Don’t Get Scorched in a Hot Real Estate Market–Find a Good Realtor!

With multiple on-line search engines at your fingertips, why work with a realtor when buying a home or investment property? Why not look at properties on your own and try to cut a deal with the selling broker? In fact, what does a buying broker do for you that you can’t do for yourself?

Excellent questions! If you are thinking this way, I applaud your acumen and independent spirit. I do believe that an experienced, conscientious realtor can indeed improve your home-buying experience, especially if you are a first time home-buyer or investor. Here’s how: 

 With multiple on line search engines at your fingertips, why work with a realtor when buying a home?

In a hot market, search engines are often several days behind. This can lead to frequent disappointments as you jump on a listing that just appeared, only to find out an offer was made–and accepted–two days ago.

A realtor can keep you up-to-the-minute so you don’t miss out when properties are going fast.

A dedicated realtor will do more than just drive you around to listings. They will actively canvas a neighborhood, looking for potential sellers. They can also network with selling realtors who might be able to find you a home in your desired area and price range, before it even goes on the market.

A seasoned realtor can take some of the competitive emotion out of fighting multiple offers. She can caution you about homes that don’t appraise for an unrealistic asking price. Do you really want to bring thousands of extra dollars to the closing table to make up the difference between the appraised price, and an inflated asking price?

Why not look at properties on your own and try to cut a deal with the selling broker?

If you are an experienced buyer, this can be a tempting idea. As a realtor of 11+ years who has ‘seen it all’, here are the caveats:

Because you are trying to take the commission that would normally go to the buying agent, your offer will probably be less than list price. Even if the selling broker explains to the seller that this won’t mean less money for them, many sellers still don’t like the thought of selling for a lower amount. Also, the seller may not look as favorably on your offer, as it will appear less secure than one represented buy a reputable buyer’s agent.

However, the real reason I caution against this route, especially if you are a new or newer buyer, is that no one is looking out for you. The seller’s agent is looking out for the seller’s interests, trying to negotiate the best terms and top dollar for their client. Who is looking out for you, to make sure you’re aware that there are railroad tracks three houses away with a train that goes 23 times a day, or that there’s been a class-action suit against the home builder, or that you’re in a flood plain?

In fact, what is a buying broker going to do for you that you can’t do for yourself?

When you buy a home, it’s natural to feel an emotional attachment. You might ‘fall in love’ with a property or a neighborhood, or see a property that meets your needs in all respects but multiple offers are coming in thick and fast, and you’re unsure whether to up your offer or let this one go. Or, perhaps the inspection uncovers some grim findings, and you’re unsure whether or not to proceed or back out.

A reputable broker isn’t looking for a quick commission, but a lifelong client who trusts them and is happy to refer them. Knowledge of the neighborhood, the current market, and professional resources can help ease the way of this huge decision.

A buying realtor, who has dealt with the above scenarios numerous times, and who has no emotional attachment to the property or neighborhood, can provide you with the information you need to make the decision that is in your best interests.

So, to answer your question, why do I need a realtor? Buying a home is often the biggest investment you’ll make. Use a professional to help make sure it’s a good one!

Link Real Estate Group has been helping homebuyers and home sellers for over a decade. If you’re looking for an experienced, dedicated realtor to help you navigate the challenging Denver real estate market, please get in touch!

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What is a Lease Option, and is it Right for You?

What is a lease option?//

What is a Lease Option, and is it right for you?

A lease option, also known as Lease with the Option to Purchase, is a type of contract between an owner and a tenant, in which the renter has the option of purchasing the property after a certain amount of time.

The Tenant and Landlord sign a lease for the home at a price they agree on, and simultaneously prepare the lease option. In Colorado, an attorney must draw up the lease option addendum, and Colorado-approved real estate forms must be used for the purchase.

Is this a beneficial way to buy or sell property? It certainly can be, as shown below.

Top Five Reasons to Think About Lease Options:

From the Buyer/Tenant’s Perspective:

  1. This may be an alternative to qualifying for a conventional mortgage – you can get into a house now, and not wait for 2-3 years or longer.
  2. A Percentage of your rental payment usually goes towards purchase – you don’t get that with a regular lease.
  3. You will know the house before you buy it – no surprises!
  4. You will need to offer a down payment that is not refundable – be aware that if you can’t buy, you forfeit your down payment.
  5. Seller/Landlord is responsible for all maintenance issues until you buy the home – you usually pay for the utilities.

From the Seller/Landlord’s Perspective:

Offering a lease option to a Buyer/Tenant may be a good move for you – you really can’t lose!

  1. If a Buyer/Tenant pays upfront earnest money and does not exercise the option to buy the house – you get to keep all the down payment.
  2. You keep all the tax benefits and write-offs until the home is sold.
  3. You agree on a selling price when you sign the lease option. If the market goes down, you win, but if the market goes up, you may lose that gain. You do receive rental money each month.  That amount should cover your mortgage costs.
  4. You have a Tenant/Buyer in your home that will take really good care of your home.

A lease option alternative will be more complex than a traditional purchase or property rental, but this may your best real estate alternative.  Let me know how I can help!

Nancy Page Cooper

Link Real Estate