WHAT’S THE VALUE IN HIRING A REAL ESTATE AGENT?

With the wealth of online resources dedicated to helping you search for a new home or sell the one you own, you might be wondering if you even need a real estate agent in the first place. However, you may want to consider why many homeowners choose to enlist the services of a real estate professional.

A trusted real estate agent who comes recommended by others can increase your satisfaction with the process of buying a home in a number of important ways. These factors will help you determine the value your agent can provide:

There’s the internet, then there’s the “pipeline.” While a quick search on the web is a great place to start, you’ll want the inside track. A real estate professional will enhance your property search with a pipeline of properties. They, or others at their brokerage office, will also be aware of buyers who are looking within your area.

Opt for the guided tour. When you tour a landmark or attraction your experience is enriched by someone who is familiar with the location who can guide you. As a community expert, your real estate “guide” can provide insights on historical market values, culture, and attractions, as well as local resources relevant to your interests and needs.

A single point of contact. A real estate professional will help you determine how much house you can afford, alert you to potential risks, help you find resources, and negotiate the offer. Often a seemingly simple transaction can grow legally complex and risky. Again, this is where the pipeline comes in, as your agent can help you locate trusted legal counsel, home inspection services, surveyors, and lenders.

Negotiating. A real estate professional can help you objectively consider the offer you plan to put forth. They can recognize the various strategies of a selling agent, which may serve to drive up the price. They can also provide insights that can help you submit a competitive offer on a home you don’t want to lose.


5 steps to achieve first-home style

The time between inking the deal on your first home and move-in day is sure to be filled with anticipation and excitement. You’ll be thinking about the empty rooms in your soon-to-be-occupied home and the promise they hold. But it’s important to give yourself some time in the home to let your ideas evolve into better ones.

By all means visit stores, gather information, ideas, colours and fabric samples to begin your decorating plans. But remember, a truly comfortable and functional home that reflects your personal style will develop over time.  These tips will help first-time homeowners to furnish and style their new abode:

1. Resist the temptation to immediately purchase new furnishings. Organize and move in with what you have, placing furniture in rooms and finding places for items that go in closets, cupboards and drawers.

2. Measure and make a plan for each room on paper. Explore options on graph paper and consider using masking tape to mark out dimensions on the floor or walls of any furnishing you might purchase. This will ensure the pieces will work within your available space.

3. Consider unwanted elements. Home ownership affords you the luxury of making choices.  If you don’t like a lighting fixture or the wallpaper border in the kitchen, you are at liberty to replace it.

4. Consider any changes you would like to make to flooring. Carpeting from the previous owners may be crying out for replacement. Research and price out replacement options with consideration to available products, the temperature underfoot, and any need for noise reduction.

5. Create a budget. Apply a realistic price tag to your wish list and establish a time-frame to achieve your goals. Do things one step at a time and keep a tally against your budget as you go.



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