS® work with local home inspectors and tradesmen that look out for YOUR needs. And, REALTORS® know when to recommend legal council, and when needed, an accountant’s expertise.
REALTORS® are constantly learning and adapting to better serve the public. Their professionalism is well recognized within the industry, and in the faces of happy sellers and buyers. A good REALTOR®, like any good professional is a joy to work with.
My recommendation to ALL buyers is:
1. Interview your local REALTOR®(s).
2. Ask for recommendations from family and friends.
3. Make sure that your REALTOR® is a member of the Multiple Listing Service of the area. Using the Multiple Listing Service, your REALTOR® can search current listings as they come on the market and call/email/fax you the homes FRESH. This frees up your 3:00am web search for homes for something more important, like sleep.
4. Ask your REALTOR® for advice. Your REALTOR® has access to the best lenders, the best home inspectors, and the best attorneys in the area. Your REALTOR® can get you copies of local school reports and knows the town. ( or go to my web site at www.MCouto.isanexpert.com) All you need to know is what YOU are looking for in a home, and neighborhood (bedrooms, trees, wood floors, high ceilings, etc.)
5. Remember that your REALTOR® has an interest in making the deal go through as smoothly as possible. He/she wants your future business and referrals. YOUR REALTOR® is there AFTER the sale to answer your questions (assist YOU), and to help your move into the neighborhood.
6. Work with your lender and REALTOR® to get pre-qualified, or pre-approved for a mortgage. Lenders and REALTOR® have access to the best financing packages that can suit your needs and budget. Most sellers will not even consider your offer without a current pre-qualification letter.
7. Your REALTOR® can be your brother; sister; mother; father; cousin or any other family member working hard for your trust and business. They are there to help you and your communities grow. REALTORS® save buyers hours of searching for answers. They are the one “EZ” central point of contact between Buyers, Sellers, Attorneys, and Lenders.
8. Your REALTOR® is a professional, like your doctor, lawyer, or accountant. They have passed certain State requirements and follow a strict CODE OF ETHICS. When you find a good REALTOR®, recommend them to others. They appreciate the trust.
***by the way, not all real estate agents are REALTORS®. REALTOR® is a registered trademark of the National Association of REALTORS®.