“Real Estate agents don’t do anything! They are just in your way of getting into the house that you want, and we are required to use them in order to make a purchase!”
I had overheard this comment while patiently waiting in line at everybody’s favorite place- Wally-World…… a.k.a Wal-Mart.
Of course, I was quite perturbed and wanted greatly to put my two cents in, but I was in a hurry to meet with a valued client and decided it wasn’t worth my time and risk being late getting into a meaningless argument based off of that ignorant statement.
On the drive out, it gradually dawned on me that I really must change this perception on Realtors. Ok, don’t get me wrong, before starting my profession years ago I shared their same views and I do understand why this happens.
So, for all misunderstood professions, this is an effort to give you a clearer perspective. We will embark on this journey on why this concept is misconstrued, and I will confidently save you in numerous ways. Hence the title of this post.
Check out this fun video and let’s get started!
Time is Valuable
Realistically, what is your time worth to you? When searching the internet for homes doesn’t it get exciting? A very good friend of mine told me that his wife used to spend every minute on the computer before they bought their first house. I’m sure the topic of the day was “OMG, That House!” I believe that there was a lot time wasted on a house that they didn’t own and just went away.
Don’t waste your time. Unlike most professions a real estate agent usually works for free for buyers. Let me say this again. FREE! Almost in all cases the proceeds come from sellers. Agents do not get paid until your new home actually closes. Every seller knows this and in order for a buyer to come along, agents put deals together.
Why would you not want to use free services from a professional whose career goes to help people land their dream home into reality? Don’t forget that by doing this can save you thousands of dollars.
I have come accustom to showing hundreds of homes for half a year straight with qualified, ready and willing buyers-just to find out that they are just not ready. This IS the profession. Real estate agents do not always get paid. Now, you gotta have some kind of passion besides being in the way of getting you into a house just to get paid.
Shelter Me from These Taxes
Every American hates the thought of more taxes. Well, at least to the ones that pay more. The ultimate tax shelter is most likely your very own home. You WILL save taxes when you buy it. This isn’t some myth. Every homeowner knows this and they are currently saving now as we speak. They save taxes while owning it and can also save taxes while selling it.
These benefits are called mortgage interest deductions and property tax deductions. They are very sacred to American homeowners and have been around for a long time. Don’t worry — they are not going anywhere and you WILL get your chance at it soon.
The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction says, in general, that joint tax filers can deduct all the interest on a maximum of $1 million in mortgage secured debts by a first and second home. YES! Even your second home has benefits besides having the birds-eye view of the city or ocean! Home equity loans up-to $100,000 lay under this rule as well.
First-Time Buyer programs can allow deductions up to 20 percent each year the buyer keeps the same loan and lives in that house. The IRS Publication 530 calls this the “Tax Information for First-Time Homeowners.”
Let do the Math:
If you paid $10,000 in interest then your tax credit would be $2,000. Don’t forget where the remaining 80% of interest: $8,000 is taken as typical mortgage interest deduction.
Most lenders know this and use it to advantage. They will typically qualify you for a loan based on the monthly mortgage payment minus the tax credit, enabling you to qualify for a bigger loan.
Talk your tax consultant and your preferred lender for details on all homeowner deductions and remember, ask more questions!
Experience: Those tricky negotiations
Using an experienced real estate agent entitles you to benefit from their skills. We deal with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis. By doing this, it will protect you and safely move or remove you from sticky situations.
I can see the reasoning of why working a real estate deal without an agent can bring a direct negotiation between buyers and seller closer. Of course this seems to allow all parties to look better after their own interests. Now, this is probably true- assuming that both parties are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way and this type of transaction isn’t always an easy relationship to pursue.
What if you, as a buyer, loved the home that has all the upgrades, kitchen tile, large lot, and even an added playroom you didn’t even anticipate but plan to change all orange carpet and matching kitchen walls? You can express your contempt with the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about the cost of these planned changes without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner’s late mother may have lovingly chosen all décor as a wedding gift. Your real estate agent can convey all concerns to the seller’s agent, acting as a messenger. This will enable your agent to be in a better position to negotiate a discount without upsetting any feelings.
Market Knowledge and Advice
Once you hire your agent it is their job to work for you. Ok, saying this seems a little like when you call the cable guy to rewire another room in your home and then leaves. Yes, similar but not the case. It is your agent’s ultimate duty and responsibility to work for your best interest. Agents know the market and know how the job must be done in order to put a deal together.
Use their skills and market knowledge. Agents can find out a lot of information on neighborhoods and specific properties that the internet cannot show you. There may be important information that your agent can find out from the other party that must be disclosed.
I’m sure you know what you want as far as criteria and what your home should look like. Communicate this to your agent. It will be difficult at first, but let them track down listings and make appointments for you to view. Make notes on your top “must haves.” Give some time for both you and your agent to groundwork together. Do you work well with a new employee that isn’t familiar with your job tasks on their first day? Believe me; after you close on your home your agent will be skilled in your department. All this because trained by, of course, none other than YOU.
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