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Benefits of buying with a real estate agent

abode 987096 640Today, there are many websites, like ForSaleByOwner.com that let you list your house for free and avoid paying commission to a realtor. Technology has made it easier than ever to do a lot yourself and many people think this is a good way to sell their home. Does that mean that everyone should do it? Of course not. In fact, for most people, this probably isn’t the best way to go. As tempting as that extra 3% is, there are many advantages to listing with a licensed real estate agent.

As real estate agents are constantly looking at the inventory, they know the neighborhood trends. They can advise you on the best price to list your home, which may not be the price that you first envisioned for your home. Also, they have up to date info on recently sold comparable houses and competing listings.

Your agent is also great to market your home aggressively. They will give you suggestions for staging your home and take professional quality photos to attract potential buyers. Even better, they can vet potential buyers, so that you only have to deal with serious inquiries. This can save you having a multitude of people trooping through your house at all hours.

Should I consider buying a foreclosure?

house 1528960 640In the aftermath of the 2008 recession, many homes were foreclosed on. Even when the economy is stable, foreclosures are an unfortunate fact of life. Sometimes, you can get a significant discount on the typical property price if you are willing to buy a property from a bank. The question is, is it worth it?

So what is a foreclosure property? Foreclosure properties have been seized by the respective bank, or mortgage company due to the current owners defaulting on their mortgage. Because the bank doesn’t really want to own property, it will then sell the property, often below market value of a similar-sized/located home.

A major risk with purchasing foreclosed properties is that they’re sold “as-is”. This can mean that there is damage that you will have to repair. Worse, it could mean that the two-car garage you love is actually on the property line and you need to pay for an encroachment agreement, which can run you thousands of dollars. You will certainly have to pay for your own survey to find out where the property lines actually are.

With that risk in mind, make sure to get a home inspection if it’s at all possible. You don’t want to buy what looks like your dream home, and then find out about the mold that’s going to cost tens of thousands of dollars to remove.

Often foreclosure homes have been neglected and empty for weeks or months, which means that there can be strange smells, stale air, and other undesirable environmental factors. Unfortunately, this can make it a little hard to tell if there’s something wrong with the house or it just needs a good airing out.