By Pete Hurst, Abbitt Realty Company LLC.
Some weeks ago, I had to see a doctor because of a foot injury that I feared might develop into something serious. I told the doctor I was there for treatment, but just as much for peace of mind, that there were no complications developing.
Peace of mind is pretty important to all of us. When we are in control of situations or well versed in a given area, our levels of peace of mind in our circumstances are probably higher, but when we have to navigate unfamiliar waters, we may not have the calm and certainty we’d like to have.
For most people, life does not consist in making regular real estate decisions; therefore, when buying or selling property, it may be a little overwhelming. After all, we’re talking about neighborhoods where you are going to live, possible long-term financial commitments, purchasing property that may have features with which you are unfamiliar or selling property and trying to understand current market trends and price range. And if you are considering buying or selling investment property, then you have other questions to consider.
So, in your pursuit of peace of mind for your real estate decisions, let’s consider three areas, for your homework.
Peace of mind in choosing a REALTOR®
Besides the usual traditional advice about interviewing multiple agents, knowing their credentials and track record, etc., I suggest another approach that can supplement this. Consider current relationships, those you know whose opinions you respect; and even if they haven’t recently bought or sold property, they may know professionals in the industry whom they would trust to assist them in buying and selling property.
If you were going to see a doctor, wouldn’t you like to know that some of your friends had a good experience and appreciated the doctor’s care? When you hear someone at work mention a good auto repair shop or restaurant, or some other good product or service used, if you respect that person, you value that recommendation and opinion. The same is true in finding a good REALTOR®. Ask for recommendations from those you respect.
You may hear “But I don’t need a local REALTOR®; I’m moving to San Diego.” Even then, there are those at your new workplace who may have names of possible agents. One thing I have done for our clients moving out of the area is to call and get recommendations from contacts I have in those areas who know of possible agents to assist newcomers to their area. This should increase the probability of finding someone good to help you.
Try to find a good REALTOR® who will be a trusted advisor to take a personal interest in you and your circumstances and guide you through the buying or selling process.
Peace of mind in buying real estate
A good REALTOR® has access to information that will take you step by step through the buying process. Ask for this and for the time to explain all the parts to you. These lists may include working with a lender, choosing your location, creating your list of what features you want in a home, having various home inspections, comparing recently sold properties in an area where you may want to buy, etc. Never hesitate to ask questions of your agent or any other professional you use in the transaction, whether it is a lender, insurer, home inspector, whoever.
Peace of mind in selling real estate
Ask your agent to explain the selling process, from pricing your property for the best sale to how your property will be marketed. Will your property be on the Internet? Will there be professional photographs? Will there be personal contact with other agents who showed your home, for feedback from prospective buyers about features they liked or didn’t like? Just as in buying, ask your agent to take you through every step of the selling process, so that you will understand inspections and repairs and everything else leading to the time of your closing.
We don’t live in a perfect world, but we can have a large measure of peace of mind when we feel we have covered our bases in the best possible way. Don’t be intimidated by the unfamiliar, request help, use resources. There are plenty of professionals who want to assist you in having the most positive experience possible in buying and selling a home.
Pete Hurst is associate broker with Abbitt Realty Company LLC. He holds Bronze and Gold Awards from the Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®. Hurst can be reached by email at TheHurstTeam@gmail.com or by phone at 757-846-3748. His web address is http://thehurstteam.abbittrealty.com.