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10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor

Interviewing Cedar City Realtor
Purchasing a home is the most important, and expensive, decision of many people’s lives. There is a great deal of doubt and uncertainty that goes along with such a huge decision. To help curb those uneasy feelings, it’s a good idea to find a real estate agent that you trust. Whether you already have a few agents in mind, or you haven’t even considered professional help yet, it is a good idea to approach the decision in the most prepared manner possible.

There are many people who are available to hire as a real estate agent. However, it is important to remember that agents are not ‘one size fits all.’ You will want to pick someone based on your needs and preferences, rather than someone else’s experience with that person. Once you get closer to choosing your agent, you will want to do a good amount of research on them. You will then want to interview each realtor. If you aren’t sure what you should be asking, the following list of ten questions you should ask your realtor will help you to make the most of the interviewing process.

1. Is this your full-time job?

There are many realtors who use real estate as a side job. Whether you are comfortable with a realtor that is only working for you part-time is up to you. There are many part-time agents that will be able to give you the care and attention of a full-time agent. Keep in mind, though, that since they do have a “day job,” they may be unavailable to you at certain times and may have priorities that take precedence over your needs.

2. Will I be working directly with you or will your assistant handle my needs?

The distribution of work among a realtor and assistants is something that happens quite often. Many times, the assistant will handle the administrative work and keep a line of communication open between you and your realtor. There are instances where a realtor may hand you off to a qualified assistant, or trainee, who will essentially take over your account. If you want to be sure that you are only working with your realtor, be sure to make that clear. However, you should still expect that some paperwork or other less sensitive items will be handled by an assistant, especially if your agent is heavily booked.

3. Which communities and areas are you familiar with?

Location, location, location. This word is repeated constantly in the real estate world. Many people start their home buying journey with only their desired area in mind. If you are focused on living in a certain neighborhood, choose an agent that is familiar with that area. Not only will this mean they will be knowledgeable about the houses currently on the market, they will also have knowledge of past sales. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes time to make offers on properties in the area because you will be sure you are paying a fair and comparable price to others in the neighborhood.

4. Can you provide me with a few references?

Realtors will often ask their past clients if they would be willing to be contacted by potential clients. It is recommended that you speak to at least three former clients to get a good idea of the overall satisfaction you can expect. Keep in mind that a realtor isn’t going to have you contact someone that was unhappy with their performance, so it is important to ask the references certain questions, as well.

Some of these questions should include:

  • Do you know the realtor outside of a professional relationship?
  • What is the one thing you would have done differently throughout the process?
  • Did you feel understood and respected throughout the whole process?
  • How often did you talk to the realtor? Were you ever unable to contact them?
  • Would you use this realtor again?

If the references you contact answer your questions in a satisfactory way, that is a great indication that you and your realtor will have a positive relationship. If you feel uneasy about the references, or it seems like their answers were not genuine, you may want to keep searching for a realtor.

5. What will you charge me?

Talking about money, especially when you’re the one doling it out, is never enjoyable. Don’t let the fear of an awkward conversation prevent you from asking this important question. Since the fees charged will vary based on every agent, this may be a deciding factor when you choose an agent. Most realtor’s fees are negotiable. Generally, you will be charged between 3% to 6%, but fees can fluctuate greatly. If you are unhappy with the amount they tell you, see if you can negotiate within your comfort zone. If they won’t budge, it may be time to look at different realtors.

6. Do you work with more buyers or sellers?

Obviously, if you are looking to sell, you will want someone who is familiar with the selling process. You will want an agent experienced in buying when purchasing. However, if an agent has only sold or only bought, they may not be an ideal choice. You will want a realtor who knows how both sides of the deal work. This broader knowledge will be valuable when it’s time to make a deal.

7. How many clients do you currently have?

When looking for a realtor, many people think that choosing one who does not have many clients is a good idea. They assume that they will be able to provide them with the most attention since they do not have many other clients to worry about. While it’s understandable why some people come to this conclusion, it is inaccurate. When you walk into an unfamiliar restaurant and you are the only diner, don’t you feel a little uneasy? This same mentality can be applied to realtors. While you don’t want to choose a realtor with more clients than he or she can handle, you want to make sure there are other people who trust their skills and expertise.

8. How will we communicate and keep in touch?

This is an important aspect of the buying and selling process that is often overlooked. You need a realtor who is easy to get ahold of in a variety of ways. For example, if your realtor can only be reached by phone, during office hours, but those office hours align with your working hours, you will never be able to contact each other. If a realtor with flexible hours who will answer calls, texts, and emails in a timely manner is important to you, be sure to ask this question before hiring.

9. What education, experience, and expertise to you have?

Just as you need a resume when applying for a job, so should your realtor. It is important that they have taken the courses necessary to be a qualified realtor. Just as important as their education is their overall experience and expertise. You want a realtor with real experience in buying and selling homes. You may also look for a realtor who has expertise in buying or selling certain types of home you are dealing with, such as multi-family homes or other residences which fall outside of the standard single-family dwelling.

10. What else should I know about you and this process?

If your realtor has experience with many clients, this should be an easy question to answer. Undoubtedly, they have had many great questions from clients that they feel would be advantageous for you to know. Whether the information they give you is about them, their company, or the home buying or selling process, it should be useful and pertinent to your needs.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a realtor is that you are the one who will be having the services provided. You have every right to ask as many questions as possible so that you will feel comfortable in your hiring decision. You should never feel as though you are inconveniencing prospective realtors. This feeling leads to choosing an agent hastily, which will surely end in disappointment. By carefully choosing your realtor and asking these ten important questions, you are setting yourself up to have a wonderful real estate experience.

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Searching For Real Estate Online

How convenient is life these days. Everything seems to be just a click of a button away, including new homes! That’s right. You can now find a home by surfing the web and using specific tools on the internet to help your search go smoothly. Searching for real estate online is a fact of life, and there’s a few pointers on the best way to do it.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of home buyers conducted a portion of their search on the internet. Which is quite a staggering number compared to years ago when you literally had to do everything manually from taking your own photos of the house to driving wherever it was to see it, etc.

searching for real estate online

When searching for a home online, there are certain steps that you should follow to help make the experience easy and painless.

Search For Real Estate Online Using Our MLS

The first step should be to search MLS, you can do this through our site by clicking the “Properties Tab”. Why? Because that is the go-to for MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Literally every Real Estate Agent uses this tool. And so should you! With updates every 15 minutes it shouldn’t be hard to pinpoint a home perfect for you!

On this tool you will have access to all the basic information on the homes and be able to see photos of them as well.

Do Your Own Real Estate Research Online

Next you need to do some research of your own. Figure out how long the home has been on the market. Maybe do a drive-by to see where it’s located and if that location will work for you. Look at the price changes it has gone through since the seller has listed it. See if there are foreclosures in the area and how many. Neighboring homes that have recently been sold. The amount you should expect to pay on property taxes, and etc.

Next you will want to check out Trulia. This tool allows you to see how the neighborhoods stacked up. From what school zones they land in, if they are located in up-and-coming areas. The crime rates in the neighborhoods. And where they are located in proximity to favorite stores and etc.

Clearly the internet makes it very easy to find a good home, but nothing quite beats having an expert on your side. Seeking out a professional to help you with buying is always a good choice. They can help with real time updates, accessing the homes, getting the best deals, figuring out what areas are best suited for you and more. So although a website can give you the head start in finding where you want to move, an agent is going to be what ultimately gives you the keys.

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To Buy or Build in Cedar City

A home is usually one of the largest, if not the largest investment a person will make. We’ll spend a lot of time designing the “dream house”. Every buyer usually has two lists when looking for a home, deal breakers, and wish lists. Deal breakers are aspects of a home that are must have’s, you can’t live without them. Whereas wish lists are features that the buyer wants, but aren’t required or necessary. So when trying to decide to buy or build in Cedar City here are a few things to consider.

to buy or build in cedar city

Buying an Existing Home in Cedar

When you are buying an existing home the advantage primarily comes down to convenience. When you find the home you want, you make an offer. Then Cedar City real estate agents like us will walk you straight through the whole process, get your paper work in order and then be in your home in 30 days or so. Much easier and convenient than building a home from the ground up. You know what you’re getting, and you don’t have to make anywhere near the amount of choices that you make when building a home in Cedar City.

You’ll still have to go through the process of searching, seeing, and searching some more. Going over house after house before finding one that meets your deal breakers, and has enough of your wish lists to satisfy you.

When looking for Cedar City real estate there are a lot of options available as far as existing homes for sale. As well there’s a lot of variety and options available from small lots near downtown, to sweeping homes with lots of acreage.

One of the bigger reasons to buy an existing home is that you’ll be in an established neighborhood, with mature landscaping, schools, and trees that can actually offer some shade. It also usually means you’ll be nearer to shopping, and all of the established locations in town, as most of the new builds are on the outskirts of town.

Building a Home in Cedar City

On the flip side of building vs buying is primarily the convenience level is much lower when building. You’ll have much more time to invest in building than just buying. Everything from paint color, to tile vs wood floors, from the permits for the city and county. Do you do stucco, brick, or something else? So if you are opposed to making decisions, then building a home in Cedar isn’t for you.

The benefits are numerous though if you’re willing to forgo convenience. The primary benefit is having the ability to get exactly what you want. You don’t have the weigh the deal breakers vs the wish list, because you’re the one that gets to decide them. This is a huge plus, there’s no need to change wall colors before moving in, or switch out the carpet, because everything is exactly how you want it.

And it’s brand new, so you don’t have to worry about whether things are going to break down on you as soon as you move in, because everything’s new. You can trust that your water heater’s going to last for years, and that your furnace will keep pumping out heat all winter long.

So the decisions up to you, but it’s certainly a decision that we are willing and able to help walk you through. If you need a building lot and a builder we can help. If you don’t want to mess with it and just buy, then we can help. So don’t hesitate to call us when you’re trying to decide whether to buy or build in Cedar City.

 

 

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How to Find the Most Reliable Cedar City Real Estate Agent

Choosing a reliable real estate agent in Cedar City is very important when you are planning to buy or sell your home. The primary thing you should look for when looking for an agent is for his/her professionalism in taking care of things. Do they have total dedication to their work? Are they committed and hard working? And finally, they must have a good reputation.

My New House

Finding the perfect real estate agent is very important; the quality varies radically from marvelous to dreadful. You should be able to find an agent who puts your needs in front than their profits. Who can suggest you the right options and right location? Over all he/she should have as many of these qualities as possible:

  1. A person of veracity
  2. A great amount of time working with the real estate field.
  3. Should have plenty of knowledge and information about entire neighborhoods and communities.
  4. Maintains a good relationship with other agents and customers.
  5. Must be respected by other agents, which means he/she should not be rude with customers.
  6. Refined in business matters.
  7. Understands your needs.
  8. Must have a license from your state, which means, the agent must minimum educational qualifications, also they should have obtained training other necessary things.

The above mentioned points are very important to consider when you are looking for a reliable agent. Some additional things to consider are things like does he or she maintain their membership with the NAR (National Association of Realtors)? Through NAR, you can find an agent with qualifications as a Gradate Realtors Institute and Certified Residential Specialist. You don’t find many agents with such qualifications, so ask.

Get Referrals to Find the Perfect Cedar City Real Estate Agent

Get referrals from friends, coworkers and family, especially the people who you know have bought or sold the house recently. Get the agents name from other people who met at the open houses, once you find the good real estate agent, talk to them for half an hour or so and ask questions, etc. Once you get to know the approach of the agent, then you can hire him to do your job.

Ask Questions

Ask questions of the real estate agent in Cedar City, to find his or her experience and closing rate requirements. For instance, if you want to buy a new house, a foreclosure, or a condo, then make sure that your agent knows how to deal with these types of properties, and how experienced they are in this field of work.

Ask them how many homes they helped to sell or buy in the last year. Ask the address of the house that they recently sold and find out the selling cost. This kind of inquiry can help you to find the agent working capacity and successful rate.

Ask the agent how he or she can help you find the best house in your budget limits. And ask their suggestions on new mortgage loan process. Also, ask about current tax changes and insurances.

Know how to reach the agent, how you can contact him/her, through email, through phone or any other source. For stable markets, you can approach the lender once a week, but for the hot markets, you need to approach the agent every single day. And make sure you get responded to quickly from them to your calls, it is very important, because you don’t want to wait for your agents response and miss the golden opportunity’s.

Once you ask these exclusive questions, you are sure to get an idea about the agent, and you will know if he is good to help you find your dream house within your budget and with all the requirements that you are looking for in your home.

Conclusion: Finding the Best Cedar City Realtor

The important thing that you should be focusing on is, after finding the agent, make sure that he is giving priority to your task and not putting your name at the bottom of the list. So make constant inquiry’s and let them understand your requirements clearly. We are hopeful and confident that we here at the Bontadelli Team at ERA can satisfy all of these requirements, to help you with all of your real estate in Cedar City needs.

Photo Credit: Michael Gil

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New listings

New listings so far this week are a Cove area residential lot .23 acres, city utilities in street, Nice east side views. $45,000 or best offer. Lots in this area are typically $80,000 and above. ID# 69594 A five acre country location parcel with water rights! Animal rights. Located in Enoch, $45,000. ID# 69589 A cute country home with animal rights located in Enoch, $148,999. Call Rich to see, 435-559-3722. ID# 69587 Visit staging.cedarcity-realestate.com

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Cedar City Home Warranty

When buying a home, particularly an older house, buyers are often understandably concerned about the potential need for expensive home repairs in the future. Home warranty programs, such as the ERA® Home Protection Plan®, are available to buyers and sellers to help alleviate this concern.

Home warranty programs offer protection for the seller and buyer, covering most major repair or replace expenses within a home for up to a year or more after closing. With this added sense of security, it is easy to see why houses covered by home warranty programs on average sell faster than comparable homes without any such protection.

If you are interested in learning more about the ERA Home Protection Plan I would be glad to provide you with additional information.

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Real Estate Going Green

Here are some trips to fight power drains. A. ensure you are purchasing consumer electronics branded with the Energy Star logo and have been tested to be so. B. unplug some gadgets when you’re not using them, especially for extended periods such as vacations. C. New power strips available that can cut off electricity to some outlets while keeping power to others. Lastly, set the air conditioning to 75 when possible.

Solar power is on track to supply household electricity at the same cost as power from the electrical grid, the federal government says. The improved technology, cost of generating power from roof to solar panels should drop from 21 cents per kilowatt hour last yr. to 10 cents in 2015. That’s the same rate households are paying for power today.

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Buying Cedar City Real Estate Vs Renting

Those who have never owned a home before often ask about the benefits of owning over renting. While paying mortgage payments and property taxes may seem like an expensive and stressful proposition over the near worry-free lifestyle of renting, these expenses actually provide great financial benefit for homeowners.

When you rent, every dollar you pay is retained by the landlord. However, when you purchase a home, a portion of each monthly mortgage payment is used to pay down the principal amount of the loan and in return increases your equity in the property. In addition, you can offset much of the cost of property taxes and mortgage interest through allowable tax deductions. Finally, by owning a home you may also increase your equity if the property appreciates in value.

For specific information on the financial and tax benefits of buying compared to renting, contact your local financial or tax consultant.

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Cedar City Real Estate Mortgage Choices

Nearly all home buyers need to secure a mortgage when purchasing a home. There are varieties to investigate. Some can assist you with closing costs and 100% loans can also be applied for. all can be discussed with your lender of choice to make the best decision for you.

While there are countless variations, most common mortgages can be categorized as either fixed or variable. Fixed mortgages offer the same interest rate and monthly payment over the life of the loan, while variable mortgages offer adjustable rates or payments. ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages), the most popular variable mortgage option, offer a lower-than-market interest rate to provide buyers financial flexibility initially during the mortgage, with the tradeoff being the potential for higher interest rates and monthly payments later on.

Nearly all home buyers need to secure a mortgage when purchasing a home. Today, there are a wide variety of mortgage options available. Taking the time to discover the best mortgage product for your needs can offer great rewards in the long run.

While there are countless variations, most common mortgages can be categorized as either fixed or variable. Fixed mortgages offer the same interest rate and monthly payment over the life of the loan, while variable mortgages offer adjustable rates or payments. ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages), the most popular variable mortgage option, offer a lower-than-market interest rate to provide buyers financial flexibility initially during the mortgage, with the trade off being the potential for higher interest rates and monthly payments later on.

Paying points down to lower your mortgage payment

For buyers who are interested in getting the lowest monthly payment possible, paying points on your mortgage is one option to consider. The term “point” refers to 1 percent of the total mortgage loan amount. Most banks and lenders will allow buyers to lower their interest rate a particular amount for each additional point they pay at closing.
If you have the available money and plan on staying in the home for more than a few years, paying points can be a financially rewarding option. Like interest, the money paid in points at closing may be tax-deductible. Most importantly, paying points offers some breathing room with your monthly expenses.

If you are interested in learning more about mortgages, I would be glad to provide you with additional information.

P. M. I.

Potential buyers who wish to purchase a home but can’t afford a large down payment, may want to look into private mortgage insurance. Private mortgage insurance, or PMI, is designed to protect the lender against default while allowing buyers to obtain a loan while putting down significantly less than the standard 20 percent.

The borrower pays a premium for PMI coverage, the amount of which is determined by the type, amount and length of the loan. The premium is usually either worked into the monthly mortgage payment or paid as a lump sum at closing.

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in learning more about mortgage products or any other real estate information.