You’re getting ready to buy your first home and you’ve been doing tons of research online. Maybe you’ve attended a couple of open houses and you’ve been dreaming about your own future new house. The possibilities are endless and this is an exciting time in your life, but then reality kicks in and the process can be overwhelming! Where should you start? Let us help break it down for you with some of the most commonly asked questions and answers!
Should I hire a real estate agent to help guide me through the process? What about those high fees?
Yes! You should absolutely hire a buyer’s agent when purchasing a home. What most people don’t know is that using a buyer’s agent won’t cost you anything! Agent commissions are paid by the seller at the time of the closing.
What are some other benefits of having a buyer’s agent?
REALTORS® are experts in the industry and are familiar with market trends and local neighborhood data, zoning ordinances etc. Their experience and knowledge is valuable and they handle the logistics to make the process as smooth as possible and less stressful for you! Some other benefits include:
Explanation/navigation through the home buying process
Referrals to recommended lenders, inspectors, title officers, etc.
Finding listings and touring homes with you
Access to local comparable homes and sold data
Writing purchase agreements and negotiating offers
Ensuring terms of deal are met/maintaining schedule to close
Great! That makes sense. So should I just call the agent advertised on the listing to hire them?
You can certainly do that, but it is recommended that you interview and hire your own agent. A buyer’s agent works solely for you and has only your best interest in mind. If you work with the seller’s agent, it’s important to know that this agent was hired by the seller and their first goal is to have the seller’s best interest in mind. It is best to have your own representation.
What are some things I should consider when interviewing potential agents?
Do your homework and interview a few different real estate agents with various brokerages. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be up front about the fact that you’re interviewing other agents before making any decisions. Select the agent that you’re most comfortable working with and has the best knowledge of current market trends in your desired neighborhoods. Once you’ve hired your agent you can start seeing homes and taking steps toward your future!
Where can I find real estate agents to interview?
Your local Association of REALTORS®
Referrals from family and friends
Online search engines
Social Media – ie. Looking for Recommendations on Facebook
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Real estate agents assist clients in buying and selling real estate property. They’re licensed professionals with extensive knowledge of current market and industry trends. They’re experts in negotiation and professionally trained to understand all paperwork and handle any issues that may arise during the sale. Simply stated, they take the stress out of buying or selling your home!
Are there different kinds of real estate agents?
Although all licensed REALTORS® can assist you with both buying and selling, there is a difference in the duties performed depending on if they are working for a buyer (Buyer’s Agent) or seller (Seller’s Agent). It’s highly recommended that you hire a real estate agent that is working exclusively for you and has your best interest in mind.
In some cases an agent may represent both the buyer and seller in a single transaction. In this event, all parties must sign a disclosure which acknowledges the agent is working for both parties.
What is the difference between a Buyer’s Agent and Seller’s Agent?
Buyer’s Agents work exclusively for the buyer with their best interest in mind. They can assist with searching for desired properties, setting up and attending showings with the client, performing market research to ensure that list price is fair and writing up and negotiating offers on behalf of the client.
Seller’s Agents work exclusively for the seller with their best interest in mind. They will do market research to fairly select the list price of the home, recommend improvements that may need to be made in order for the home to sell quickly or at a higher price, market the property to prospective buyers, hold open houses and review offers with the seller.
Why do I want/need a real estate agent to help me?
Purchasing real estate is a big decision and commitment. You definitely want to make sure that you’re getting the best deal possible and paperwork is filed and recorded properly to avoid potential legal issues or hassles later.
What are the fees associate with real estate agents and who pays them?
Most real estate agents are paid on a commission basis. Fees are calculated based on a percentage of the home sale and paid to the agents at the time of closing on the property. The seller pays the commission on the sale and that fee is typically split between the buying and selling agent.
A few real estate brokerages will offer the option of flat fee or “limited services” agreements where the seller can pay a one-time fee for the agent to facilitate specific duties such as reviewing transaction paperwork or listing the property for sale on the local MLS.
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year, especially in Michigan. The slightly cooler temperatures in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (or the “UP” as many refer to it) currently have fall foliage at it’s peak color – but it won’t last long! The Upper Peninsula is one of the most breathtaking places to view a kaleidoscope of reds, oranges, yellows and greens. It offers up prime landscapes for photos and fall color tours due to its less dense population, variations in elevation and the multitude of trees. In 2017, Nikon even declared Michigan to be the best state for fall color photos!
Seen here with colorful fall foliage, Michigan s Tahquamenon Falls is the second largest water fall east of America’s Mississippi River.
Following are some of our favorite destinations to view fall’s beauty in the UP:
With colors at peak in the Upper Peninsula now, mid October is the perfect time of year to embark on a fall color tour. Colors have been exploding in the Lower Peninsula over the last week and will reach it’s peak very soon. Most of our color will be completely gone by Halloween due to rapidly dropping temperatures and windy fall days. So don’t wait too long to hit the road and enjoy the scenery all the way to your destination. Sunny days are generally best for experiencing the full beauty that Michigan has to offer in the autumn.
Want to own your own piece of paradise? You can view current homes for sale: HERE