What do you mean, fire your real estate agent? This is a person, whether you are buying a home or selling your house, that you are trusting one of the biggest financial transactions of your life with. You enter into a contract with them. But what if you are not pleased with your interaction with them or the results after you have signed on the dotted line? I recommend professionally speaking with them first and explain why you feel that they are not meeting your expectations. Give them the opportunity to correct the issues. If, after a reasonable period of time, you do not see the desired results, you do have the right to terminate your agreement. I am not advocating for everyone to run out and fire their agent, I am just informing you that you do have options to rectify a bad situation. Even better, do your research up front and interview agents before you make your choice. It is a large financial commitment. Don’t you deserve the best person representing you in that transaction?
I have had the honor to work closely with a family that has made a couple of real estate purchases here in Fayetteville. They are from NY and most recently they purchased a short sale and it was in really bad condition. The house itself was well made and structurally sound. The issues were extensive cosmetic ones inside. The buyers were able to see beyond the issues and they came up with a plan to renovate the house and resale it. They opened the space up by removing a wall, closing in an outside door and installing a window. Everything in the house is new. Upgraded kitchen and bathroom cabinetry, new tile, carpet and laminate floors, new plumbing fixtures, new HVAC system and new windows. It is not just the fact that it was remodeled, but the quality of the work is outstanding. This house, listed for $108,000, is an absolute bargain with the number of upgrades that were added to it. If you are interested in learning more about this house, visit our website at http://www.debbiewaitleyrealtor.com and search for 905 Hunters View Drive, Fayetteville, NC. The pictures will amaze you and you will be on the phone, calling to schedule your private showing.
As I work with a lot of home buyers and sellers, I can constantly see the effect of the HGTV network and the internet. These are great forums and buyers and sellers are coming to the table much better informed than they were 5 to 10 years ago. My word of caution to you is to realize that real estate, like many economic issues, is very geographically specific. It is true that there are general trends that affect everyone, such as tighter credit criteria, more foreclosures, lower housing prices and lower interest rates, that still varies greatly from one locale to another. When I have someone come into the Fayetteville market and expect to be able to buy a foreclosure at 1/2 the asking price, because that is the way that it happens on television, I have to explain to them that is not the reality in our market. Also, as I was getting ready for work this morning, I had HGTV on (yes, I love their shows), but the couple trying to sell their home and discussing their options had a calendar hanging on their wall for 2010, three years ago. A lot changes in three years and from place to place. So my advice to you is to learn what you can from television and the internet, but find a very good real estate agent that you trust and then let them guide you through the process. They are the expert in your local market and they will be able to give you the best advice.
We have discussed loan programs for home owners and renovation loans, but I have several investors that are searching for loans that will cater to their needs. This week I had a great preliminary discussion with a local lender, Thelma Underwood of Prospect Mortgage, here in Fayetteville, NC. We were discussing the Fannie Mae HomePath Renovation Mortgage. This loan is available for owner-occupied primary residences, second homes and investment properties. It would give investors the opportunity to get renovation loans if they were to purchase HomePath homes. Contact me if you would like more information and I can also put you in contact with Thelma if you would like to speak with her about your options.
As we have more short sales, REO’s and Foreclosures come on the market (sadly), there will be more of a need for Realtors to understand the process to market and close the deal on these properties. The process from offer to close is very different from a traditional home buying process and can be different from case to case. At this point, I am trying to learn everything that I can about the process so that I can provide the best service to my investor clients. I would really like to hear from some investors that have been in the business for a while about what they need and expect from a realtor. Also, I would like to hear from other realtors that are specializing in this field with any advice that they might have. I am just trying to position myself to provide the best service that I can to my investor clients. Any response and suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.