Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring
Real estate is stressful. Between setting up your home for showings, trying to figure out where you’re going to make compromises, and making a gigantic life change, you’re overwhelmed. When selecting an agent it’s important to recognize not all real estate agents are created equal.
Whether you’re buying or selling your home, you want a real estate agent you trust. You want someone who understands the market and is experienced at negotiating. You want a partner who can reduce your stress.
There’s tons of conflicting information about the types of real estate agents out there. How do you pick one? Should you go with a real estate broker, a Realtor®, or a real estate agent? What are a real estate agency’s responsibilities?
What’s the difference?
Real estate agent vs. real estate broker
Most states differentiate between two types of professionals– agent and broker. A real estate broker runs a real estate agency and must pass an exam and be licensed to be a broker, while a real estate agent must pass an exam and be licensed to sell property.
The real estate broker is the leading person in a real estate firm. They man the whole operation. They’ve taken coursework to ensure they can manage a real estate firm. This person takes responsibility for all of the real estate agents she employs. Brokers must have a particular license, and some licensed brokers choose to work in someone else’s firm. In this case, they’re usually called an associate broker.
The real estate agent has met their state’s requirements for getting a license to sell property. An agent usually works under a broker, and are sometimes called subagents, real estate salespeople, or sales agents. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 151,700 employed real estate sales agents in the United States in 2015.
When it comes to buying or selling a home, you’ll probably work with a real estate agent who works for a real estate agency led by a broker. The real estate agent is the person you’ll work with most directly. They’ll be on call to help you through any questions. This hopefully helps to show how not all real estate agents are created equal.
But what’s a Realtor®, and do I need one?
A Realtor® is a real estate agent who is part of the National Association of Realtors, which has a certain standard of ethics and moral codes to follow. These rules have a reputation for being strict. Many real estate agents and brokers are Realtors®, and they’ll proudly display this information on their business cards.
Realtors® have access to inventory that real estate agents don’t, particularly through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which gives them greater access to homes on the market. If you work with a Realtor®, you’ll have access to more homes. Just like not all real estate agents are created equal, the same goes for Realtors®.
Other types of real estate agents and terms to know
Seller’s agent or Listing agent
When you sell your home, you’ll need to find a sellers agent.
The seller’s agent is the real estate professional who represents the person selling the property. This person will act as the manager of your house sale. Think of them like the project manager. They talk fast, act fast, and get stuff done.
The seller’s agent will work with the buyer’s agent to come to a final price for the property. Get the property sold and you enter into a brokerage agreement with your agent and their firm. This agreement ensures they will represent your interests as a seller.
When you’re buying a home, you want a buyer’s agent to help you out.
Consider the buyer’s agent your first mate, willing to do the heavy lifting, negotiate on your behalf, and rally the crew to find the perfect house.
Real estate agents are often both buyer’s and seller’s agents. The only real difference between the two is that buyer’s agents work for the house hunter. They’ll typically take you around town, show off houses they think you’ll like, and manage the process from negotiating the offer to closing the deal.
A designated agency began because of conflicts of interest with dual agencies. A designated agency is when a real estate firm has a designated individual agent to represent only the interests of the seller, and another designated agent to represent the interests of the buyer. This gives both the buyer and the seller more personalized representation.
A dual agency is when a buyer is represented by the same firm that has the listing. It’s also called a dual agency when the same real estate agent represents both the buyer and the seller.
Imagine playing a game of blackjack as both the dealer and a player. There are a handful of potential benefits of using a dual agent as a seller but its not a recommended best practice.
Potential Benefits of Using a Dual Agent:
- Streamline the transaction. After all, negotiating with yourself is so much easier.
- The agent might have more information about the property than an agent working strictly from the buyer’s side.
- Dual agents will occasionally take a reduced commission since they’re working both sides.
- Buyer’s tend to have more purchasing power because the agent knows everything about the seller.
- Communication between buyer and seller gets a little easier since there’s only one primary point of contact.
Minor benefits aside, some states have tried to outlaw the practice by citing a conflict of interest. Unfortunately, every state in the US leaves some sort of opening for real estate agents to “double dip.” The good news is that where the practice is legal, most states require the real estate agent to disclose the conflict of interest.
Here’s where the issue gets a little murky. The right real estate agent can get you in or out of a home smoothly. A bad one can bring on substantial headaches that cost you time and money.How to Work with Any Type of Real Estate Agent
Here’s how to ensure you get the best results, regardless of the type of real estate agent you’re working with:
Be clear about what you want
Even the best real estate agents depend on their clients to be honest and upfront about their needs. If you disagree with a real estate agent’s opinion, it’s important that you voice your position. Explaining your stance is essential– whether you’re buying or selling. Remember not all real estate agents are created equal and therefore most will listen to your needs.
Consider client reviews but don’t rely on them
While sales data is arguably the most objective way to compare real estate agents, its not necessarily the end all be all. Ask each agent for a few references from a few of their previous contacts, read up on a decent sample set of online reviews posted on their various agent profiles, and do everything you can to make sure their a good personality fit. To see Shawn’s reviews, Click Here.
You want to work with a real estate agent who has significant experience in your neighborhood. If you’re selling, your agent will have up to date data on how hot the market is. If you’re buying, your agent will help you make decent offers. No matter what, choose a real estate agent with experience where you are.
Choose the right type of real estate agent
Some real estate agents may claim that they specialize in both buying and selling. But the best really stick to one lane or the other. Again this speaks to the fact that not all real estate agents are created equal.
The bottom line is that you can’t just pick any old Seller’s or Buyer’s agent out of the phone book. There are tangible differences between one type of real estate agent and another. Don’t leave one of the biggest financial decisions of your life to the first agent that comes along.
Carefully consider the pros and cons of using an agent who specializes in sales, purchases, or both, weigh they’ve done historically in your area and how they’ve worked with other clients in the past. Then, after all of that research, go with someone you’re comfortable working with for at least a month.
If shopping the Colorado real estate market, give Shawn Manwaring a call at Roaring Fork Sotheby’s in Glenwood Springs.
Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring
Using a Realtor when buying and selling property is an investment. You’re going to pay them a commission, and statistics show you’re going to see a great return on your investment. It’s also a great way to avoid being sued. Hopefully this helps your decision when you ask Should I use a Realtor when Buying or Selling Property?
Some people don’t want to use a Realtor when buying and selling homes. Usually this is because they want to try and save on the commission normally paid to an agent. Craig Newmark the founder of Craigslist, as well as, Al Bennati, owner of buyowner.com both use agents to buy and sell homes. Keep in mind these are great business people with access to the best resources for selling homes without a Realtor, and they still use an Agent. This is because real estate agents save you money.
If you’re buying a home than you’re NOT paying an Agent’s commission, the seller is. Why wouldn’t you want a professional on your team for free?
A few of the common questions that will be answered within this article include:
- Why Should I use a Realtor?
- Should I use a Realtor to build a house?
- Should I use a Real Estate Agent when buying a home?
- Should I use a Realtor to sell my house?
- Should I use a Realtor for new construction?
- What are the benefits of using a Realtor to sell your home?
- How do I Find a Real Estate Agent?
What Role does a Realtor Play when Buying and Selling Homes?
If you spent the day in the life of a Real Estate Agent you’d have a better understanding of just how vital the role they plan in a real estate transaction is. A Realtor is your team’s Quarterback. They are responsible for knowing the ‘plays’ and where everyone is on the field. From home inspectors, to lenders, attorneys, title companies, etc. your Realtor will be the one driving the transaction forward and relaying information to all necessary parties throughout.
Expert Real Estate Guidance
Whether you’re buying or selling a home, having a top local Real Estate Agent assist you with the transaction is going to be one of the best decisions you make. If you’re buying a home, they will guide you through every step and if you’re selling your house, they will implement the best marketing strategies so that your home sells fast for the amount you want. Regardless if you are buying or selling, expert guidance along the way is something only a realtor can provide.
By way of nature, humans are emotional creatures and more often than not we are driven to make decisions based on our emotions. Especially when it’s something we are emotionally invested in and care a lot about. Negotiating is a game of give and take and it’s easy to become upset during this stage – when you’re working with a Realtor you have a buffer, and they understand the goal of negotiations is to see if there is a win-win scenario for both buyer and seller. This is more ammunition to answer the question Should I use a Realtor when Buying or Selling Property?
Net 25% more Money using a Realtor
Here are stats from NAR (National Association of Realtors) that reflect working without a Realtor:
90% of For Sale By Owner’s Fail
It’s not as easy to sell your home for sale by owner as it was in the days before the internet. Before the internet selling your home for sale by owner was easier because shopping homes for sale was not convenient for buyers. Today, people can search homes for sale with ease. In a few seconds you can view every home for sale in Glenwood Springs, giving buyers many more homes to choose from, from the convenience of their living room, or anywhere in the world thanks to their mobile device.If your home isn’t being seen it may as well not be for sale. Without a Realtor your house is not being listed on the MLS and it is not being syndicated to tens of thousands of real estate websites around the world.
88% of Buyers use Realtors
Would you rather be be the first person or the last person to know about a home for sale in a highly sought after neighborhood? When you’re buying a house you’re competing against other buyers. Chances are 9 out of every 10 buyers you’re competing against is working with a Realtor who is (if their MLS allows) instantly notifying their clients the second a property comes on to the market. So not working with a Realtor will put you at a significant disadvantage when buying a house. When it comes time to make an offer on this house, and there are three others next to yours all with Realtors, which offer do you think the sellers are likely to accept? Deals are far more likely to go south when there is no buffer for both sides, so it makes sense the sellers would want to take the offer that is most likely to reach the finish line.
Your Emotional Rock
Unless you’re been in a real estate transaction before, you probably don’t understand just how common it is to become overly emotional and make bad decisions based on your emotional state. This is one of the home buyer mistakes we see most often. Too often a buyer misses on a house with multiple offers and settles for the next property they see, even if it isn’t one they want! This is because they become emotional after missing on a house, and this causes the buyer ‘pain.’ Your body has a self defense mechanism to protect you from these types of feelings, and naturally, you want to feel better. So you draw the conclusion that buying anything will make you happier than being patient. The same logic applies to selling a home without a Realtor.
Chances are you are not buying and selling homes every day, or constantly surrounded by real estate lingo, questions and different scenarios. This is where your Realtor comes in. When buying a home there are certain things that need to happen in order for you to reach your goals. You’re going to want to ensure you receive the best possible deal from your mortgage lender so make sure you talk to at least three, and let them all compete against one another. I’ve had clients go from a 4.0% interest rate to 3.5% simply because they let them compete vs. one another. After hearing this can you should feel more comfortable answering the question Should I use a Realtor when Buying or Selling Property?
Keep You Protected
With hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake you’re not going to want to make any mistakes when buying or selling real estate. Buying and Selling with a Realtor decreases the chances of any mistakes significantly, especially since there are so many checks and balances in place for Agents and firms. If there is even the slightest thing wrong with the paperwork the firm will request that it be fixed. This is going to protect you big time in your transaction.
After reading this article hopefully you are well equipped to answer the million dollar real estate question of: Should I use a Realtor when Buying or Selling Property?
When you make you decision and say “YES!” contact me and I am glad to help:
Shawn Manwaring, Broker Associate
Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring
No matter what the market happens to be doing right now, understand that you can sell your home if you want to or need to. You can sell it, and you can sell it for a price comparable to other similar homes – as long as you work with the right agent and you listen to his or her advice on how to sell a home for the first time.
6 Best Tips For First Time Home Sellers
Pick The Right Realtor
While it is possible to sell your home without the help of a professional, doing so is not recommended. There is too much at stake in a home sale, and too many things that can go wrong. A good agent will handle all the details and help you understand your options – specific to your area. You can read all the information you want about real estate sales, but you will still not have the connections or experience to market your home effectively and to avoid making costly mistakes.
Interview several Realtors before deciding on the best one. The person you choose will be responsible for how your sale goes, so it is worth your time to look around and be demanding. There are plenty of real estate agents out there, but not all of them are necessarily great. Do your homework and choose someone that can help you accomplish your sales goals.
When selling your home you should be working with an agent that possesses outstanding marketing skills. This is one of the vital traits to look for in a great listing agent. Over 90 percent of all buyers find their home online so you want an agent who has the skills and drive to make your home standout. Outstanding photography, detailed listing descriptions and providing video tours are all part of a top producing agents marketing arsenal. There are lots of real estate agents who do none of these things but if you find the right one they will explain how to sell a home for the first time in great detail.
Price Your Home Appropriately
Picking the right real estate agent and the right price go hand in hand. Everyone wants to sell for the highest possible price. But be careful, because pricing a home too high will repel buyers. If your home stays on the market long enough, it could develop a stigma and be seen as undesirable by most buyers. It is not enough to look at your neighbors house to see what they are selling for.
Your neighbors home may or may not be priced correctly. Always look at similar closed sales as a basis for establishing the right asking price. Ask your realtor to prepare a CMA (Comparable Market Analysis).
Correcting the price a month or two later is not going to fix the problem, either. By that point you can expect to be low-balled whatever price you set. Talk with your Realtor and try to price the home appropriately to the market you are in. If you have a real estate agent you trust, you definitely want to price the home at the point recommended by the professional you are working with.
Spend Time Getting The Home Ready
One of the biggest mistakes numerous sellers make is not being completely ready to put their home on the market. Remember you are in competition with a lot of other sellers who are trying to accomplish the same thing. It stands to reason you need to keep up with the Jones-es when it comes to selling a home! What exactly does this mean? Start with these things:
Exterior Home Improvements
- Ensure your curb appeal is exceptional.
- Make any necessary repairs to any blatant defects like rotted siding or trim.
- Keep decks, patio’s and walk-ways clean and tidy.
- Freshen up the landscaping by planting some flowers with color, pulling any weeds and adding some fresh mulch to beds.
- Seal coat the driveway if necessary.
Interior Home Improvements:
- Thoroughly clean the home from top to bottom.
- Remove pet or smoking odors.
- Paint any rooms that need a fresh or neutral coat of paint.
- Add brighter light bulbs in darker areas of the home.
- Replace stained or worn carpeting.
- Re-finish hardwood floors.
It is understood that there are times when an owner has no money to do some of things mentioned above like replacing carpeting or re-finishing hardwood floors. If you have the funds, however, you will get a great return on your investment as these things can change the whole complexion of a home.
Be Ready to Move if You Get an Offer
When someone makes an offer on your home and you accept it, you will need to be ready to move quickly to finalize your relocation and get all your things out of your home. Sometimes it can feel like you have a good deal of time, especially if you have not gotten any offers. But once the paperwork is signed, you will need to get into gear and take care of all of your business as quickly as you can. Know where you are going to go before the sale closes. Moving is a time consuming and tiresome process all on its own. If you have done your homework on how to sell a home for the first time than you will be prepared for it.
Understand What The Costs Will Be For Closing The Sale
There can be a lot of extra costs associated with selling a home that you may be expected to take care of as the seller. You are also going to need to pay the commission to your real estate agent once the house sells. First, understand that many of these costs, including the commission, can be negotiated. The perfect example of this is when you are selling your home and turning around and buying another with the same agent. Real Estate agents love these kind of transactions!
A business savvy agent is not going to turn down the opportunity to make two sales. An agent that is closed minded and says no to any kind of negotiation might not be the best bet to work with. It is in your best interests to seek a fair deal, so don’t be afraid to seek a middle ground between the offer that is presented to you and what you actually think is fair to pay. After learning these costs you will be more prepared on how to sell a home for the first time.
Know Your Local Market
Local real estate markets are unique, which means that what works in one market may not work in another market. Just because you see a home like yours the next town over that is selling for a certain price does not mean that your home will sell for a similar price. There are so many factors that go into real estate markets that it takes quite a bit of training and experience working in each market to have a clear understanding of what to expect. Your real estate agent should be an expert on your local market and how to sell a home for the first time.
Selling a home is not rocket science but it is easy to make mistakes when you are not completely educated on the process. By following the above tips for selling a home for the first time, you will increase your odds for an enjoyable and profitable sale. When you are ready to sell, contact me:
Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring
There is much to consider in order to receive the best value from your choice of real estate broker. The seller pays the real estate commission (REC) on about 99% of all residential transactions. Conversely when the buyer purchases the home, they are providing funds to the seller which are used to pay off any liens, cover all closing costs (including the REC), and then walk away with their equity and potential profit. That is the long and short of it to a real estate transaction. When you find yourself in this position it’s important to ask yourself are you getting what you pay for?
Typically, professionals in the real estate industry work on a commission basis, meaning it is only when they are successful in assisting the buyer and seller in reaching the closing table that they receive compensation for their efforts. As a buyer’s agent it doesn’t matter if they showed 3 homes or 103 homes or if they submitted 1 offer or if it took 21 offers before successfully placing a home under contract. And for the seller’s agent, it will not matter if the home sells in 2 days or if it takes over a year to sell. Just because a seller accepts an offer, it does not mean the transaction automatically will see the closing table. Nearly 30% of all homes that go under contract (an accepted offer), will fall through and then be re-entered as back on the market, losing the momentum of being “new” to the market. It may be more of a seller’s market today but once a property is under contract, much of the conditions of that contract favor or shift to the buyer. With that being said, are you getting what you paid for?
Why are contracts falling apart before closing? There are 4 primary reasons (or contingencies) in a contract that allows a buyer to diligently investigate and protect their interest.
- Financing – It has become imperative to get pre-approved for a mortgage suited to these needs and prior to making an offer. The contract should protect against the buyers being denied the loan or against unsatisfactory loan terms
- Appraisal – The contract is likely contingent upon the appraisal value being consistent with the contract price.
- Inspection – The buyer should have the right to any inspection(s) they desire to get comfortable with the condition of the home. This contingency can be the most challenging for both parties. The inspector is hired to discover defects that may adversely affect the function or safety of the home (not aesthetically). Most homes are not perfect. This typically sets the stage for both parties to agree on a repair, replacement, or a credit to address any issues.
- YOUR REALTOR – The above contingencies get all the attention, however the realtors in the transaction can make or break almost any deal. From submitting the offer itself, to communicating with the other broker (listing or selling), to meeting almost 30 contract dates & deadlines, to working with lenders and title professionals. Realtors are also generally responsible for helping to orchestrate the transaction and managing an array of expectations to arrive at a successful closing.
Experience does matter. Excellent communication between all parties can be crucial. Creating appropriate expectations can only help you move forward with confidence and cushion you from disappointment or unnecessary anxiety. Not everyone with a real estate license is good at this! Whether you are a buyer or seller, I suggest talking to two or three people, or until you are satisfied that you have found the best people to represent your interests. Of course I am partial and would say contact Shawn Manwaring if you are in the Colorado real estate market but I will let you make that decision. Regardless you still need to ask yourself the ultimate question of: are you getting what you pay for?
A few good suggestions to find the right realtor:
- Retain a realtor who places a high value on your relationship by taking the time to understand your real estate needs and interests
- Select a realtor who views being in real estate as a career…not a job. Their knowledge of market conditions may depend on if they are invested long term vs. short term (i.e. not in it to make a quick sale)
- Shift your focus from mere cost to who can provide the best result. Who can procure you the best net amount as a seller? And who do you believe will represent you and produce an optimal outcome? It is probably not the one who easily discounts their own commission. A true professional will know how to earn you the most money and at the same time be able to avert unnecessary problems. Who do you believe can market and bring the highest level of qualified buyers through your home? That alone is likely to yield the best price for your home.
A respected designer once explained what I consider to be a very interesting consumer dynamic. She said there are 3 elements to almost any vendor or contractor. There is service, quality and price. You can almost always get two of those components, and almost never get all three. However, in the real estate industry, if you substitute value for price…you can have it all and finally answer the question accurately of are you getting what you pay for?
When you are in the real estate market of Colorado and you need a realtor on your side, contact Shawn Manwaring:
Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring
Whether you are buying or selling a home, it can be quite an adventurous experience. For the best results, you need an Real Estate Professional to lead you to your ultimate goal. In this world of instant gratification and internet searches, many sellers think that they can For Sale by Owner or FSBO. The 5 reasons to hire a Real Estate Professional in your corner haven’t changed, but have rather been strengthened due to the projections of higher mortgage interest rates & home prices as the market continues to recover in many parts of the country.
1. What do you do with all this paperwork?
Each state has different regulations regarding the contracts required for a successful sale. These regulations are constantly changing. A true Real Estate Professional is an expert in their market and can guide you through the stacks of paperwork necessary to make your dream a reality. All real estate professionals are not Realtors either. A realtor subscribes to a strict code of ethics and continuing education. Realtors also become part of the largest trade organization in the world known as The National Association of Realtors.
2. Ok, so you found your dream house, now what?
According to the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association, there are over 230 possible actions that need to take place during every successful real estate transaction. Don’t you want someone who has been there before, someone who knows what these actions are, to make sure that you acquire your dream? As hard as you might try, emotions always play a piece in this as well and that is also why we advise to have a realtor on your side.
3. Are you a good negotiator?
So maybe you’re not convinced that you need an agent to sell your home. However, after looking at the list of parties that you need to be prepared to negotiate with, you’ll realize the value in selecting a Real Estate Professional and the reasons to hire a real estate professional will really start to emerge. From the buyer (who wants the best deal possible) to the home inspection companies, to the appraiser, there are at least 11 different people that you will have to be knowledgeable with and answer to, during the process.
4. What is the home you’re buying/selling really worth?
It is important for your home to be priced correctly from the start to attract the right buyers and shorten the time that it’s on the market. You need someone who is not emotionally connected to your home to give you the truth as to your home’s value. According to the National Association of REALTORS, “the typical FSBO home sold for $208,700 compared to $235,000 among agent-assisted home sales.” Don’t let the commission fool you, realtors will bring you the most money for your property! Get the most out of your transaction by hiring a professional.
5. Do you know what’s really going on in the market?
There is so much information out there on the news and the internet about home sales, prices, and mortgage rates; how do you know what’s going on specifically in your area? Who do you turn to in order to competitively price your home correctly at the beginning of the selling process? How do you know what to offer on your dream home without paying too much, or offending the seller with a low-ball offer?
Dave Ramsey, the financial guru, advises:
“When getting help with money, whether it’s insurance, real estate or investments, you should always look for someone with the heart of a teacher, not the heart of a salesman.”
Hiring an agent who has their finger on the pulse of the market will make your buying/selling experience an educated one. You need someone who is going to tell you the truth, not just what they think you want to hear.
You wouldn’t replace the engine in your car without a trusted mechanic. Why would you make one of the most important financial decisions of your life without hiring a Real Estate Professional? We have supplied many Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Professional and when your search brings you to Colorado be sure to contact our author and realtor himself:
Posted on September 26, 2018 by shawn_manwaring
Choosing Your Colorado Realtor
Choosing Your Colorado Realtor can be a really hard decision. The time has finally arrived and you are ready to make the largest investment of your life. You have saved money for years to cover the downpayment, you have shopped lenders for months and got pre-qualification taken care of and now you are actively looking to find your dream home in Colorado.
This is typically the part of the real estate sales process where buyers turn to online aggregate sites and call whatever realtor appears on the banner ad of the site they are on. This is a HUGE mistake and one that every buyer should avoid. Are you looking for the realtor who spends the most on marketing themselves through 3rd party sites or are you looking for the realtor who is going to pay special attention to your needs and listen closely throughout the entire process to make sure your expectations are not simply meet, but completely exceeded?
If you are like me, you want the ladder. Stemming from a customer service background, I not only brings the highly sought after skill set of a realtor to the table but also prides myself on paying special attention to my clients needs to make sure I am working for them exactly how they want through the home buying or home selling process. If you or someone you know are looking for real estate in Glenwood Springs or the surrounding areas of the Roaring Fork Valley, be sure to give Shawn a call and see what he can do for you. From Aspen to Basalt to Carbondale to Glenwood and down valley to New Castle, Rifle and Silt, Shawn covers it all!
Shawn can be reached at 970.389.6069 or Manwaring.RealEstate@gmail.com.
Happy Home Buying and I look forward to hearing from you!