How A Dot Real Estate Agent Helps
A real estate agent can help you in the following ways:
Determine the neighborhood where you would like to live. There are two things you'll want to know. First, will the property provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will the property have resale value when I am ready to sell? Your agent will be able to answer these questions based on the access to information at his/her fingertips.
Provide information on schools, shopping and other nearby amenities. Agents have access to a variety of informational resources. They can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools, public transportation, and a variety of other subjects. They can even find inside info on new construction such as shopping centers, road improvements, parks, etc.
Show you the type of houses you are looking for. Sometimes the type of property you seek is available but not actively advertised in the market. Your agent will investigate to find all available properties, but then can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property.
Direct you to a lender. If you give a real estate agent some basic information about your available savings, income, and current debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you. Most lenders—banks and mortgage companies—offer limited choices, but an agent can guide you through things like writing an offer-to-purchase, etc. There are many negotiating factors including (but not limited to) price, financing, terms, date of possession, and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. This may seem a bit overwhelming, but use your agent's experience to guide you; the purchase agreement should provide a period of time for you to complete appropriate inspections and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and inspections are recommended or required.
Oversee the transaction from offer through closing. One of the final steps is the closing, or settlement as it is known in different parts of the country. Every area has its own unique customs. In some areas, the title or escrow company will handle this process; In other parts of the country, an attorney does it all. Again, your real estate agent can guide you through this process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
Discover and solve problems that might arise.Once you have a negotiated agreement in hand, it is time to complete the evaluation of the property. Depending on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites, dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank, and well tests, just to name a few. Your agent can assist you in finding qualified, responsible professionals to do most of these investigations and provide you with written reports. You will also want to see a preliminary report on the title of the property (title indicates ownership of property). The title to most properties will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for utilities. Your agent, title company, or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
Help with moving preparations. Since agents deal with this sort of thing on a daily basis, they have access to many resources when it's time to start packing. Some agents even work out deals with local companies for discounted rates for referrals. If your agent offers, take them up on it!