6 Tips for Making Sure You Choose the Right Real Estate Agent and Save Yourself from Misery

There are real estate agents and agencies everywhere. How do you know which ones are good and which ones are not? Follow these 5 tips to find out more about potential agents.

1. Speak to Previous Clients

Talk with recent clients to find out what their experience was. You can also compare listings that were the same as yours in terms of asking price, selling price, time on the market and location. Not all agents are equal. Kelowna real estate agents at the Denk Team for example sell on average 1.8% higher than the average MLS sale. This is one example.

2. Check Licensing

Find out if the potential Tallahassee real estate agent is registered and licensed. Check for disciplinary issues or problems with the regulatory board.

3. Choose One That Wins Awards

Real estate agents who win awards are the best. Their peers decide who receives awards like ‘Realtor of the Year’. Agents who win these awards can be trusted for good service.

4. Choose One with Credentials

Some real estate agents specialize in certain areas of realty. These agents will have credentials behind their names to indicate where their specialty lies. This will help you find the agent with the right credentials for you. Examples include CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and ABR (Accredited Buyer’s Representative).

5. Find Out How Long the Agent Has Been in Business

The longer the real estate agent has been in business, the more his or her knowledge and experience. You want someone who knows the area where your interest lies and who knows the process and navigation for what you want to do.

6. Look at Current Listings

Looking at what the agent currently has listed will help you see how they will represent you. Check online listings and how the properties are presented and advertised. Look at homes that are like the one you are looking to buy or sell and compare prices. You will also be able to see how many listings the agent has and whether they have a healthy business or not.

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What You Need to Know Before Buying a House and Committing to a Long-Term Expense

Buying a home is a huge step and should be considered carefully. Use the list of what you need to do before buying a house to see whether this is really what you want.

1. Is it Worth it?

Weigh up the pros and cons of renting and buying. Both have their advantages and draw-backs. This is a decision you must make.

2. Know the Process

Learn about the process of buying a home. Find out what it entails and what you will need.

3. Watch Out for the ‘Fixer-Upper’

Fixer-uppers can be misleading. Be sure that you are willing and able to put in the work and finances that these properties often require.

4. Research the Prospective Property

Find out as much as you can about the history of the property and its utilities. This will give you an idea of what you are buying.

5. Deal with Difficult Buying Situations

Decide whether you are going to focus on buying a house or a selling a house. Doing both at the same time can get tricky.

6. Save

Save up to put down a larger down payment. This is especially the case in a hot market like Kelowna realtors are seeing there in the Okanagan Valley.

7. Get Your Financials Sorted

Make sure that you have a good credit history. Keep paying your bills on time and save up where you can. Practice living on the finances you will have after buying a home. This will tell you if you can afford it.

8. Keep an eye out for deal-breakers

You know what you want your home to look like and the features that it must have, but look out for the deal breakers. The 6 deal-breakers that might be a sign that you need to rethink are:

• Roof repair needed
• Location in high-risk flood zone
• Plumbing issues
• Restrictions on home improvement
• Outdated electrical systems

9. Buy at Less Than You Can Afford

“There are many home-buying calculators that tell you what you can afford. Be careful of going for a home that is your maximum. Rather find one that is a bit less than you can afford and gives you a buffer.” says a well-known realtor on Vancouver Island.

10. Take Your Time

There is no need to rush this important decision. Shop around for homes that you like, mortgages and insurance. Make sure you find the home that you will love to live in for many years.

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5 Trends That Will Influence the Housing Market in the Year Ahead

The housing market always keeps us on our toes. The trends are aiming for a shift in the year to come. With all that is happening in the financial sector and political areas, things should get interesting. Keep an eye on the trends below.

1. Rising rates

Rates went up at the end of last year. This was only the second time in 10 years. However, we can expect at least another two or three increases in the coming year. This will lead to higher mortgage rates which will make it difficult for potential home buyers to get the house they want.

2. More Credit

Despite the rising rates, mortgage credit might be more widely available. This will be because of lending standards being loosened. First-time home buyers might get a break by being charged a lower fee than others who have owned homes before.

3. More New Homes

This might seem a strange trend looking at the economic environment, but expect more houses to be built. The high demand from buyers, higher wages for builders and looser credit standards, create the right environment for building new homes.

4. Medium-Sized Cities

Medium-sized cities will continue to rise as people flock to higher paying jobs. This trend strains the real estate market as there is often space limitations where these jobs are available. As younger people continue to search for higher paying jobs and low-cost living, this trend will keep going.

5. Foreign Buyers are Here to Stay

Foreign buyers are those who buy real estate in other countries in order to keep their money safe. As the economy of other countries become slow, they turn to those who are stable and will offer safe storage for their wealth. This influx of foreign capital will continue.

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