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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.

Top 5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make

When it comes to selling a home, most can get a little emotional. It’s no wonder though! Most people have lived in their homes for a decade or more, making memories that you can’t put a price on. Although a home may seem more valuable to the owner who is trying to sell it, there is a point where it’s time to be realistic about what the homes value really is.

Letting emotions get in the way of making smart choices when it comes to selling your home could be the brink between selling fast or letting it sit on the market for a long time. If your home is sitting on the market for 30 days or more, it usually indicates that your price is too steep.

House For Sale Edmonton
Photo Credit: Sam ling on flickr

So to help you sell your home quickly and at a good fair price, we have compiled a list of the top 5 mistakes most home sellers make.

1. Not Maintaining Good Aesthetic

Curb appeal is way more important that most believe. Professionally staged homes with new paint (neutral colors are best), good landscaping, new furniture and ridding clutter will in turn sell your home five to seven times faster than a home that is not staged well.

2. Being Unrealistic

Unfortunately not many people will care much for what YOU paid originally for your home. So buying a home at $325,000 and adding $150,000 in renovations isn’t going to mean your home is going to sell for $475,000. Make sure that you are being realistic about the total value of your home. This includes the value of surrounding homes, cause that can either help or hurt the total value of your home.

3. Being “Dishonest”

A house is not a small investment in any way, shape or form. Buyers who are interested in a house are going to make sure they have inspectors come and bid on any damages, mold, etc. So make sure you are up front about any issues right off the bat if you are not planning on spending money to repair those issues. Otherwise, after the inspector comes, you can be sure that the buyer interested will want you to either cover the cost of repair. Or you will find yourself in a nasty legal battle if you sell the home and they find all those issues after purchasing.

4. Being Stubborn

Start with setting your home at a fair and reasonable price, and make sure you allow some wiggle room. Many buyers are going to start with a price that is well below your asking price. So to make everyone happy including yourself, be sure that you are able to negotiate and possible accept a price that is a little less than your asking price.

5. Back-Up Plans

Be sure that you know what you are going to do once the house is sold. This is so important. Many times sellers are so caught up in selling their current home and jumping into buying a new one that they do not take into consideration that some deals may fall through. Some people put clauses into their contracts disclaiming that they will not sell their home until a new one is purchased. Many good sellers will have contingency plans to keep them safe from having two mortgages and etc.

Above all it is most important to prepare for all aspects of what could go wrong or right, be negotiable and stay flexible.

Bathroom Remodel – Does it Add Huge Value to Your Home?

Are you considering adding a bathroom to your Cedar City home? This could be a good idea if you can afford the upwards cost of about $50,000. Although according to the National Association Of Realtors “2015 Remodeling Impact Report”, a bathroom addition will only recover about 52% of your initial investment.

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Why list with us

We are not just real estate agents, but also a professional REALTOR. ERA Real Estate Professionals is a Top 200 Company with ERA National. (You”re working with a top-flight company). We will make your house a “sale-able listing” not just a “listing”. We will make sure your house is “priced right, dressed right and ready to go!!  Five years ago only 5% of home buyers viewed homes on the internet before they made a purchase. Last year over 95% of all buyers viewed homes on the internet before making a purchase. The Internet is the fastest growing advertising medium in the internet. ERA  Real Estate professionals is a “high tech” office, and ERA is the most “high tech” of all the franchises. ERA was the first real estate company to put listings in the internet. Buyer exposures: ERA referral system, Cartus, era.com, and ERA Real Estate Processionals web sites on the internet. We will expose your home worldwide. We have multiple locations. We prospect to locate potential buyers for our sellers. I will provide you with a professional written checklist and video on dressing your house to sell. I promise to “price it right” from the start, so that you’ll be a “Sold” , not an “Active”. We have a great local reputation in the community. We create our own marketing material. We will contact you regularly on any activity, agent feed back and comments. ERA provided discounts to buyers and sellers through our Select Services Vendors. We have a plan that helps a house sell on the average quickly, and for a higher sales price, with a greater chance of selling, and releases you from lot of liability of closing. It makes your house a drawing card for buyers. There is a great name recognition through the ERA logo and national reputation. Muscular Dystrophy Association: our way of giving back to the community that serves us so well.   Code of Ethics: we go strictly by it! We will professionally service your needs as a consumer through continued training. When you get us, you get “Team ERA” and all our associates. I will advise you, guide you, protect you and negotiate for you!! Your best interest is my main concern. I actively participate in my local board of Realtors, which benefits you and me. I work for the most creative and knowledgeable broker in town. ERA Commitment to Service: our written guarantee of customer satisfaction!  Call Rich 435-559-ERA2 or Gin ERA3.

Copyright 2012-ERA Franchise Systems LLC

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Cleaning Tips For Selling Your Home

When it comes to cleaning, namely hard to remove stains, we have all collected valuable tips and tricks for getting the job done.

The good news in household stain removal is that many new products are available and work very well. But don’t discount the tried and true methods either. This advice is a collection of both.

White Kitchen Sinks – Despite their shell-like appearance, kitchen sinks can be quite porous – especially white porcelain. If you have ever experienced a ring from a coffee cup, you’ll know this is true. To clean a white kitchen sink, try covering the drain with a stopper and pour in a pot of boiling water. Add a half-cup of bleach and let it sit overnight. After that, use a mild abrasive to finish the job.

Carpet – If you have a nagging carpet stain that is difficult to remove – even after you have steam-cleaned the floors, try hairspray or spray-starch.

Bathroom Tub and Tile – Most tub and tile stains are water related. They are calcium, lime or rust based. Cleaning products made specifically for these types of stains are now available at most home centers and can remove these stains with ease and restore the surfaces; powdered cleansers tend to work particularly well.

Hardwood Floors – If you’re fortunate enough to have hardwood floors in your home, don’t worry about a few discolorations. Try a compound wax formulated for wood floors. These cleaners are very good at removing blemishes on floors and they add a protective coat. If that doesn’t work, the floors can be sanded, refinished and stained to a darker pigment to cover marks.

Aluminum Siding – You won’t believe what a pressure washer can do to clean aluminum siding. They can be purchased or rented from a home center and hook-up to a garden hose. On most models you can add soap and adjust the water flow. Make sure the flow is not too intense to dent the siding and begin cleaning.

Hard Surface Countertops – like granite, marble and Corian can be cleaned with a mild abrasive, but they can also be sanded clean by a professional. If you have a nagging stain, or burn in your countertop – it might be a good idea to call in an expert to sand the stain out, buff and refinish the surface.

I hope you find the above information helpful. Finally, if I may leave you with one last suggestion, always test a cleaning product on a very small, unnoticeable area first to make sure it does not cause a stain of its own.

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Spring Spruce Up – Tips For Selling Your Cedar City Home

I hope you’re getting outside to take advantage of the warmer weather and sunshine. With summer just around the corner, I thought you might like some ideas on how to keep your new home cool and comfortable, and make the outdoors just as inviting as the indoors. I’ve always found that rolling up area rugs will open up and lighten the rooms. You can replace heavy comforters with lighter weight bedspreads in cooler colors to really welcome the summer. Be sure to check that ceiling fans and air conditioners are working and that your screen doors are in good shape to weather those balmy days ahead.

Spring and summer are the perfect times for painting or remodeling since you can let the fresh air right in. Don’t be afraid to use bright colors for both indoor and outdoor accent pillows, table cloths, candles, pictures, dishware or other accessories. You may also want to consider adding some new outdoor furniture to give your new home a fresh look for the summer. I’m sure you’ll plan on doing a lot more outdoor living, cooking and entertaining. Smaller spaces are not a problem – you can simply use colorful potted plants to create a beautiful outdoor living space in a small garden or courtyard. If you have a deck, you may want to give it a fresh coat of paint or stain, and if you have a pool, you’ll want to remember about maintenance so you can enjoy it all summer long.

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Staging of a Nation, from South to North – Cedar City Home Selling Tips

Cedar City Home Selling Tips

Homeowners these days need the best price for their property, regardless of where they live. Statistically, 78% of potential buyers make their decision about a house even before they actually visit it. Once inside, the first few seconds a buyer has made their choice on the home. Here are the latest tips for staging. Keep the exterior tidy, including putting trash cans out of site. Keep shrubs trimmed, repair walkways.

  • Freshen up the interior. Neutral, subdued paint is a good, inexpensive option.
  • Light a fire, for a warm cozy feel in the winter months.
  • Keep mudrooms neat and tidy.
  • Install storm windows for the cool months and screens for warmer.
  • Make every room count. Put an air mattress on boxes and cover it with comforters to turn an unused room into a bedroom.
  • Create a blank canvas. Remove children’s artwork, personal photos, trophies and other person items.

Bottom line is buyers are not interested in how sellers live, they want to envision themselves living in the home.