The process of buying, selling, or leasing property can get complicated in countless ways. Just look at the comments on real estate forums and websites. People encounter all manner of issues and are looking for advice about what do when … The seller has a lien he didn’t know about. A person buying a home is thinking of renting out her current home rather than selling it. The seller accepted the buyer’s offer, and now the buyer found a home he likes better. The homebuyer wants to move in before closing and rent the home until the closing date. An inspection revealed costly repairs are needed, and the buyer wants to renegotiate the purchase price. A buyer has a contract to buy a home and learned the seller has another a contract with a second buyer. The buyer and seller disagree about what items should stay with the property after the sale. A buyer of a commercial building doesn’t understand the seller’s reply to his offer. The seller wants to know how to handle multiple offers. The seller didn’t show up to closing, and the buyer doesn’t know what to do. This list could keep going and going. When you “ask the internet,” you don’t know if the answers you get are accurate. On the other hand, a REALTOR® is a professional with the experience and knowledge to help you avoid many problems, deal with those that arise, and help you reach the best possible outcome on your real estate transaction. If you’re not working with a REALTOR®, find one here.
Did you know there are actions you can take to make your home sell swiftly? Here are four tips to do just that: Use a REALTOR® Those owners who hire a REALTOR® sell their homes more quickly than if they tried to sell their home on their own. That’s because REALTORS® know how to market your property so it reaches the right buyers. Make the Price Right An overpriced home is destined to sit on the market. Your REALTOR® will give you accurate information about comparable home prices in your area as well as the current marketplace, so you can choose the right price from the start. Declutter It’s important for potential buyers to see themselves in your home. Make it easier for them by putting away the kid’s playhouse, the dog bed, and your collection of doll heads. Cleaning often and storing items will be worth it for a quicker sale. Fix Lingering Problems People will notice the door that doesn’t quite shut all the way, the scratches on your baseboard, and the rattling ceiling fan. Even small fixes can make a big difference in how attractive your home is to a buyer. Your REALTOR® can give you specific advice for your home that can help you take your property from for sale to sold.
Moving is rarely stress-free. During this busy time, don’t gloss over the important step of vetting your moving company. Watch out for these red flags. The Basics Aren’t in Writing Be suspicious if your movers don’t provide a written cost estimate or say they will figure out the charges after loading. Think twice if your movers—or a broker who works with movers—gives you an estimate without inspecting your stuff. Does that estimate seem low to you? Is it low compared to other written estimates? Furthermore, watch out if your movers ask you to sign blank documents or claim you have more possessions than the estimate says. Their Details Aren’t Clear Be wary if the company does not have a local address or doesn’t identify themselves when you call them. Do the movers say their insurance will cover your stuff but they don’t ask you to itemize or value your belongings? Are these movers even authorized to be movers? You can look up the company in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Registered Mover Database. Consider checking with the Better Business Bureau, too. They Didn’t Share Required Information Movers and moving brokers are required to give you a copy of the “Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move” booklet and the “Ready to Move” brochure. Did you receive them? Significant Payment Required Up Front Are the movers asking for a large deposit or cash before the move? Some sort of deposit may be required but it shouldn’t be an enormous sum—or ever required in cash. Talk to your REALTOR® about how to make your move as smooth as possible. Your REALTOR® has the knowledge and skills to help you make informed decisions.
December 19, 2023 | Texas REALTORS® Staff
REALTORS® can earn different certifications and designations to increase their expertise. Often, they list the credentials as abbreviations after their name—showcasing their commitment to providing a high level of professionalism through advanced education. Have you seen the letters “GRI” and wondered what they mean? The Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI) designation is a nationally accredited program for real estate professionals looking to deepen their understanding of the industry. The 90-hour program consists of 14 intensive training courses in business development, legal and regulatory issues, professional standards, sales processes, and the latest technology. When you hire REALTORS®, you know they will have the skills to navigate the real estate market and achieve your goals.
When thinking of buying or selling a home, you can take actions ahead of time that will pay off even if you’re not quite ready to view homes or put yours on the market. These steps may help you avoid surprises, reduce your stress, and maybe even save a bunch of money. Assemble Your Team You will need several experts to complete any real estate transaction, and the best place to start is with your REALTOR®. No one has a more complete picture of real estate transactions than REALTORS®—the professionals who are involved from start to finish. You also may need to work with lenders, title agents, appraisers, inspectors, surveyors, attorneys, stagers, repair professionals, and others. Your REALTOR® can explain these people’s roles and how they fit into the overall transaction. You may also be able to ask your REALTOR® for referrals to trusted specialists who provide these services. Make a list Whether buying a home, selling, or both, you’ll face plenty of decisions. Prioritizing your goals helps you narrow down your choices so you can focus on the most productive actions. When selling, you might decide that a quick transaction is more important than maximizing your sales price. As a buyer, weighing the relative importance of price, location, and features will help guide your decisions. Your REALTOR® is invaluable here, too, identifying factors to consider and discussing pros and cons of the options you’ll likely face. Take Action When is the right time to start working on your home purchase or sale? Earlier than you may think! If you’re buying, you can work on financing, boosting your credit score, and researching neighborhoods and properties. If you’re selling, you may benefit from decluttering, repairs, and remodeling. Once again, your REALTOR® can provide a wealth of information and resources to start you on a path to success. Whether buying or selling, your REALTOR® is your trusted guide to help you achieve your real estate dreams.
Real estate transactions often involve large sums of money and emotional decisions, so it’s no wonder people get stressed. Consider these strategies to help you move through the process with ease. Clarify Your Goals What is your main motivation for buying or selling? Clarity helps you avoid anxieties brought on by distractions. For example, if your top reason to move is more space for your family, you won’t face a difficult decision when you tour a house with beautiful features but no more space than your current home. Get Time On Your Side When possible, build in enough time to avoid spur-of-the-moment decisions or unrealistic deadlines. Yes, external factors like a job relocation or a hot market can necessitate quick responses, but there’s a difference between being prepared to act and setting arbitrarily short time frames. Remember, a successful transaction requires coordination with the other party and providers such as title companies, inspectors, surveyors, and others. Just because you can move quickly doesn’t mean everyone else can meet that timeline. Focus On Positives You may experience a few bumps on the path toward your home purchase or sale. Simply being aware that surprises may pop up can relieve some pressure when they do. When challenges do arise, balance out those concerns by remembering the positives of moving, such as fresh opportunities, a beneficial transaction, and new friends. The best way to avoid stress when buying or selling a home is to work with a REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® is the professional who can guide you through the steps to achieve your real estate dreams.
Whether you’re selling your home or making an offer to buy one, setting a price is an important decision. How do you choose a number to attract the highest offers or get your offer accepted without overpaying? Consider the following: Where Is It? You know location matters, but keep in mind that even small differences can increase or decrease the desirability and price of a home. One side of a street may have a better view, the next block over can be zoned for a different school district, or a tranquil setting can be only a short distance away from noise and traffic. Be Careful With Comparisons Just because two homes are similar in size doesn’t mean their prices will be similar, too. Variations in age, quality of materials, condition, features, layout, lot size, and other factors can have a significant effect on what a home is worth. The Market Can Change Quickly The market may shift as the number of people selling and buying homes changes. Mortgage rates and local economic conditions also affect home prices. Just because a home sold for a certain amount a little while ago doesn’t mean that home is worth the same today. Motivation Might Matter If you need to move quickly, you may want to factor that into your pricing decision. It’s possible that being more flexible on your price can save you the costs and hassles that come with moving twice or paying two mortgages at once. Your REALTOR® can discuss current market data and your real estate goals to help you come up with a winning pricing strategy.
Real estate scams are on the rise. One con to be aware of is seller impersonation fraud, in which criminals sell owners’ property without their knowledge. Here are a few things you can do to find out if you’ve become a victim of fraud: Confirm Forwarding Address Many scammers target unoccupied properties such as vacant lots, second homes, or short-term rental properties. If you do not live at the property, double-check that the appraisal district has the correct forwarding address. Set Up Google Alerts To create an alert for your property, sign into your Google account, go to google.com/alerts, and add your name and address. You’ll get an email when there is a matching search result. Check For Activity Make a habit of searching for your property on the market. Some appraisal districts and third-party sites, such as Zillow, Trulia, and realtor.com, offer automatic alerts or email notifications for property activity. If you suspect you are a victim, reach out to the title company and the brokerage “selling” the property, and contact the police.
Whether you’re relocating across the country or across town, you’ll need help moving your possessions. Moving companies can be a great resource, but stay alert for scams that could ruin your move. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration offers tips for a successful move—including red flags that might indicate you’re being scammed: The mover or broker doesn’t perform an on-site inspection of your household items and gives an estimate over the telephone or online. The mover or broker doesn’t provide a written estimate or says they will determine the cost after loading. The moving company demands cash or a large deposit before the move. The mover asks you to sign blank documents. The mover or broker doesn’t provide you with a copy of the Your Rights and Responsibilities When You Move booklet and a copy of FMCSA’s Ready to Move brochure, which movers are required by federal regulations to supply to their customers. The company’s website has no local address and no information about their registration or insurance. The mover claims all goods are covered by their insurance. On moving day, a rental truck arrives rather than a company-owned or marked fleet truck. The mover claims that you have more belongings than estimated. Get more resources to ensure a successful move.