Saturday, 1/24 /15, from 11am-2pm
Vancouver YMCA, conference room
11324 NE 51st Circle, Vancouver WA (This class is full)
Saturday, 2/7 /15, from 9am-12pm
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)
Tuesday, 2/10 /15, from 5pm-8pm
Marshall Community Center, upstairs conference room
1009 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver Wa (kitty corner from Clark College)
...if these dates/times don't work for you, we have others. Check out the website for more class dates, times, and locations. PLEASE always check the web site www.freehomebuyerclasses.com for any changes regarding the classes!
Remember...with reservation...we will throw in lunch, or dinner! :-)
Happy Playoff day! ...or ok, for some of you who don't watch/follow football....Happy rainy Sunday. :-) I want to get this off today before the games start, so I will try to be quick!
On Thursday night we had a great class of people for the home buyer education class. It was a larger class (about 10 people), and while some people don't think that is a big class, for this type of information, it really is. In the classes there is a LOT to cover, but most importantly we want to answer questions....and there is no such as a stupid question in lending or real estate....there really isn't. In real estate, and lending, it is all about verbiage, and a lot of that verbiage is misleading to the public who doesn't understand what is really being said....and what isn't being said. With the bigger classes, we have a hard time covering everything, but will cover the important things, and most importantly, your questions. As always, we are available for questions even AFTER the classes....feel free to call, email, text, or facebook either Chris Berg, or me anytime. We are here to help...always!
I was recently asked about negotiating agent commissions. I was fairly confused since this was being asked by a buyer. This was confusing to me because as a buyers agent, I have no charge. You can't negotiate free....well, I guess you can, but that isn't going to help you since free is pretty much the best price you can get. Yes, the buyer can hire a realtor AT NO CHARGE! All buyers agents should be at NO CHARGE to the buyer.
So, I went to the website that these clients were telling me about, and while some of the information was good, about half of the information on the website was incorrect for our area. Each state has different rules and regulations. This is why a lot of what you see on HGTV is invalid for our area. So what else from that website was incorrect for our area? This was a big one....that particular website was advising people to look at homes up to 20% more than what they were approved for. I do NOT advise this...in fact, I discourage it. Our market is very much a sellers market. Homes are selling for 97% of the listing price average in our area. Some price ranges are busier than others, of course, so are some neighborhoods. I have some awesome clients who have worked very hard to be ready to buy a home. They took the home buyer education class a couple of years ago, and are ready now. I am so excited to help them find a home! :-) They sent me a list of 8 homes they liked, and within 5 days, six of those homes are pending sale. Don't look at homes that are more than you can afford. This is a sure way to get discouraged. I (or any buyers agent), should want to help you find a home you can afford and be happy in. I can't stress it enough... Don't look at homes that are more than you can afford. Be realistic.... on that note....let's talk about the THREE types of real estate agency. This week I am going to go over what a buyers agent does, and next week I will talk about a Sellers Agent, and a Dual Agent.
This is the agent who works for the buyer. A buyer's agent is hired by the buyers to assist them with their purchase, and the steps to closing. A buyer's agent will ask the buyer's what the top 3 items the buyer is looking for in a home....area/school district, bedrooms, bathrooms, garage, yard, etc, what price range the buyer is looking to stay in, and they will ask the buyers who their lender is and if they are pre-approved already. The buyer's agent will contact the lender and inquire as to what type of loan the buyers have, and how much the buyers will need in closing costs. This is important for the buyer's agent as the type of loan you are on will really have an effect on what types of homes your agent shows you, and when you are writing up an offer with your agent knowing the amount needed for closing costs saves time, and benefits the buyer. Most, if not all, first time home buyer programs through the state and government will require that the home be able to pass a home inspection. An agent helps with that....and is available for all questions, concerns, and helping you through each step. In essence though, the buyer's agent is hired by the buyer to help them get the lowest possible price for the home, and the most closing costs from the seller that your loan program will allow. If the buyer is pre-approved then they should be hearing from their buyer's agent at least once a week with homes that may be a right fit for the buyer, and be available for questions, and showings. Again, the buyer's agent is paid by the seller, but works for the best interest of the buyer. A buyer's agent wants to do the best job possible for the buyer in the hopes of future referrals from the buyers to their friends, family, and co-workers. Your happiness is key to our future business!
When you are looking for a Buyers Agent some good questions to ask are:
- How long have you been in business?
- How often do you work as a Buyers Agent vs a Sellers Agent? (Remember these are two very different sides, and you want an experienced Buyers Agent.)
- How many homes did you sell as a Buyers Agent last year? The year before?
- Are you familiar with the Washington State Home Buyer Programs? How often do you work with them? Do you ever work as a Dual Agent? How do you feel about Dual Agency? (Remember that a dual agent works for both the sellers and the buyers on the same deal/home. Dual agency is not illegal in Washington. It is only my personal opinion that you should always have your OWN agent and not 'share' one with the sellers.)
- Do you require a Buyer/Broker Agreement? (Remember that this is NOT, at this time, a legally required form. It is your choice on whether or not you wish to sign one.)
- Do you work Real Estate as a full time career, or a part time job?
- How often do you work with first time home buyers?
- Will I be working with you, or an assistant?
- What are your work hours?
- How do prefer to communicate? Text? Email? Phone?
These are only some questions that it might be good to ask. What it really comes down to though are the questions that you need to ask yourself. Are you comfortable with this agent? Do you like him/her? Do you feel confident in their abilities? What are YOU looking for in an agent? Does this agent match those qualifications? Are they knowledgeable in the area/price range/loans that you are looking for? Does he/she listen? Do you feel that this agent cares about you and what you need?
What a Buyers agent does...
This is kind of a mix of the above two paragraphs, so we will keep it short and sweet. A Buyers Agent works for YOU...the buyer! We are here to assist, advise, and help you through the entire process of buying a home. Your Buyers Agent can assist you with your lender and help you with they need. A Buyers Agent should be in contact with your lender so that he/she can do so. Your Buyers Agent helps you find a home that matches as many of your needs as possible and still stays as close to possible in your preferred price range (which isn't always your pre-approval range...unless you are comfortable going up to that amount). Your Buyers Agent should be listening to you and your needs. Your Buyers Agent is with you at the home inspection, helping you and advising you on what the best course to take may be and providing options that you can choose from. Really that is what it comes down to....a Buyers Agent advises only...we provide options for you to choose from and assist you as much as we can providing information on all options so that you can decide what is the best course to take. We, by law, must follow your directions. YOU, as the buyer, is the boss in this situation...a Buyers Agent is the employee of the Buyer. A Buyers Agent is here to assist, advise, and help...but the Buyer makes the final decision. A Buyers Agent should always be available for questions and be ready to help you find answers. Of course, there are some questions to which there are no answers, but a Buyers Agent will help with that too!
What can you expect from a Buyers Agent?
Loyalty, understanding, compassion, knowledge, laughter, hard work, accessibility, putting your interest and concerns first, and all of the above. Remember that a Buyers Agent works for you so they should be there to help, assist, and advise YOU. As you can see, in a lot of ways, a Buyers Agent is like a mom... ;-D
Remember that real estate is a relationship business. As a buyers agent, we want to form a relationship with you, and hopefully, continue that relationship into the future. Many of my closest friends started off as clients! :-) You should always feel comfortable calling, emailing, or texting your agent....ANYTIME...even if it is 5, 6, 10, or more years down the road. A good buyers agent wants to develop that long term relationship as over half of our current clients comes from the referrals of past clients.
The big question is who pays for the buyers agent? When a seller hires an agent to represent them, they offer that sellers agent a commission from the sale of their home. A sellers agent will offer a BAC (buyer agent commission) on the rmls for buyers agents to bring their buyers to the home that the sellers agent is representing. That percentage is part of the contract between the seller and the sellers agent. 85% of homes are purchased with a buyers agent, and yes, you read that correctly...the buyers agent is free! By hiring a buyers agent, you, the buyer are hiring an agent who only represents you in the transaction. The sellers agent represents the sellers, and the buyers agent represents the buyer. So, what happens if you contact the sellers agent for representation? ahhh....that is next weeks topic!! :-) So...until we meet again...have an excellent week!
Information is power, and I hope that I am help you! Good luck, and as always...May the odds be ever in your favor out there.... If you are looking for a real estate agent, I would love to be able to help you.
As always....this is just a quick overview.... please remember that your agent, and your lender work for YOU. You drive the bus...we are merely GPS to help you get to your goals. Like the classes, this weekly blog email is to help you with your homebuying adventure. The goal is to be informative and non-promotional. :-) We are, however, hoping you will call and want us to help with your adventure.
If you have any questions about this, or something you have heard...or if you would like me to help you with your homebuying adventure, please call, email, text, or facebook me anytime. I am, as always, happy to help!
Thank you again for your business and your referrals!! ...and thank you for referring these classes to your friends, family, and co-workers.
. ..disclaimer...if you have already purchased a home, or would no longer like to receive these emails, please let me know and I will be happy to remove you from any further mailings...
Next Week: Agency...buying or selling, the questions you should ask
Closing costs...what are these & options for them?
2014 real estate in review & looking to 2015
Last Week: Down Payment Options
Have a great day, and I will talk to you soon,
Real Estate broker
Re/Max - Van Mall
360/ 903-3504 cell
360/ 882-3600 fax
“Interested in free and non promotional home buyer classes? Go towww.freehomebuyerclasses.com for local upcoming classes, or facebook: Tracie DeMars Real Estate for my home buyer education blog.”
"Listen to the mustn'ts, child. Listen to the don'ts. Listen to the shouldn'ts, the impossibles, the won'ts. Listen to the never haves, then listen close to me... Anything can happen, child. Anything can be."
- Shel Silverstein, American poet, cartoonist and composer, (1930 - 1999).