Murfreesboro TN Homes: August 2006

Buyer or Selling Real Estate Without a Realtor Can Be Costly!

A lot of people are under the false impression that buying or selling real estate is easy.  But, I'd like to assure you that there is much more involved in real estate transactions than most people ever realize.  If you want to lose when playing the game of real estate, just trying playing alone.  However, if you want to be a winner, then seek out the professional services of a qualified and reputable local Realtor. 

As a seller, did you know that according to surveys conducted by the National Association of Realtors, most For Sale by Owners net LESS money from the sell of their home than they would have netted if they had listed with a Realtor.  Why take on all the work and responsiblity of selling your own home if you are going to walk away from the closing table with LESS money!  As a buyer, the services of a Realtor are absolutely free for you to use.  Why represent yourself in the largest single investment you will make in your lifetime when you can have professional representation for FREE!

A good Realtor will help you see that selling homes is not all about money.  While some individuals may perceive this as a greed driven business, there are many, many Realtors who choose this career in order to help people achieve their dreams.  A successful closing is not necessarily the one that closes with the biggest paycheck.  For me, it is the closing that results in happy clients, no matter what price range they may be in.

Realtors have extensive knowledge and are in the field each and every day.  This knowledge is crucial for buyers and sellers both when entering into the negotiation process.  For instance, let's talk about title insurance.  Do you know who customarily pays for this expense in your area?  Do you know the benefits and dangers of owning, or not owning "owner's coverage?"  Do you know the importance of working with a reputable title insurance company?  This one detail can cost, or save, you thousands of dollars at closing.

Are you up to date and aware of financing and how it affects you as a buyer and a seller?  Some sellers are completely unaware that certain types of financing and programs which may be used by the buyer, will cost them ~ the seller, money at closing!  A qualified Realtor can explain these programs to you and make sure you are aware of what your net investment or net return on the purchase or sell of a home will be.

What about square footage and extras in a home.  Are you knowledgeable enough to understand how to measure the square footage of a home and calculate the value of a home based on the estimated square footage and amenities.  Do you understand that list price and sales price can be very different.   As a seller it is critical to price your home correctly.  If you price it too high, it likely will not sell or appraise for sales price.  If you price it too low, you are giving away your equity!  As a buyer, if a home is overpriced by $15,000 and you negotiate directly with the seller who agrees to sell you the home for $10,000 less than they were asking, have you really gotten a good deal?  Working with a knowledgeable Realtor who can prepare an accurate market analysis of the home is critical to both buyers and sellers. 

As a buyer, do you have a trained eye to look for problems that need to be addressed in the initial offer.  Cosmetic items are not covered by a home inspection and not considered repairs.  Is there something in the home that needs to be repaired for aesthetic reasons?  If so, it must be in the initial offer or else you will be buying the home "as is."  I once sold a home that had a huge tree in the back yard that appeared to be dead to me.  The buyer had never noticed this during our showings.  In writing the offer I stated that we should have the seller remove the tree because it appeared to be a danger and if it fell could destroy the home.  The seller had already checked into having the tree removed but it was very expensive.  Since he felt like it still had a little life left in it, he did not feel an obligation to point this out to the buyer.  This one item saved my buyer a large amount of money, and potentially saved him from being injured in a storm due to this large tree.

Let's move on to home inspections.  Do you have experience working with qualified home inspectors and know which ones you can count on to always find the true problems in a home?  I once had a home inspector that detected mold in a home just by smell.  There was no visible mold, but the air tests conducted as as result of his inspection determined that there was hidden mold in the home.  The seller had to spend thousands of dollars to correct this problem.  Had the buyers represented themselves, they may not have found this critical item in the home.  As a seller, are you prepared to negotiate the home inspectors report.  If you disagree with the home inspector's findings, what options do you have?  Working with a Realtor who has a network of reputable and professional vendors at their disposal is cruciall!

As a seller, the language used in the contract regarding the home inspection is absolutely critical.  Are you confident that you know how to word this information to make sure that the buyer conduts this inspection quickly and is required to provide that information to you, in writing, in a timely matter.  Many offers to For Sale by Owner listings fall through because the contract is not written correctly and the buyer find an "easy out" if they are having second thoughts.  A qualified Realtor will have extensive knowledge and experience in writing many, many offers.  Why would you choose to represent yourself in a transaction that is probably the biggest investment you will ever make in your lifetime. 

Did you know that in Tennessee ALL sellers must provide ALL buyers a copy of the Tennessee Property Condition Disclosure Form.  This form MUST be provided to all buyers before an offer to purchase the home is written.  If the seller fails to properly disclose any defects or problems in the home on this form, the buyer may take legal action against the seller.  If any negative items are disclosed, make sure that you review this form carefully with a qualified attorney before signing the disclosure if you are not working with a qualified Realtor.  If you are considering buying a home, or selling a home, that is on septic tank instead of sewer, are you aware of the new Tennessee Disclosure Laws on Septic Tanks? 

If you are selling your home by owner, are you prepared to work with buyers who are not qualified.  One of the most valuable things that a Realtor can bring to the table for sellers is the ability to successfully close the sell of their home.  Anyone can accept an offer, but not everyone can bring that offer to successful closure.  Are you willing to open your home to anyone that calls without having any information or qualification on this buyer.  If a buyer brings you an offer, are you willing to take your home off the market for a period of time.  Are you confident that the buyer will close on your home or are you taking your home off the market and possibly missing out on another qualified buyer?   

Many problems will arise between the Offer to Purchase until the final Closing on the home.  It is the Realtors job to solve these problems and sometimes put out the endless number of fires that seem to ignite during this period.  Meeting home inspetors, scheduling termite inspections, communicating with lenders, pulling certifications and documentation from county offices, coordinating schedules for everyone involved with the title companies, confirming receipt of all required documents, and being a general courier from point A to point B are all in a days work for the Realtor.  

You're almost ready to close ~ now what!  You're all ready to close and you conduct your final walk through.  What happens if the seller has taken items that you thought were going to be left.  Did the contract specifically state that those items must remain?  If not, then you just lost.  If the contract did specify that they should remain are you ready to battle with the seller for compensation?  What about items that were damaged or broken after your initial Offer to Purchase.  A good Realtor will handle these problems for you.

If you are ready to buy or sell a home, make sure that you work with the right Realtor for you!  There is a difference between agents and it is crucial that you make a wise choice.  The most important rule you can follow is to work with someone you trust.  You will be working closely with your Realtor and depending on them to solve a lot of problems for you.  Problems that can cost you money!  Make sure you select a Realtor that you can trust for correct guidance and advice during this rewarding but stressful process.  You will also be spending a lot of time with your Realtor, so make sure you are comfortable with them, or you will have a long road to travel before closing!  Your Realtor should make you feel important as a client, and be ready to work for you ~ regardless of your price range. 

A good Realtor understands that selling real estate is not about selling houses, but about building relationships with people.  Work with a Realtor that is ready to do the right thing for you regardless of the pay off that may be in store for them. 

Hopefully, you will see the value in working with a Realtor if you are considering buying or selling a home.  If you are looking to purchase or sell real estate in the Murfreesboro, Brentwood, Franklin, or Smyrna, Tennessee TN area, I would love to hear from you!  I approach each and every real estate transaction by building a relationship with the client first.  I have experience with clients selling Luxury Estates and spent countless hours working with individuals buying their very first home.  Each and every client is a blessing!  I want to earn your trust as a Realtor, and hopefully your friend.  I'd love to hear from you! 

You can search the entire MLS with my free Home Search and also find helpful tools on my website, SherriWellborn.com.  Please feel free to contact me at 615-566-3789 if you have any questions about buying or selling a home in Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Brentwood, Franklin, or LaVergne!

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Please visit:  SOLDONTN &  SherriWellborn.com 

Sherri Wellborn, Keller Williams Realty

Reliant Realty

640 Broadmor Blvd
Murfreesboro, TN 37129

615-566-3789 CELL

615-225-9600 Office

Comment balloon 1 commentSherri Wellborn • August 26 2006 08:21PM
Buyer or Selling Real Estate Without a Realtor Can Be Costly!
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A lot of people are under the false impression that buying or selling real estate is easy. But, I'd like to assure you that there is much more involved in real estate transactions than most people ever realize. If you want to lose when playing the… more