The real estate industry is a truly vast one in the United States today, and tens of millions of Americans are homeowners. But what about when someone is looking to purchase or sell such a large piece of property? Even experienced, older adults may need some help with all the paperwork and finances, and they can rely on real estate agents and real estate lawyers to make the process faster, smoother, and fair. A real estate company may send an agent who can help either a home buyer or home seller, and the same may be true for finding investment properties as well. When a home buyer hires a real estate agent to help them, how can they find the best property within the client’s budget? And what about the other side of the equation, when a home seller needs a real estate agent to get the best possible deal for their property?
Buying a House
This is a deep topic all on its own, but some basic concepts can be considered. A home buyer will have a budget in mind, but they do not want to get ripped off when they make a purchase. To avoid homes that are improperly priced, a buyer may hire a real estate agent, who will use CMA software to find ideal properties nearby. CMA is “comparative market analysis,” and this compares the prices of many similar properties within an area to determine a “typical” price for such a property. The buyer may ask for properties currently on the market and/or recently sold houses to be factored in, and this allows the buyer to determine what a fair price for a house should be.
Of course, location also matters, as a buyer may want a property with certain features nearby such as schools, offices, entertainment, a park, a hospital, or even a highway. This may also impact the price, however. On top of that, the home buyer should visit a property in person before committing to anything, since a tour will allow them to “get a feel” for a house and also look for defects that won’t described on realtor websites. The buyer may check for drafty windows or doors, termite damage, water damage in the drywall, faulty electrical sockets, leaking plumbing, dirty or damaged air conditioning systems, or any other such factors. A newly built home may not have maintenance issues, but the buyer may still want to visit in person to get a feel for it.
Real estate lawyers can help the buyer handle the paperwork and finances of buying a house, and make this process faster and smoother. That lawyer may also help out if the previous owner does something dishonest, such as attempt to claim that house as their own for tax reasons.
Selling a Property
A home seller has just as much use for a real estate agent as a buyer does. The seller needs to set a fair and sensible price for their property, since a too-high price won’t attract buyers and a too-low price means a major loss when the property is sold. So, home sellers may consult a real estate agent and their CMA reports so that they can create a fair price for their property based on similar properties in the area. A house’s price may be affected by its age and condition, its proximity to desirable features, the number of rooms, and even the exterior and landscaping to attract home buyers.
Home sellers may be advised to invest in that house so they can sell it faster and for a better price. This may involve hiring crews to repair the roof, update the siding, or even replace shabby old windows and doors. Landscapers can make the front and back lawns more attractive, and interior remodelers can refresh any or all rooms inside. Often, the kitchen and bathroom in particular are remodeled like this, and such rooms may greatly impress buyers. This results in a high ROI for each room, or “return on investment.” Remodeling the bathroom or kitchen may generate an ROI as high as 70-80% or so, and investing 5% of the property’s value in landscaping may generate a ROI of 150% or so.