Jumping into 2015 I was nominated to be part of the Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices National REThink Council. I wrote an article in February that is titled, "Love Letter to Your Future Client" to help further education with home buyers in the market as we head into the Spring Market.
"Dear Future Buyer,
I am so excited to start this journey of finding a house with you. Let me start by telling you a little bit about what I do as your real estate agent and how I am going to make this process as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
I have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) along with an outlet of agents who work together to make sure we know about all properties that are on the market or coming on the market in your area. I also have access to all houses that are listed, so you don’t have to worry about calling owners and listing agents yourself to schedule showings. Another huge plus is that my commission is paid by the seller – so there is really no reason to try to take on this process alone! The seller is represented by a listing agent, who is working in the seller’s best interest. Considering this is one of the biggest financial purchases you will make in your lifetime, don’t you want to have someone who is solely representing you throughout the entire process?
While finding the house is a lot of fun and definitely an important part of the process, my job does not stop there. In fact, it’s after we find your home when my expertise really kicks in. A lot of buyers think that my sole job is to help you in your search for the perfect house, not realizing just how much work happens after we find it!
Fortunately, right now is a fantastic time to buy a house! Mortgage rates are still at an all-time low, and money has never been “cheaper!” However, be prepared – this strong economy also brings multiple offer scenarios, also known as bidding wars. Don’t be afraid of them because I’m here to help! This is another area of my expertise where my negotiating skills come into play. I am fully equipped to help you understand and best position your offer to win the house of your dreams.
More than 20 years ago, the legal process for real estate transactions was much simpler than it is today. Now, there are a lot more regulations and rules. These legal guidelines are ultimately there to protect you, the consumer, but it takes a real estate agent with experience and knowledge to navigate them correctly and legally. There is a reason that real estate agents have to go through legal-intensive schooling to learn how to read and negotiate contracts.
Once we are under contract, we will go through an inspection period where we can get all home inspections done. (Think termite inspection, home inspection, radon inspection and more.) We will then negotiate through repairs. It is imperative to have an agent who knows which repairs the seller is required to fix and how to represent you in getting the top priority repairs addressed in your contract before you close. Every good agent has what I call their “A- Squad,” a list of trusted inspectors, lenders, closing attorneys, roofers, general contractors, fence installers, pressure washers and landscapers to ensure that you have the best experience possible.
As you know, the house has to appraise for at least as much as the purchase price unless you are paying cash. In a perfect world, appraisals would never come in low and would not be something to worry about, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. As your agent, I am equipped to handle appraisal issues and rebuttals with the appraisers should problems arise.
To end, let’s go back to what a love letter is all about: love. Specifically, love for my job. I truly love what I do because I get to help people I really care about successfully buy or sell a home—no small feat. I promise to take good care of you through the entire process, ensuring you have the best experience possible. So this Valentine’s Day, I hope you remember how much I LOVE helping people just like YOU!
Your Real Estate Agent
MAGGIE AIKEN is an agent with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices C. Dan Joyner, REALTORS® in Greenville, SC. Email Maggie at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the http://rethinkreport.com/ for other articles and blogs by my fellow council members across the USA.