What is the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
Most states require real estate sales professionals to be licensed by the state, so that they can control education and experience requirements and have a central authority to resolve consumer problems. The terminology used to identify real estate professionals varies a little from state to state. Brokers are generally required to have more education and experience than real estate salespersons or agents. The person you normally deal with is a real estate agent or salesperson. The salesperson is licensed by the state, but must work for a broker. All listings are placed in the broker’s name, not the salesperson’s. A broker can deal directly with home buyers and sellers, or can have a staff of salespersons or agents working for him or her.
Why should I use a real estate salesperson?
A real estate salesperson is more than just a “sales person.” They act on your behalf as your agent, providing you with advice and guidance and doing a job – helping you buy or sell a home. While it is true they get paid for what they do, so do other professions that provide advice, guidance, and have a service to sell –such as Certified Public Accountants and Attorneys
The Internet has opened up a world of information that wasn’t previously available to homebuyers and seller. The data on listings available for sale is almost current – but not quite. There are times when you need the most current information about what has sold or is for sale, and the only way to get that is with an agent.
If you’re selling a home, you gain access to the most buyers by being listed in the Multiple Listing Service. Only a licensed real estate agent who is a member of your local MLS can get you listed there – which then gets you automatically listed on some of the major real estate web sites. If you’re buying or selling a home, the MLS is your agent’s best tool.
However, the role of an agent has changed in the last couple of years. In the past, agents were the only way home buyers and sellers could access information. Now agents are evolving. Because today’s home buyers and sellers are so much better informed than in the past, expertise and ability are becoming more important.
The real estate agent is becoming more of a “guide” than a “salesperson” — your personal representative in buying or selling a home.
I have a family friend who is a Realtor. I like her and she is a help but she gives me one price to sell my home for and I think it is too low. So I called another agent who suggested a price more in line with my expectations. Who do I choose?
You might want to consult a couple more Realtors on the market value of your home. Most of the estimates should be in the same ballpark.
It could be that your friend is being more honest with you about the value of your home and the other Realtor gave you a higher number because he already knew you expected it. This is called “Buying a Listing” and is the subject of an article on our web site.
Or it could simply be that your friend is a good friend, but not that great of a real estate agent.
Mixing business and friendships is always risky to the friendship. On the other hand, if your friend is truly competent and was providing wise advice, she may be offended if you ignore the advice and choose another agent.
I have to make a choice between an updated home in an older neighborhood or a newer home in a more modern neighborhood. The home in the older neighborhood has almost everything I want and is much larger, but which makes the most sense as an investment?
If your goal is to buy a home for it’s resale value and the one you are thinking of buying in the older neighborhood is at the upper end of values for that neighborhood, then it may not be the wisest choice. If it is similar or lower in price to the others, then there should be no problem, because pricing should be considered in relation to the local neighborhood and not compared to homes in other neighborhoods (for the most part)
Plus, is it a neighborhood on the decline, or are others going to be fixing things up, too, so that it is a neighborhood that is improving? It could turn out to be a very good deal as long as you don’t “overpay” because of the recent improvements.
Remember that you also buy a home for it’s value to you as a “home,” and that is something else you should consider. Which neighborhood would you AND your family feel most comfortable in?
When buying a new home, what upgrades should we go for? What holds the most value? Do we upgrade the lot? Pick more square footage in the house? Add an extra bedroom?, etc.
A lot depends on why you are buying the house. Are you buying it mostly as a home or mostly as an investment? There is a difference.
For the most part, upgrades are high-profit items for builders. They aren’t designed to enhance the value of the house, but make you happier with the house you do buy.
If you are looking at your home as an investment, then you buy from the smaller to medium size in the tract and spend only a minimal amount on upgrades. If you are looking at your purchase as a home, then you select upgrades that will enhance your quality of living.
One rule of thumb is to always upgrade the carpet and padding.
What is a vacation rental?
Vacation rentals are freestanding, attached or guest houses, villas, cottages, apartments, condos, and timeshares offered for short term occupancy.
They are largely unregulated. Some rental properties are just one in a large portfolio handled and managed by a leasing company. Other vacation rentals are cared for and rented out by, the owner.
Is it possible to apply for a property that I haven’t viewed?
We prefer for all applicants to either see the property in person or send a trusted 3rd party to view on their behalf.
We understand that you may not have time to view the property. In this case, you could arrange for a friend or family member to view the property on your behalf.
It’s important to see the property instead of only looking at the photos. The photos serve as an approximate representation. Applicants should check whether the property matches their expectations and needs.
How can I visit a property?
Call the number on the listing directly or request the booking through view booking form.
After receiving a request, we’ll quickly organize a property viewing. Our goal is to make sure you’ll find your dream home.
Please note that we are required to provide current tenants at occupied properties at least 24 hours’ notice prior to scheduled showings.
What is your security deposit policy?
Security deposit equals to one month rent and may vary based on credit. You need to pay the full amount before moving in.
Do I need renters insurance?
Yes, all the tenants need to have renters insurance before moving in.
You have to show a renters’ insurance confirmation before getting the keys.
When do you increase the rent?
Rent increases usually happen after the lease term expiration.
Of course, it isn’t always increased. Our analysis accounts for the property owner’s requests and relevant market conditions.
What happens if I can’t pay the rent on time?
Any problems that may affect the potential payment of rent should be notified to the relevant office straight away. You may be charged a fee for late payment of rent.
Can I change the locks?
No, installing new locks on your own would violate the lease agreement terms. It’s possible to install a new lock upon request and approval; this may be a tenant charge depending on the situation.
Can I decorate or make changes to the property?
In most cases, a tenant can only decorate or make changes to the property with the express permission of the landlord. We recommend receiving this permission in writing.
What’s the pet policy?
The pet policy depends on the terms in each specific lease agreement. You must notify our team of any pets before move-in.
When you already have a pet and you want to add an extra one, please call our office first. We will process every request separately depending on the lease terms.
What if I accidentally cause damage to the property?
Don’t worry – accidents happen. Tell whoever is responsible for the property maintenance as soon as possible. You will be expected to cover the cost of putting it right.
Don’t try to ignore or hide damage because it could get worse, and it will only come out of your deposit at the end of the tenancy.