Archive for October 2016

6 Quick Tips for Interviewing Realtors

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6 Quick Tips for Interviewing Realtors

 

class-harlan-interview-a-your-realtorWhen it comes time to buy or sell a home, it is in your best interest to make sure that the realtor representing you is the best person for the job. Each realtor has different sets of expertise, resources and techniques that can make a significant impact on the success of your sale or purchase. For instance, some realtors specialize in commercial real estate or specialize in very specific communities. Others might excel at representing first time home buyers or folks in specific budget ranges.

Interviewing a realtor is a great way to get to know the folks in your area and ensure that you work with the absolute best person for you and your needs. You will be working very closely with this person for a couple months so a good working relationship is critical to your success. At the end of the day, an agent is guiding you through a very important process for you and your family and you shouldn’t settle for anything less than your exact needs in a realtor.

We’ve compiled a few tips to help you with the interview process.

Research the Top Producers

It’s not hard to figure out who the most active and successful agents are in your area. They may not be your best fit but there is a reason for their success. They may have invaluable knowledge of your area or are able to truly hone in on their buyers or sellers wishes and consistently deliver. Why not?

Ask Them about Their Background and Track Record

Knowing how long an agent has been in business or where they are from are excellent questions to ask. An agent that has been active for many years will have experience on their side and if they have roots in your target area, they will have a much more intimate knowledge of their surrounding areas, schools, businesses, etc.

Sales success is worth asking about as well. You can ask an agent how many homes they’ve sold or listed in prior years and what their workload is for the current year and during the time they would be your representative.

Similarly, not all agents are full time and may only be partially available or need to lean on other agents in their agency to help with open houses and walk-throughs, etc. Ask them how many hours they work per week.

This is all important information and can give you insight into how dedicated or accessible that agent can reasonably be to you.

How Do They Work Their Magic?

finding-the-right-realtor-class-harlan-interviewNot all agents sell a home the same way. Some use traditional resources such as print advertising or perhaps radio and others use social media and online networks to show off homes. If your current or target community has organized social tools like interest based pages or business networking forums, this is a great resource if the agent is able to leverage it.

Ask About Their Agency

Knowing who they work for is just as important. If they work for a large national agency they may not have the intimate knowledge of the area that you require. An agency may have specializations just the same as agents may specialize. For instance, some agencies specialize is specific budget ranges, older/historic homes or commercial properties. As you work through the process of buying or selling a home, many agencies have excellent resources available such as trusted inspection companies, title agencies and contractors that can help you make informed decisions. Working with an agent with the right agency can help when it comes to finding the right team of people to help you through a transaction/closing.

References

References are very valuable and can help you to gauge an agent’s skill through the past experiences others. If an agent cannot offer a referral or positive testimonial, you may want to consider someone with a better track record or with more experience.

Do Your Own Homework

There are so many resources online that there is no excuse for doing your own investigating. Research your agent and their agency. Most will have a website, a bio and/or a social media accounts to follow. Some might have a blog. See what they are posting, read reviews and see how they represent their other clients online. These are all fantastic ways to gather information and to understand an agent before any interview. Hopefully, the information you found out on your own matches what is out there on the internet. If it isn’t, ask them about it.

Class-Harlan Real Estate is the premier agency for the Bucks County and Montgomery County areas. With decades of experience and some of the most knowledgeable and passionate agents in the area, our boutique agency can offer the perfect agent for your exact needs. You can meet our team here or contact us today to make an appointment.

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Settlement Day: A Guide for the Big Day

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Settlement Day: A Guide for the Big Day

best-realtor-bucks-county-settlement-table Settlement is the day when the actual purchase/sale of a property is conveyed from Seller to Buyer. By the time the settlement day is scheduled, offers have been accepted, inspections have been carried out, negotiations have been finalized, financing approved and much of the legal aspects of the sale, such as offer and contract reviews and title searches have already been completed. Now it’s time to get the keys!

While agents, lenders and lawyers are busy working on their respective duties, there are several things you can focus on to prepare for settlement.

Triple Check Finances

Make sure that your accounts are prepared for settlement and the various payments that may still be expected at this point in the process, such as legal fees and down payments are handled. Most of this should be organized at this point with your bank/lender (if one is being used,) but check to make sure that everything will clear and that there are no hang-ups at the closing table. Your lender and real estate professional will guide you through this process.

Time to Move

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the process of buying a home. So much so that folks can lose sight of the fact that you should be prepared to move. Once the settlement closes, the seller no longer owns that home and it’s your to live in and care for.

A walk through of the home is almost always performed by the buyers and their agent within 24 hours of the closing. This is an opportunity to ensure that nothing drastic has changed and that the house is being transferred to you according to the terms of the sale. For example, you can check that appliances are in working order if they are included, that there isn’t two feet of water in the basement, etc. If the house is not ready for you to occupy it, a settlement will likely not take place.

Utilities

About a week prior to closing on your home, make sure you contact all utility companies to make sure all utilities are changed over into your name effective the beginning of the day of Settlement. Call the power company, internet/phone company and garbage disposal. If you have natural gas or oil, it would be wise to shop around and make sure you have an account with your energy provider.

Security

It would be wise to schedule a locksmith to have the locks changed the day of the settlement. People share and distribute copies of keys to friends, neighbors, etc., and knowing what keys provide access to your home and who has them is great peace of mind. If the home already has a security system in place, you should have your own account created soon with the provider and have the numbers changed ASAP.

Mail and Other Notifications

real-estate-settlement-doylestown-class-harlanMake sure that your mail is being forwarded from your old location and that you claim the address with your post office. Some leave a form in your mailbox asking for your information. Fill out the information ASAP to prevent hang ups with the postal service.

If this will be your primary residence, make sure that your billing information and other account information for various banking, shopping and any other appropriate accounts are changed.

Don’t forget about any vehicles you own and other forms of identification you might carry. They may need to be updated as well.

Lastly, you may want to inform family and friends of your address change as well. You don’t want Aunt Edna’s Christmas card to get lost in the mail!

The agents at Class-Harlan Real Estate will help you get ready for settlement and ensure that your closing day goes off without a hitch. They are also a great resource to help identify what utilities, services and other important updates regarding your new address will require your attention. No one knows Bucks County better than us! Give us a call today!

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