How to Choose the Best Realtor in Mountain Home

Let me be completely frank, selling or buying a house in Mountain Home is going to be one of the biggest financial deals that you will ever make.

 

Because of this fact it is surprising to me just how many potential sellers and homebuyers use a Realtor who doesn’t have the expertise needed to help guide them through this often-stressful process.  When you choose a Mountain Home Realtor it’s important to find an agent that has excellent marketing skills, negotiating experience and has a good understanding of the Mountain Home real estate market and the various potential problems that will cause a real estate transaction to stall out.

 

 

Another thing that I find to be illogical is that some people who want to sell their house think that they can do it without a Realtor.  It’s a proven fact that people who choose to sell their house “For Sale by Owner” end up selling their house for a much lower amount than they would have got if they had chosen to use a Realtor.  Even worse selling a home by owner opens up the seller to a slew of potential legal problems that could have easily been avoided by working with a Realtor.

 

Making just one of these mistakes can be very costly in both terms of stress and money.

 

Hiring the right real estate agent will help make this huge decision and complicated process go smoothly.  You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot, so to speak.

 

Just recently I heard about a retiree who wanted to view some homes for sale in the $200,00 price range because he wanted to move closer to the lake so that he could enjoy the excellent fishing opportunities provided everyday. This particular person chose their Realtor by selecting the picture of a Realtor on Zillow.com. This individual didn’t do any research before choosing to work with this agent.  He simply assumed that because the agent was on Zillow he was a good agent. This is far from the truth.  Did you know that all agents (good or bad) can pay Zillow a fee to be the “Premier Agent” on their website.  Zillow doesn’t go through any due diligence to make sure that the agent is qualified or knows what they are doing.   Unfortunately for this recently retired gentleman, the Realtor that he clicked on knew next to nothing about lake houses in the area.  This Realtor actually didn’t even know much about houses in the over $200,000 price range as they had typically dealt with buyers and sellers in the under $100,000 price range.  This agent was also a former homemaker who knew nothing of negotiating or outsourcing important tasks to professionals who are experts in their respective fields.  As you can imagine the buying experience was pretty negative and fraught with problems such as easily foreseen delays and easily avoidable inaccuracies.

 

Let me ask you 3 quick questions.

 

If you needed an important surgery would you want to choose the first surgeon you saw or would you want to do a little research and choose the best surgeon in his field?

 

What if you were in some kind of legal trouble?  Would you choose the first discount attorney you saw advertised on a billboard or would you instead want to choose the best lawyer that you can afford?

 

How about when you need your taxes done?  Do you think it’s important to choose a CPA based on their credentials and experience with tax law or do you think it’s better to choose an uncertified “tax guy” that works out of the back of a van?

 

Let me ask you one more question.  Why do you think it is that so many people choose a Realtor without first meeting with them and doing a little research?

 

It’s strange because generally speaking a real estate transaction will usually involve more money than any of the above hypothetical situations.

 

With that being said, here are the top four things to look for when trying to choose the best Realtor in Mountain Home.

 

Number 1 –

Make sure that the Realtor that you choose has your best interests at heart. You can tell a great real estate agent apart from the rest because they care more about helping you than they do about their commission.  Now sure, all agents will care about their commission (that is how they feed their family after all) but that should come secondary to your personal needs.   Most agents charge a similar commission (some will charge more and some will charge less) but look for a realtor that asks you questions about your personal situation rather than just rushing to get you to sign a buyer or seller agreement. Oftentimes choosing an agent that charges a higher commission will save you money in the long run!  Generally speaking, a Realtor that charges a higher commission is more intent on helping you (their customer) navigate the bumpy road of a real estate contract.  They charge a higher fee so that they can weed out the clients that aren’t looking for an expert to help them pilot through the rough waters of real estate.  By charging a higher fee they will naturally work with less clients and that means that they will have more time to dedicate to you – the only person that matters!  A good Realtor will tell you that there is nothing more rewarding than to a handing the keys to their clients dream home over to said client. Do you want an agent that is going to push you onto the first house they show you or one that has the time to show you as many houses as necessary to find the perfect home for you? A true qualified real estate agent will always put your best interests first!  Make sure you carefully choose your Realtor.  You want to choose someone who will work for YOUnot for their commission.

 

Number 2 –

Find a real estate agent that knows their “stuff.” It’s important to use a smart and professional Realtor because they have access to (and more importantly understand) information that the general public isn’t privy to and doesn’t understand.  Sure anyone can access Realtor.com and see how much homes in their neighborhood are listed for.  But that’s one of the biggest mistakes that home sellers make.  They assume that the listing price and the sales price are synonymous.  They are not! There are three things that most people over look when comparing their neighbor’s houses to their own.  First off, it’s the sale price that matters, not the list price. You can list your house for as much as you want, however, an overpriced home will never sell.  We live in a world where supply and demand create and control the market for real estate.  Just because you want your house to be worth “X” number of dollars doesn’t mean that the market values your home at that price.  The second major factor to take into account is the days on market.  Sure Zillow may show you how many days a home has been active on Zillow but it doesn’t give you the accurate data that is needed to evaluate the current market.  You must take into account how many times the price has been lowered (or in some cases raised).  You must also account for de-Listings.  It is a common tactic of some of the less professional Realtors to list a house for vastly more than it’s worth and then a few months later de-list that house because it has become “stale” on the market.  If you see a house for sale in Mountain Home that has been on the market for 300 days you are probably going to assume that it is either overpriced or that something is wrong with the home.  The third factor is the overall condition of the property.  Surely many of the people reading this article have heard of the Zestimate that Zillow puts on homes in the area.  Generally speaking this estimate of home value is really inaccurate. Lets say for instance that you have two homes in the same neighborhood that both have 1500 square feet of livable space.  From the outside looking in you would probably assume that they are worth about the same amount of money right?  Wrong!  Two houses in the same neighborhood and of the same size are rarely worth the same amount. What Zillow (and many of the lesser Realtors) neglect to take into account is the condition of the home and the future expected expenses with owning the home. Lets go back to the example of the two 1500sqft homes in the same neighborhood but let’s dig a little deeper.   One of these houses has had the kitchen and bathrooms remodeled in the last couple of years.  Lets also for arguments sake say that this home has also updated the major appliances (like the HVAC system and water heating system) in the last 5 years. These are factors that Zillow and many less scrupulous agents neglect to take into account.  They are items that can’t be known without actually talking to the owner of said property.  By now I’m sure you are beginning to understand my point, the home with the upgrades and newer appliances is surely going to be worth more than the home without the upgrades.  Surely you will want to choose an agent that will take these items into account.  If your agent doesn’t do their homework you will end up in one of two unfortunate scenarios.  The first is the more common scenario where your agent recommends you list your home for more money that the market is willing to pay and your home sits for sale on the market for months or even years.  The second possible situation is even more dire.  This is the instance where the agent underprices your home and it sells in a week or less for significantly less money than it should have and that costs you, the seller, money in your pocket.  This is all information that a good  great agent has access to and more importantly has the knowledge to analyze.  This is important for both buyers and sellers.  If you are a seller surely you want to the most money possible and sell your home as quickly as possible.  For the buyer you certainly want an agent that can point out these important differences between the homes that you are looking at to purchase.

 

Number 3 –

Selling or purchasing a house is almost always an intricate and elusive process.  Rarely will you find an agent that is a master of all trades.  I’m sure you have heard the expression, “Jack of All Trades” but did you know that traditionally that sentence is followed up by the phrase, “Master of None”.  When you combine the two phases they come out to mean something vastly different than when used alone.  I don’t think that anyone in their right mind would choose to use a so called professional that is a “Master of None.”  Why then is it that so many people chose Realtors that are “Jacks of all Trades?” A good real estate agent will have a team of professionals that he works with to ensure that all of the pieces of your real estate transactions are handled by “Masters of Their Trades.”  When you find the best realtor in Mountain Home they will be more of a central collection point that brings together all of the “Masters” so that your transaction is taken care of perfectly all of the way through.  Real estate deals can and do fall apart all of time for a variety of dissimilar reasons.  That’s why you must choose a Realtor that will utilize and direct you to all of the professionals that have a proven track record facilitating each part of the real estate transaction.  Is it reasonable to think that a singular individual is an expert at interpersonal relations, negotiating, statistical analysis, legal matters, photography and video production, mass and specific marketing best practices, paperwork processing, and arbitration? Not likely!  While it is true that there are some “savants” that could possibly do all of these items with perfection, I assure you that that’s the exception, not the rule.  Make sure to ask your Realtor about all of these various functions that need to be completed in order to facilitate a successful real estate transaction.  If your agent says that they handle it all, it’s probably time to interview other agents!  The best agents will have a slew of team members and other professionals that they can call on for advice and utilize to complete your transaction correctly and in a timely manner.

 

Number 4 –

Make sure that your Realtor has two very important skills.  Those two skills are: negotiating and marketing, and not necessarily in that order.  Both of these skills are vital for buyers and sellers of real estate.  You may ask why would a buyer care about an agent’s marketing skills.  I’ll tell you why.  If a Realtor is worth anything they will have a good grasp on how properties in the area are marketed and know of the many marketing tricks that some agents employ to make a property appear to be more valuable than it is.  Did you know that houses with a great description on average sell for 3% more than homes with a poor written description?  I bet that you didn’t!  When you are buying a house are you interested in purchasing the description of a home or the actual physical asset itself? It’s easy to become emotional when buying or selling a home.  A good agent will help you navigate those emotions so that you can find the best deal on a property that is right for you!  They will be quick to point out that while a description may highlight a great feature, that very same description is being used to hide a material piece of information that will affect the long-term value of the property.  Secondly you want a master negotiator on your side don’t you?  Did you know that there is more to negotiate in a real estate deal than just the purchase price?  There are, in fact, many times that can be negotiated.  These can include but are not limited to, the concession terms (what the seller is willing to cover for the buyer), the means of financing, important contingencies (like having vital repairs completed before the closing date), the amount of time allotted for inspections and escrow, the amount of earnest money required, and the appraisal process.  It doesn’t matter which end of the transaction you are on, you will want to choose a Realtor that will fight for you!  Make sure you choose an agent that is a master negotiator.  A good way to find out how good an agent is at negotiating is to ask them what career field they were in before they become an agent. If they were a business owner, or a salesmen, or an attorney there is a good chance that they have developed the necessary negotiating skills to make sure you get the best deal possible.  If they were a homemaker, a corporate suit, or an administrator chances are that they have not had the proper experiences in life to make them expert negotiators.  Please, please make sure that the agent that you choose to hire is an expert marketer and negotiator.

 

Follow the advice above if you want your real estate transaction to go as smoothly as possible.  Be aware that there are oftentimes many hiccups that can flat out ruin a deal. You want to have the best possible agent working on your team.  If you were building a baseball team would you prefer to hire Babe Ruth or Yogi Berra?  Don’t let potential appraisal problems, needed repairs, last-minute delays or other unexpected problems get in the way of your transaction.

 

Please keep in mind that there are over 1.2 million active real estate agents in the United States.  The vast majority of which do real estate as a side gig or don’t take their job seriously enough to ensure a smooth closing.  They are oftentimes more focused on getting their kids to soccer practice than they are with perfecting the art of real estate.  Did you know that most agents, on average, close only two deals per year?  Yes, you read that correctly, most agents, on average, close only two deals per year. This causes many agents to become desperate for any deal they can get.  This first sign that an agent is desperate and no good at their job is the fact that they will reduce their commissions.  A great agent knows their worth and charges accordingly.  If someone is selling something for less money there is a good chance that it is an inferior product.  This mantra holds true especially with real estate agents. Do you want to buy a good quality American Made product such a Pyrex dishes or Craftsman tools or would you prefer to buy a Chinese knock-off that is sure to fail after only a few uses? The only difference between these products and a real estate transaction is that the real estate transaction costs a whole lot more money and could potentially ruin you financially.  Don’t make the costly mistake of thinking that you can save money by hiring a discount Realtor.  In the long run a cheap real estate agent will cost you vastly more than an “expensive” agent.

 

If you are ready to speak with a licensed real estate agent that possesses all of the above qualities head on back to our Mountain Home Real Estate Guide Home Page and fill out the contact form.  We will have the best realtor in Mountain Home get in contact with you right away.

 

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