“Penny Farmer Is incredible at what she does.. If you want honest answers, and experience to help you through buying or selling a home, I highly recommend Penny.”
1) You NEED to be pre-approved
There is nothing worse than seeing someone fall in love with a home only to find out they can’t afford it or can’t get approved for it. On the flip side, it isn’t fair to a seller to have them negotiate out an offer, start packing, and then find that the buyer can’t follow through. They waste time and so do you. I need you to get pre-approved first. This will allow us to properly pick a list of houses to see and then, when you finally pick “The One,” we can move fast safely knowing the deal should go through.
2) YOU don’t pay me, but I work for you
Believe it or not, using a buyer’s agent is a FREE service to the buyer. The listing agent offers a portion of the commission they are charging to the seller as “cooperating compensation” to an agent representing a buyer. The great news for you is that all of that is handled between the agents. It doesn’t impact my ability to be 100% committed to you and to be loyal to you as the buyer.
3) Be honest
Honesty truly is the best policy. Look, no one is perfect. There are very few real estate transactions that don’t encounter a hiccup or two. We can work with pretty much anything and, at this point, the lender and I have seen it all. Don’t be embarrassed and don’t be afraid to level with me. You may be surprised to find that your skeleton in the closet is just a little mouse skeleton and we can deal with it without much difficulty. Conversely, understand that your skeletons WILL be pulled out at some point. I’ve had long lost and yet undeclared previous spouses come out during the closing process. Talk about humiliating. Let’s talk about it. You can rest assured that as long as you haven’t killed someone, your secrets are safe with me and that all information is held to the highest level of confidentiality.
4) Listen to me about the market
We all love HGTV and all the flipping shows. I do. They’re addicting. But, understand these are just TV shows and that they are nothing like what happens in real life. You may see buyers offering half of a seller’s asking price and seal the deal, but, you know the saying “if it sounds too good to be true it probably is?” It’s real. If we are in a seller’s market with limited inventory, don’t expect to pay substantially lower than the asking price. It just won’t work and it may offend the seller. I live and breathe in this real estate market and know what I’m talking about. I won’t let you pay more than what the property is worth and, trust me, I want you to get a good deal.
5) More is not necessarily better
For some reason, buyers tend to think they need to see dozens of homes before picking one. At some point, they are all going to blend together. You will become exhausted with the process and that will make it even harder to make a decision. I don’t want you to pick a home just to pick it, but your best bet is to limit your pool. Honesty in the beginning will help. Let’s get to the root of what you want and need and then go with that.
6) I have your best interest at heart
I am in real estate because I love people. I don’t make near as much money as what people think, I work long hours, spend not nearly enough time with my own family, and can go weeks without a paycheck. Being a REALTOR is a tough gig. But, my heart is for the moment when all our hard work comes together and you get to move into your new-to-you home. I may not always tell you what you want to hear, but it is because I can be an unbiased third party that can sometimes see things more clearly than you. I want you to be happy and I promise I will do everything in my power to see that you are.
So, you have decided to sell. You know where you are going and you know why. You’ve hired your REALTOR® and are ready to get going. Here’s a glimpse into what to expect next.
You will need to get your home in great showing condition. This means, when a prospective buyer shows up, you want the home to be clean, warm, and welcoming. Let them see the home through THEIR eyes, not yours. Pack up anything super personal. This includes family photos, heirlooms, your Florida Gators collection, your Grandma’s urn, and any unusual or unique decor. They need to be able to see the home with fresh eyes.
Next, get it clean. Many people hire a cleaner to come in and do a deep clean. If the home is dirty or messy, potential buyers will be more likely to assume the home needs repairs. Pull cubbies out that you can dump toys, clothes, etc. in at the beginning of the day so you don’t need to rush home to clean before a showing. Additionally, some clients go ahead and have a home inspection completed so there are no surprises when you receive an offer.
Your home will be shown numerous times in many cases. When you list with me, you can rest assured that everyone entering your home will be pre-approved and legitimate, but it may take some time to find just the right buyer. When we do find that lucky someone or someones, they will make an offer. We will discuss this together. Unless it is a full price or more offer (this happens!), we will likely need to go through several counter offers. Never fear, though, as I will handle all of the negotiations for you.
Here’s where we have to be a little more patient. The buyer will have a home inspection performed. At this point, the inspector may find some issues that the buyers feel need to be addressed. This is another point of negotiation. You don’t have to agree to every little repair, of course, but a little bit of compromise will go a long way.
Next, the home will be appraised. An appraiser will make an appointment with us to come out, view the property, and take photos. The appraiser will then review comparable sales in the area and make a determination as to your home’s value. This is to ensure that the bank loaning money to the buyer isn’t loaning for more than the home is valued for.
The last step (and most fun!) is closing day. The title company will have performed a title search to ensure the property’s title is clear and then will arrange a date and time for the settlement to occur. You and the buyers will both be present. The buyers will sign their loan documents, you will transfer the deed, and the current balance on your mortgage will be paid off. If there is any additional funds left over after the payoff, you may even leave the closing with a check! Now is the time to hand over the keys and garage door openers and tell the buyers about anything they need to know (security alarm is a little buggy, etc.).