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I was very pleased with Jessica in every way. After our first meeting she started right away with selling my mom's house. I didn't have to worry about one thing. Jessica is an excellent agent. She is very personable but professional. I live out-of-state but she kept me well informed. She has a great personality. Jessica showed that she has morals and values which are valuable traits to me. I would definitely recommend her to anyone. The sale was very quick. You are very fortunate to have Jessica working for you. The process from beginning to end went very smoothly. Thanks to Jessica. Vicky Click,Southport, NC April 27, 2018
When you have a very patient friend who is also your real estate agent, you are doubly blessed! This entire process of prepping to sell and selling Mom's house was made much easier thanks to your guidance and patience - again, the "p" word. From letting me know what to expect, to determining what "fair" means, and all the other minute in between. I relied on your experience and advice. You did not once let me down. Thanks for not only being the trusted consummate professional, but for being a great family friend. Best always, Marianna Marianna Voiselle, February 6, 2018
Thanks for all your help in making our "dream home" a reality. We really appreciated that you went the extra mile to get us the best price for our home. You are truly a professional.
In all our dealings with Realtors over the past ten years, we have never met anyone as helpful and energetic as you have been. Without hesitation, we would highly recommend your service to anyone who is looking for an experienced Realtor who cares about getting things done and doing them right! Thanks for taking such good care of us, we couldn't have done it without you!
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Blog

The Benefits of Hiring a RealtorĀ®

The internet is a wonderful place to sell things. The entire world is watching (and looking for stuff)! So, it should be easy to sell your house yourself using the widely available tools and resources of the web, right? Well, hold on. There are undeniably many resources available to both home buyers and sellers on the internet. However, there are also some really good reasons that you should consider hiring a professional REALTOR® when it's time to buy or sell a home.

Here are some of the benefits you can expect when hiring a REALTOR®:

 

Training and Experience

REALTOR®s know what they are doing because they do it every day. It’s their livelihood, so you might say their survival depends on being good at it. The internet gives us all the ‘information’ we need, but it takes a professional to turn information into useful knowledge to successfully sell or purchase real estate. Think of the agent as your guide through the maze of processes, regulations, and laws that must be adhered to in a real estate transaction.

 

Keep Your Sanity

Buying or selling a home, moving (perhaps to a new state), and other obligations like jobs and family keep us all pretty busy. Taking the time to research and learn about real estate seems like a low priority. A REALTOR® is your buffer against all the details that go into making a successful purchase or sale. As your representative, he or she is bound by professional and ethical standards to keep your interests and needs above everything else. You can then relax and enjoy peace of mind, knowing you are being served legally and ethically by a trained professional.

 

Market and Location Expertise

Successful real estate professionals know their markets and the neighborhoods they work in. This means they can meet your specific needs and goals of buying or selling your home, including presentation, pricing, and negotiation. Your agent has a wealth of knowledge about aspects of home selling/purchase you may not even think of. Things such as a potential home’s age, construction material, and geophysical location may not be foremost in your mind. A REALTOR® keeps every aspect of your needs and the qualities of potential properties in mind to find the best fit for you and your situation.

 

Marketing and Networking

Successful real estate offices exhibit dominance in the markets they serve. Outside of seeing their signs in most yards, they have their finger on the pulse of the community and are connected to the people and resources you need to make a purchase or sale. It's true that a significant investment goes into these efforts. So while the fees real estate agents receive are about the same for all, it’s important to note that agents and offices are successful for a good reason - they make deals happen.

 

Negotiation

Great real estate pros are skilled negotiators and this is critical to creating deals that all parties will agree to. A large aspect of negotiation skill is objectivity. Your agent works for your interests and has the financial outcome of completing the deal as their reward. Handling any emotional aspects that might risk a negotiation is their specialty.

 

Details

Completing a real estate transaction involves a lot of paperwork, even if most of it is computerized these days. A REALTOR® has been through the process and will ensure that all of the legal, regulatory, and financial documentation is in order.

 

Satisfaction

Successful real estate agents make pretty good money, and yes, that is a draw for many people entering the profession. The best of the best, though, are in the business to serve their clients effectively. They know that being professional and thorough in every aspect of what they do will pay off. Making great deals and creating happy clients is what leads to growing their business, so it’s that aspect they focus on to assure their own success.

Striking out on your own in selling or purchasing a home is tempting and it seems like a way you could save some money. But once you start considering these aspects and realize the amount of effort involved, you will soon conclude that a professional REALTOR® is worth every penny you invest in them.

 

Related Resources:

the balance: The Top 10 Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

realtor.com: What Does a Realtor® Do for a Home Buyer?

REALTORMag: 7 Reasons to Work With a Realtor®

 

How to Choose a Realtor

 

Selling and/or buying a home presents many challenges, so who you choose to work with is essential for success. Most professional REALTOR®s find it’s a necessity to market themselves in such a competitive industry. As a result, a potential client should have no trouble finding a wealth of information about them, but sorting through all their choices may seem overwhelming.

Here are a few pointers to help you choose a REALTOR® that’s a good fit for you:

Ask for references
You can easily compare the process of selecting a REALTOR® to a job interview. And just like selecting a candidate to hire, professional references are a must-have for your potential REALTOR®.

Speaking with previous clients is a good way to learn more about the REALTOR® you’re considering. Think about all the aspects of the task ahead of you (either buying or selling a home) that are important to you. Then ask questions such as:

  • Was there good communication?
  • Did the REALTOR® understand your needs and goals?
  • Did negotiations and paperwork go smoothly?

Keep your inquiries reasonably brief by asking key questions and listening closely to the responses.

Is the REALTOR® licensed?

A REALTOR® is a licensed professional who must adhere to strict educational and certification guidelines. You can check with the state/local licensing board regarding an agent’s licensure along with any adverse reports on their record.
What credentials does the REALTOR® have?

Credentialing is an important aspect of the real estate profession, and many REALTOR®s are specialized for the markets they serve. In residential home sales, common professional credentials include:

  • Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) - this means your REALTOR® has completed certification in residential real estate.
  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) - this specialty is associated with representing buyers in real estate transactions.

Certifications are beneficial

How are REALTOR®s credentialed? The National Association of REALTOR®s sponsors various professional education and certification programs for its members. You may notice them on the REALTOR®’s business card or their website profile(s).

Certifications are your assurance that the real estate professional you’re considering has met the educational requirements required by a governing body for the classification they have received. The National Association of REALTOR®s website publishes a list of certifications here.

Being comfortable with the REALTOR®’s level of experience

Like any profession, it takes a while to learn the ropes in real estate. While it is important that you work with an individual that you’re comfortable with, you may also wish to assure yourself that this REALTOR® has enough experience in their field to handle your needs effectively.

Ask specific questions about how long they’ve been in real estate, what neighborhoods and markets they work in, and how well they know about your specific situation. Many offices use a team approach to their business. Inquire about who does what, how information is communicated, and who your primary contact will be.

Relationships are key

Successful professionals establish strong ties with specialists in the associated disciplines in their field. Your REALTOR® should be able to refer you to people who perform all manner of services associated with your purchase or sale such as assessments, home inspections, and closing transactions. This is all part of the web of professional services that is necessary to complete your sale or purchase with ease and efficiency.

There are many ways to meet and hire a real estate professional - references from family and friends, web searches, and even yard signs. Make sure, however, that you take time to consider all the attributes that are important in working with someone to attain YOUR goals.

A professional will have no qualms about answering any questions you have, nor will they be offended when you inquire about their qualifications before you decide. In fact, your real estate professional will appreciate your commitment to making a sensible choice.

Related Resources:
Bankrate - 7 tips for picking a great real estate agent
U.S. News and World Report - 10 Essential Questions for Choosing a Real Estate Agent
National Association of REALTOR®s Designations and Certifications

The Advantages of Buying vs. Renting

Buying a home is, without a doubt, a huge financial and life-changing decision. As such, most young-ish people start out renting for a while before putting down roots and purchasing a home of their own.

Of course, there are plenty of good reasons for young people to rent: mobility, a carefree lifestyle, and attractive amenities like pools and gyms. But if you were to do the long-term analysis of the financial comparison of owning vs. renting? It’s a no-brainer.

Here are some of the advantages of buying a home:

Domestic Stability
When you purchase a home, it’s an investment in more ways than one. It represents a commitment to your community. Why do people make their homes and yards look great? For one thing, it reflects on the whole neighborhood. And our participation in the community is a large part of the ‘value’ we receive from home ownership.

Flexibility
Your home is your castle and you can make it whatever you want it to be. From paint and floor coverings to complete remodeling, your house is yours to do what you please. Well, within reason, of course. But it’s you making those decisions rather than a landlord.

Automatic Savings
A mortgage payment has two components: Payment on principal (which actually reduces the amount you owe) and payment on interest (which is the ‘cost of money’ that you borrowed to purchase the house). At the outset, your payment on interest is greater than your payment on principal, but your mortgage payment still results in building equity in the investment.

Over the term of the loan, the ratio of interest vs. principal reverses, and you gain more and more equity. This can be thought of as savings, but only in the sense that you realize it when you sell the property. Also, in comparison to other types of investment, property appreciation historically results in a greater return than, say, a stock or mutual fund. Plus, you get to live in your investment!

Taxes
For many people, tax benefits are mentioned as the number one reason to own a home. And it’s true! Mortgage interest is deductible on your federal taxes, along with some initial expenses (such as closing costs) as well as ongoing ones (like property taxes). These deductions often amount to reducing your actual expenses by hundreds of dollars per month. Savvy homeowners can use this to adjust their salary tax withholding to take advantage of real cash flow. Now there’s a bottom line benefit we all understand!

Budget
The most common form of home financing is a fixed rate mortgage. This means your payments remain the same for the entire life of the loan (unless you refinance, or use a home equity instrument). As such, your housing budget remains relatively constant compared to what might happen to rental payments over, say, 30 years. Insurance and taxes may increase (your home gains value, by the way) as time goes on, but remember that property taxes are deductible.

Time
It may seem as if you’re saving money by paying less in rent, right? But that’s not really the case. Over time, rent is likely to rise; but a fixed-rate mortgage payment (1) doesn’t change over the period of the loan, and (2) provides you with the benefit of tax deductions and reducing your overall cost significantly. The better value, in the long run, is definitely purchasing a home.
 

Buying a home may seem a little intimidating, at least at first. Of course, it’s a big commitment. However, as time goes on, your home increases in value, you get a great tax benefit, and, almost always, your income increases, giving you a lot more ‘comfort zone’ in your budget. With all these benefits, it’s easy to see why a home purchase is a great deal!
 

Related Resources

Zillow: Top 5 Reasons To Buy vs. Rent

Quicken: The Advantages Of Buying A Home Versus Renting An Apartment

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Welcome! Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs