Finding A Home
Finding A Home
John Caliendo (Realtor) gives expert video advice on: What is the difference between a "real estate agent" and a "real estate broker"?; Do I need a realtor in order to buy a house?; How does a realtor get paid? and more...
What is the difference between a "real estate agent" and a "real estate broker"?
Great question, get it all the time. Very simply, the biggest difference is if you want to open your own real estate company, you have to have a broker's license. Other than that, that's the huge difference.
Do I need a realtor in order to buy a house?
When getting started in real estate, there is no law that says you need a realtor to purchase a home. However, to seek out the guidance and counsel of a professional realtor that has dedicated their life to learning this business in and out probably would be a good use of your time. Now, getting the right fit is a different story, because obviously like in any business, realtors come in any conceivable variety with personality, so, if you can find someone you sync up with, I would highly recommend using them. Of course I'm biased with realtors in all this, but overall I would highly recommend seeking out the guidance of a good realtor.
How does a realtor get paid?
The realtors are paid from the seller. The seller agrees, early on when they'r listing their home, to part with a certain percentage of the home's value, the sale price. That is, in my state, anywhere from 5-6%, although it could vary around the country. That 5% or 6% is then divided up, usually 50-50, half going to the listing agent and the other half going to the selling agent. It is possible that that person can be the same person, but you dont' know that going in.
How do I know whether my realtor is doing a good job?
When getting started in real estate, I always rely on instinct when knowing if my realtor is doing a good job; in other words, you will know if you feel like you're being well serviced. Most consumers have a high expectation for the opportunity they are giving a realtor, or anyone for that matter; and at the end of the day you're not feeling like you're in the loop, like you're up to speed, like the agent is adding value, you probably will know if your realtor is doing a good job sooner rather than later.
Can I "fire" my realtor?
With regards to getting started in real estate, firing your realtor depends on the listing side; you do have an agreement which has a beginning and an end. Now, unless something is written in there like some sort of a clause that the seller may fire the agent at any time, the seller might have to work with that agent up until the agreed upon time. Now, on the other side of the coin is the buyer; buyers rarely sign any kind of an agreement with a selling agent, so up until the point where they are in escrow, if a buyer working with an agent is not happy with that agent, the buyer will most likely have the ability to fire the realtor and part ways.
What does "location, location, location" really mean?
With regards to “location, location, location”, when it comes to real estate, houses may come and go, neighborhoods may change; but the only thing that is finite and limited is the ground underneath us, the land. As the saying goes, "They aren't making any more of it”. So, if you have a good location, it will be a good location for a good long time. This is the cliché, "location, location, location".
Do I need to check with local police about the neighborhood history?
I would absolutely encourage any buyer to go check with any local municipality to find out whatever they are curious about about the area, for a host of reasons. First of all, I want everyone to have a happy and healthy experience. I want them to just live on and just enjoy the neighborhood. I want them to have wonderful thoughts and memories of me putting them into this property. I would take it a step further. I would talk to neighbors. I am instrumental, often: I've knocked on many a door and talked to people about neighborhoods. So yes, I am a big fan of diligence when it comes to finding out about a local community.
How long will it take to find a new home?
This is contingent on many, many different factors. It's a function of seasonality, of inventory, or personal preference. I've worked with every conceivable type of buyer. Some are flexible and some are very rigid. So, I wish I had a universal answer to that question, but it's more complicated than you could ever imagine.
What should I look for during an open house or showing?
There are many things you should be looking for during an open house or showing, but just in a brief list: Probably you would like to know how long has the property been on the market, what is their motivation for selling, and how does it compare in terms of value to the other homes that are on the market competing against it.
How do I decide which home is the best choice for me?
When getting started in real estate, I think when deciding which home is the best home for you, it all starts with determining what your price comfort zone is. Again, get to the lender, find out what price range you should be looking at, and then the answers usually present themselves. Some people like vintage cottages and don't care about a three to five year deferred maintenance on the property. Other people just want brand new construction and they'd rather end up on maybe a condominium, three on a lot, two on a lot, something like that.
I have found a new home to buy; what is the first thing I need to do?
When finding a new home to buy, the first thing to do upon identifying the property that has really piqued your interest is a matter of talking to your realtor and saying “OK, I feel this might be the one. Let's dig in.” At that time, you want to check to see if there are any offers on the property and what their motivation is. You want to start determining what you think the value of the property is. Then you start putting all these things together in a synergistic manner. If, after all this gathering of information you still feel that it's time to move ahead, then you're on to making that offer for that house.