Why do I need a buyers agent?
The benefits of a buyer’s agent are many, the most important of which is representation. We use this analogy often: would you want to use your spouse’s divorce attorney if you were getting a divorce? Of course not. Using the listing agent to represent you on a house is a poor choice as they have the seller’s best interests in mind.
The key is not just having a buyer’s agent, but the correct one. Your buyer’s agent should strive to understand your wishes, match your style and communicate in the way you want to be communicated with. You will be spending a great deal of time with this person so make sure you mesh well at all levels
Isn’t Zillow the same as MLS?
Nope, Zillow is not MLS.
Zillow receives its information from a variety of sources, but it is not the same as MLS. Many differences exist but the major ones revolve around accuracy and timing. There is no guarantee that what you see on Zillow is either a complete list or one whose availability is accurate. Furthermore, the timing between when a home is listed for sale in MLS and when it might appear on Zillow is Nope, Zillow is not MLS.
Serious buyers use MLS for their search.
How do I get access to MLS?
We can give it to you.
MLS has a tool called a Client Portal that allows our buyers to look directly into the system and see the same information that Realtors do in real time. While the public is looking at the Zillow’s and Trulia’s of the world and missing out on houses that are not showing up, our clients get the benefit of perfect information in real time.
When is the height of the condo market? It seems like slim pickings recently…
The biggest issue is that since the market crash of 2008, very few new condos have been built and as demand has increased, there are no longer enough supply to go around. This lack of inventory is not just limited to the condo market. The housing market, especially at affordable prices, is extremely undersupplied as well. The only cure is to be ready to pounce when you see something you like and make your offer easy to accept. We have also had a great deal of luck approaching past clients directly who own condos. We have been able to secure deals that never hit the market using this approach. Using a buyers agent really gives you an edge in this scenario.
What is the explanation for a very low appraisal in a market that is supposed to be “hot”?
The appraisal process is based on looking backwards and in hot markets, it is hard to find comparable sales. We wish there was a better answer. As a seller, one of the keys is to make sure the purchaser is less sensitive to a missed appraisal. If a Buyer A is putting down 25% and Buyer B is putting down 5%, you might be wise to select Buyer A and try to get them to waive part, if not all, of any appraisal contingency. Similarly, as a buyer, don’t get in bidding wars if you are a Max FHA buyer. You will cost yourself inspection and appraisal fees, as well as time, and likely miss out on other opportunities. The lack of inventory is driving pricing up but unfortunately, sometimes the rising prices outpace the appraiser’s ability to find the supporting sales. With anything, preparation is key. Knowing when an appraisal is likely to come in low allows you to put contingency plans in place to handle it if/when it happens.