REALTOR®

REALTOR®

Heather Estes

Visalia, CA

Female, 27

I am a full-time REALTOR® under the state of California. I specialize in home buyers and am passionate about sharing the importance for everyone (especially young people) to become credit worthy. Many see home-ownership as something unattainable, or something to do when their in their 30's, married and with kids. While it might be one of the most expensive purchases in our lifetime the process itself is not as daunting as it's made out to be. With the right information anyone can own a home!

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27 Questions

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Last Answer on April 03, 2015

Best Rated

Are there any reliable indicators as to whether housing prices are going to rise or fall in the near term?

Asked by GaryT almost 6 years ago

Thank you for the great question Gary! 

While this topic can be debated in either direction, there is evidence to support the continuing increase in the housing market. Over the last two years, there has been a 11.4% increase in the annual median sale price. There has been an increase of 8.6% in the number of home purchases over the same period. Unfortunately the real estate industry is a slave to the economy that it is nearly impossible to accurately indicate what the near or far future will have in store. However, based on the current indications, now is a prime time to purchase a home, as interest rates are still low and prices are still affordable. This market uniquely presents a situation where it is also beneficial to sell a home, with the decrease in unemployment and desire for more people to own their own home at an affordable rate.

Today’s economy seems to be on the mend. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment rates have dropped to 6.3% so far this year. Additionally, employment projections have also been made up to the year 2022 and indicate employment growth. Most importantly, the subprime lending catastrophe is also, for the most part, behind us. Most home loans require a credit score of 640 or higher, protecting us from mistakes of the early 2000’s where financing an applicant with bad credit was far less scrutinized.

With our economy safely on the mend and mortgage issues handled, the market is mostly predicted to increase.  However, there are arguments that we are headed for another crash. An example of an interesting debate can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6v5o6BYSHfk

 

I hope this brings some insight to your question! 

Sources:

http://www.car.org/marketdata/data/ahds/

http://www.car.org/marketdata/data/countysalesactivity/

 

 

 

Does it hurt my credit when realtors pull repeated credit ratings when I'm house-shopping? I've gotten conflicting info on that. If so, can I just walk around with my credit report and give it to them instead of having them pull it again?

Asked by JIH123 almost 6 years ago

Really good questions!

1. REALTORS® don’t have access to pull anyone’s credit.


2. Once a mortgage lender or auto lender pulls your credit, you have unlimited pulls from other similar sources for up to 2 weeks with no effect to your credit score.


3. After the 2 weeks, you have more pulls during the 3rd week and that only counts against you as one pull.


4. You CAN carry around a copy of your credit report to get prequalified elsewhere but the final lender will need to pull their own credit report.

Make sure the real estate agent you are working with is an actual REALTOR®, there is (supposed to be) a difference. Good agents are going to have prefered lenders that they have worked with in the past and continue to work with because they feel those lenders make deals happen. Some clients come to us already qualified by another lender. Sometimes they make great choices in lenders and sometimes they don't . If they don't we might have them get qualifed with a trusted lender as well and if you have good credit it shouldn't be an issue. Beware of who is pulling your credit and why before you approve such things. 


Hope these tips help!

 

Have you heard of "staging" where a company basically sets your place up with high-end furniture to make it look awesome for prospective buyers, and do you think it works to elicit higher offers?

Asked by DK over 5 years ago

Yes, and it is something that I highly recommend. If there is a new housing development in your city go visit it. Ask to look at a newly constructed home, and then look at their model homes. You will then feel the difference. Suddenly the strange spaces you saw in the empty house make so much sense now that you see furniture there. Or if you've ever walked through a cluttered house (not messy, but cluttered) you might have had a difficult time feeling the true space of the home. When you're selling you don't want to make any part of your house seem smaller than it actually is!

Staging is a great way to allow people who may not be able to look past the things in your home, to see potential where they might not have before. This doesn't always require high end anything, sometimes all you need is someone to rearrange the things you already have. The goal is simply to make your home look attractive to as many buyers as possible.

When I show multiple homes many clients refer to each home not by the street name but by a memorable characteristic. For instance, I have heard, "The swimming pool house", "The fancy house", "The yard house", "The cat house", "The smelly house", "The broken fence house"...You don't want your home to be the smelly house or the cat house. Even if they absolutely love the smelly house that's definitely going to reflect in their offer when the husband turns to the wife and asks, "So honey, how much do we want to offer on the smelly house?" Catch my drift?

It doesn't need to cost a lot of money; it just takes a little effort. If you plan to sell your house discuss your options with your Realtor. They should have a contact they can refer you to.

For further reading:http://styledstagedsold.blogs.realtor.org/2011/06/14/justifying-staging-to-get-properties-sold/

Thank you for the question!

 

I have good credit and what i pay for rent is essentially what I would pay for a mortgage. But my household of 3 is a single income family and I can't save for a down payment. Are there any options?

Asked by Carlos almost 6 years ago

Yes Carlos, you do have options! 

Various down payment assistance programs can help cover all but $1,000 worth of down payment and/or purchase expenses. You can also obtain a gift from an immediate relative, employer, or fiancée but $1,000 is the minimum contribution you must make.

If you are a veteran or married to a veteran, you may qualify for 100% financing. If you wish to purchase a home in rural areas, then the USDA offers lenders 100% financing to offer homebuyers.

Speak with a local lender in your area to find out what incentives or special programs are available to you. 

Thank you for the question! 

What do you think of Redfin and is it a model that old-school real estate agents feel threatened by?

Asked by HBS almost 6 years ago

I am going to be completely honest and say that I have never heard of Redfin until reading your question so yours took a little research!

From what I gather it seems like an innovative brokerage with the main concept of creating a financially stable environment for their agents in the hopes that their level of customer service will increase.

Here are my issues with it:

1. They pushed the concept that non commission based agents care more about clients than the traditional agent.

2. I listened to the agent testimonials and a few of them stated that since they now have a steady income they can be honest with their clients.


These observations bother me on a few different levels. When your pay is based on commission it motivates you that much more to work around the clock and do whatever it takes to make your client happy.

Traditional agents also get rewarded for having happy clients, but instead of a one-time bonus they get referrals, and those usually generate way more than any bonus check the Redfin agents are getting.

A good agent has to do all the things a Redfin agent does. We have to do what is in the best interest of our client every step of the way; it is part of being a Realtor and should not require monetary compensation in order to ensure it happens.

Personally, I don’t feel threatened by an agent who chose a salary instead of stick-to-it-ness and hard work. I think it would be a great way for a new agent to get their foot in the door or for an agent who has relocated to an unfamiliar market. It’s a different system and it works but I don’t see where their system would threaten the traditional brokerage.

The only real advantage is their client refund, where the Redfin brokerage gives a portion of their cut of the commission to the client. However, I have seen a few different agents and lenders give parts of their commission to their clients, or cover the cost of inspections just to ensure their client gets the house they want.

Bottom line: Interview your agent regardless of where they come from or what awards they have on their walls. Talk with them, find out what makes them tick and ask yourself if that is the kind of person you want to work with.

There are many Reators out there waiting for your business, make sure you give it to one that is truly and honestly going to work for you!


Thank you for the awesome question!

When realtors claim that they "have several interested buyers", is it almost always just a high pressure sales tactic?

Asked by judeinlaw almost 6 years ago

Judeinlaw,

Most definitely not! But does it happen? All the time! This is a good opportunity to broach the difference between an agent and a REALTOR®. I found the best laymen’s terms explanation comes from Charlottesville,

"Not All Agents Are REALTORS®, and the Difference Is Meaningful.

As a prerequisite to selling real estate, a person must be licensed by the state in which they work, either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. Before a license is issued, minimum standards for education, examinations and experience, which are determined on a state by state basis, must be met. After receiving a real estate license, most agents go on to join their local board or association of REALTORS® and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, the world's largest professional trade association. They can then call themselves REALTORS®.

The term "REALTOR®" is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law). In most areas, it is the REALTOR® who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR® who belongs to a MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes.

Using an Agent and the Obligations that Are Owed to You
An agent is bound by certain legal obligations. Traditionally, these common-law obligations are to:

Put the client's interests above anyone else's
Keep the client's information confidential
Obey the client's lawful instructions
Report to the client anything that would be useful
Account to the client for any money involved
NOTE: A REALTOR® is held to an even higher standard of conduct under the NAR's Code of Ethics. In recent years, state laws have been passed setting up various duties for different types of agents. As you start working with a REALTOR®, ask for a clear explanation of your state's current regulations, so that you will know where you stand on these important matters."

Honesty is one of those things we are supposed to uphold most of us do, but I'd be lying if I told you every REALTOR® was honest and good. Shiesty people are everywhere. Make sure you interview your agent and when it comes to believing the claims of other agents you just have to feel confident in your offer.


Making an offer on a property you love is exciting but also super nerve racking! This is why when my clients are deciding on an offer price, I tell them to pick a price (terms) that make them happy if they get it and happy if they don't. This is the best policy to avoid regret. Just ask yourself if you missed out on a deal by $5k if you would be okay with that if no is your answer increase the price by another $5k until you've reached the most you would be willing to pay. This way if you don't get it you won't be mad, you'll just say, "There was a better offer? They got taken, I wouldn't have paid a dime more!" Also keep in mind that price is not the only factor that goes into making an offer. Sellers might be more interested in a shorter escrow then more money. Find out as much about the seller as possible, find out what a good deal to them would be and write it up from there.


Thank you for the awesome question!

 

Sources: http://www.caar.com/consumer-resources/realtor-vs-agent

 

Why do realtors include pictures of themselves on, well, everything? (business cards, billboards, etc?) I understand that it's a "people" business, but headshots seem to be disproportionately present in realty relative to other industries. Thanks!

Asked by Jason T. over 5 years ago

Thank you for the question Jason!

Doesn’t it seem like everyone you know knows someone in real estate? That's because everyone does! So how do we make sure you think of us when it comes time to buy or sell and not Joe's friend who's in the business? We put our faces and names everywhere!!!! We want you to recognize us in the store and on the street. We do whatever is marketable. Which for some agents isn't their face; some have a really marketable or catchy name which they use to stick in the forefront of your mind. We find what works and go with it! There are no rules or regulations on how (or if we should) market our faces, and believe you me I have seen some pretty “interesting” marketing photos. But as crazy as they are, guess what? I remember them, and that's the key.

As far as our headshot exposure being disproportionate to other industries I agree. Some of us actually go to school and obtain a degree in real estate or have enough clout within our community that we don’t need to market our faces. Just like doctors don’t plaster their faces on shopping carts and bus stops. But at the same time you usually don’t get in your doctor’s vehicle and drive from office to office do you? When you’re about to spend some time with an individual it subconsciously helps to know they don’t look like they are going to do you any bodily harm.

Some clients come into lobby of our office and stare at the business card wall until they find a face they like. They don’t realize they’re doing it but they are. None of those people ever pick up a card without a face. Ever.

Think of it like speed dating. Looks are the first to be weighed in. If you find a candidate attractive it opens you up to hear what they have to say and after some simple conversation you make deeper, more meaningful judgments about them. If they don’t look attractive it’s that much more difficult for them to prove they also happen to be nice/interesting people.

No one cares what their doctor looks like as long as they know what medications to give you and make you feel better. You don’t want to make a deep connection with your doctor, you want to get cured and get out. You and your agent on the other hand, are going to get to know each other really well, and hopefully build a lasting work relationship with.

 

I'm not a homeowner, but 100% of my homeowning friends describe the purchase of a home as one of the most painstaking experiences they've ever had. Why is the process of buying a house – even after a price has been agreed upon – still so darn hard?

Asked by Rob over 5 years ago

Excellent question Rob,

There are many factors that go into home buying that can either make it a smooth process or a nightmare. Fist off, I don't think I can stress enough the importance of having, not just an experienced Realtor, but one you feel comfortable with and communicate well with. Next, you need a lender who will move mountains to ensure your loan gets approved. Even if all is well on your side, as the buyer, title issues may arise on the seller's end.

Aside from all that inspections may be the only other thing that might get in the way of an offer going through or making it super difficult. However, if your agent is a good communicator there is no reason a small issue would be so difficult. 90% of real estate transactions aren't painful and sometimes agents get cocky and tell their clients how easy the process is only to have some unforeseen error occur down the road. I don't recommend that as it adds unneeded stress on the buyer. Things can go wrong at any moment but if you're in good hands you can weather any storm.

I have heard of other agents' clients deciding before the close of escrow to open new credit accounts or purchase thousands of dollars in new furniture. These poor home buyers didn't realize that loan underwriters have to check your financial situations throughout the home buying process and they successfully made themselves un-loan worthy by doing so. However, the lenders I work with and many agents tell clients not to make any large purchases or open new lines of credit during the process to avoid this horrible situation.

I'm not sure If I answered your question completely. Please ask more if you feel the answer I gave didn't cover it :)

How long would you let a house stay on the market before you tell the sellers to reconsider their asking price?

Asked by letsgorangers over 5 years ago

Great question!

The ultimate goal is to price the house right the first time. I work mostly with buyers so when I'm home shopping with a client I hear things like, "What's wrong with the house on XYZ street? It's been on the market for the past six months!" Maybe the house is fantastic but it's just not priced right, or maybe there is some glaring issue that has scared away every buyer who's seen it for the past six months. Most home buyers are going to assume the latter and steer clear of it.

If an agent presents a case for why they think a home should sell for X amount price reductions are not needed. However, if a client won't head our words I would suggest a price reduction once the home has been on the market longer than the average days on market for the county the home is listed in. So if the ADM is 45 days I would present a price reduction to my client on the 46th day.

Does a seller or a realtor have a duty to look into where a buyer's money is coming from? What if you suspect that an all-cash offer is being made with stolen or shady funds?

Asked by Moise Hillel over 5 years ago

Good question Moise,

When a buyer makes an offer the seller likes to see proof that the property can be purchased by the buyer. If the buyer is using financing to secure the property they usually include a letter of qualification from a bank or lending institute proving funds will be given to the buyer to purchase the property. If the offer is being made in cash they buyer then supplies a proof of funds from their bank. In both cases the buyer also needs to supply bank account history either to the lender for financing or to the seller if paying cash. This is used to prove that the funds have a legit paper trail and didn't come lump sum from illegal activity or cashing out a credit card to fund the purchase. If the bank doesn't catch it I doubt anyone else will. You want to make sure the money being used to buy the house has a history with the seller, so paper trails are important.

Do you think men or women make better real estate agents? If the buying decision-maker is typically a man, do you think that flirting can help a female agent make a sale?

Asked by BabyCrosby over 5 years ago

Thank you for the question BabyCrosby!


It honestly doesn’t matter if you are male or female. Yes, some people prefer one gender over the other, but for the most part I think agents are chosen based off their knowledge, experience, and popularity. It’s not my job to convince someone who wants a male agent that I am just as qualified. It’s a comfort thing so if someone prefers a male agent I know plenty great ones that I can refer them to. If you’re not completely comfortable with your agent your transaction will not go as smoothly as it could. It doesn’t offend me when I am not chosen for that reason alone.

As far as getting sales based on flirting I can’t imagine that working too well. If the most exciting part of home shopping is checking out your agent you’re probably going to take your time finding a home…not sure that would work in the agent’s favor. Also, let’s not forget that that behavior is just wrong all together and unethical on multiple levels! Flirting with clients never “helps” and more often than not I am left to deal with a male client flirting with me.


Most issues arise when representing couples. If the couple has a stable, trusting relationship there are usually no issues, but if the wife has little or no trust in her partner my every move and response is scrutinized. To avoid this I usually don’t compliment my clients unless the compliment applies to both of them. I don’t aim to compliment to begin with, but when someone looks nice or changes their style in a positive why I can’t help but send a quick compliment their way. But with couples I would never compliment the husband/boyfriend on his new hair cut if I had nothing to say to or a way to tie the wife/girlfriend in. It comes down to knowing your clients and its best to keep it as professional as possible in order to ensure your kind gestures and words are not misconstrued by either party.


Integrity and honesty are important to a good agent and often we look to these qualities when deciding which clients we work with (Yes, sometimes we decide not to work with someone and refer them to someone else who would be a better match).  So if, for whatever reason, I feel I will have an issue providing intergrety and honesty to a client I don't take them on. Remember, I provide a service for my clients and word of mouth is a valuable part of promoting that service. If anyone stated that my services were anything but “finding a great deal on a home”, my business would reflect that, and I would be mortified.

That was a really good question, thank you! :)

 

 

Were you a realtor during the mortgage-backed securities crisis in the mid 2000s, when people were getting loans to buy houses they really couldn't afford? And did you ever get a weird feeling about how people were able to get loans so easily?

Asked by daveteschel over 5 years ago

No, I was licensed in 2007 but the economy and family situations made it difficult to leave two paying jobs for a commission only career. I had to wait a few years before I could make the transition. Honestly, I’m not sure many agents (depending on how long they had been in the business) would have thought twice about it. When someone decides they want to work with me I set them up with my lender and he digs into their finances. I know nothing about their fanatical capabilities of owning a home. I get the yay accompanied by a dollar amount or a nay with limited reasoning. Then lender is there to protect their information, it’s none of my business what they can afford, I have to rely on my lender to do what is right. I am really grateful there are more restrictions to ensure the same mistakes are not made.


I wish I could have been more insightful in answering that, but I lack that experience and can’t really speak for those who lived it.

Why is the word "Realtor" trademarked??? (Didn't know it until I looked it up just now b/c of your job title!)

Asked by Synergy over 5 years ago

Great question!


There is a difference between a REALTOR and a real estate agent. Both are real estate agents, but one is further dignified by the title REALTOR. The NAR or National Association of Realtors and its members are held up to high standards when it comes to integrity in the industry. A real estate agent refers to anyone that has been licensed by the state to practice real estate. NAR membership is extra and they try hard to ensure that their membership status stands out. If you visit their website (www.realtor.org) they say, it is the job of "the Board of Directors to preserve the value and meaning of the REALTOR® marks for all Members. Each member of the National Association of REALTORS® agrees, as a part of their local Association's Bylaws, to abide by the rules governing the use of the REALTOR® marks. Only by knowing and abiding by the rules adopted by the Board of Directors can we be sure the Marks will retain their meaning and value for future generations of REALTORS®.." They coined the name and just want to make sure we all use it the same. If the ® symbol is not available to us we have to type it in all caps.

I hope that somewhat answers your question!


If not you can read more here: http://www.realtor.org/logos-and-trademark-rules/logo-trademark-faq


Thank you again for the great question!

Did you see the news story about the Vegas real estate agent who was kidnapped and murdered recently? How safe do you feel when showing homes to strangers and what precautions do you take?

Asked by Meghan about 5 years ago

Really great question! Personally I don't ever show homes to strangers so that isn't a concern. However, I do have to be on my toes during open houses. Before the open house I put about a week's worth of work advertising where I will be and how long I will be there giving plenty of opportunity to be staked out and attacked. I always carry my phone with me where ever I go and linked up with a few members of our local police force. I let them know when and where my open house will be and they will take the time to drive by a few times to ensure my safety. I have heard they make special jewelry now that can be activated to alarm to the police should an agent feel in danger.

For more of what I do to prevent myself from being harmed or kidnapped read my blog article

3 Reasons Why I Don't Show Homes to Unqualified Buyers (and why no real estate agent should!)

Should buyers be wary of buying bank-owned homes or ones in foreclosure? Are there weird risks associated with them that don't apply in standard private-home sales?

Asked by Jim about 5 years ago

Good question :)

Not at all. My first home was a foreclosure! Most of the time when a home is owned by the bank they either disclose that the property comes "as is" and ask for conventional financing or cash which is a dead giveaway that substantial work has to be done. Otherwise, they fix up the place enough to make it movie in ready and FHA financeable. Not all bank owned properties are a great deal though. It really takes some knowledge of the market before deciding if a distressed property is the way to go.

My advise would be to seek out a local agent that specializes in bank owned property.

Have you ever been part of a sale where it turned out that the seller didn't actually own the property he was trying to sell? Are title searches 100% reliable in avoiding situations like that? What happens if there just aren't good records?

Asked by Sunil over 5 years ago

Lucky for me I have not been part of a sale with bad title. There are so many things that can go wrong with a real estate transaction and an agent only has control over a select few things. When it comes to the things we don't handle ourselves like financing, home inspections, and title companies, we serve our clients best by ensuring we select good, honest companies to complete those tasks. Experience is a good thing when finding an agent to work with but finding a an agent with seasoned resources is even more of a good thing! A good title company will do their job and dig up as much as record will allow them. If the home is being financed most lenders require a "clean title" before they will fund the loan. Title insurance is also super important and will alleviate an issues that may come up down the road. The most common title errors are clerical, meaning parts of information are untrue or left out making ownership unclear. If you have title insurance the cost of making the corrections to the title are covered by the title company.

Really good question, thank you!

So many times I've met with a real estate agent and it's turned out to be a kid in his late teens. What's the deal with that? Do more seasoned agents look at them like silly young parasites or what?

Asked by Hobbes about 5 years ago

Honestly, at first they might have. I remembered getting static when I got licensed, I was only 20. If you're good at what you do, regardless of age, your an asset. The youth has brought a new twist to game. It keeps us all on our toes. New technology, new marketing ideas, it's really made it more of a make or break industry, at least here in California. I can't speak for the rest of the US. As long as your agent knows their stuff you're in good hands. I have come across a few agents who have been in the business 20 years and still can't speak openly to clients or negotiate on their behalf. Go with whomever you feel more comfortable with. If an older, more experienced agent is what you want then make that a priority when interviewing agents for the job. Thank you for the question :)

My buyer is apparently having trouble with his financing, even though we've signed the sale papers. I technically have the right to declare a default, but are there others strategies I should consider before doing that?

Asked by Rick about 5 years ago

That would depend on what the nature of their financing trouble is. Perhaps they should speak to a different lender? I have heard of deals falling through after they have been accepted because buyers aren't told that the loan underwriters keep their financial life under the microscope after pre qualification. Many buyers, if not instructed properly, will go out and buy all new furniture after hearing about their offer being accepted without realizing their credit gets run again before the loan is funned. They rack up the credit cards, their scores adjust and suddenly they no longer qualify for their loan and the deal falls through. Not sure if that's the case with your buyers, either way it's not a fun thing to go through for either party involved.

Thank you for the question Rick!

Are realtors cut-throat or for the most part pretty professional with each other, and what's the worst-behavior you've seen from one of them?

Asked by BS almost 5 years ago

It's really hit and miss. Like any profession the mean ones are out there, but for the most part we are all pretty nice to each other. There are plenty of agents that I would prefer not to work with or would like to tell a thing or two, but it's in our best interest (and the best interest of our clients) to get a long. If I start beef with an agent for whatever reason and later on that agent has a property listed that my clients would like to put an offer on I have just greatly reduced their odds of getting their offer accepted. Not to mention as a REATLOR it is also a part of our code of ethics.

I haven't really seen anything too crazy as of yet (I'm sure my day will come) The worst experience I have had is just not getting responses out of the other agent to the point that I had to show up at their office demanding to speak with them in order to get the documents I needed to sanction the deal. Most of the time it's little things like that.

Thank you for the question!

Have you ever had a buyer or seller try to back out of a sale after the paperwork was signed, and what happened?

Asked by Maddy1 over 5 years ago

I've never had this situation happen to me, but deals do fall through for many reasons. It is totally possible to back out after negotiations; however, it is not without cost. Once an offer has been inspected a buyer usually has a 17 day inspection period where they can order a terminate report, home inspection, and roof inspection. Depending on negotiations either party could pay for these. If the buyer finds something troubling in the inspections we write up a request for repairs where we ask the seller to fix the issue. If the seller refuses the buyer could back out of the deal and get their earnest money deposit back (Usually at least $1000). If they back out after the inspection period they lose their earnest money deposit and whatever money they put into inspections.


I hope that answered your question Maddy1, thank you for asking it!

Do you have a recurring client base? Like do they trust you to find them their next home?

Asked by rodzilla over 5 years ago

I haven't had a client I have helped place move yet, but I do hope they will turn to me when the time to move comes again. The best way to ensure this is to only take on clients we feel we will work well with. I am a very sociable, high energy person so I might not be the right fit to a super detail oriented, introvert. I would never want someone to suffer through my exuberance in order to make a buck. It is in my reputation's best interest to find my client a better fitting agent. I get to refer business to another trusted agent, I get a referral fee, and my client doesn't have to fight the urge to roll their eyes every time I speak.

Thank you for the question!

 

Have you ever talked someone out of buying a property and suggested renting instead simply because you didn't think it would have been a responsible financial decision for them?

Asked by Karyn about 5 years ago

No, I can't say that I have. When someone comes to me to buy a home I have them meet with a lender to assess their ability to purchase. The lender will show them the numbers and the buyer decides if they will be manageable. If the lender approves them we go house shopping. I don't look too far into their private lives. I know where they work and how much they can afford, it's really hard for me to tell (unless I know them personally) if buying would a bad choice. Also, in my market it's almost always more affordable to buy than to rent so the struggle usually comes in the form of lender approval for the loan, not the ability to pay the mortgage. But if the market I worked looked different, of course I would. It is in our code of ethics to ensure we help our clients make the best choices, even when they don't benefit us as agents in the slightest. Turning down a buyer or seller is a loss in the wallet but a win in reputation and a good reputation goes a lot further than a paycheck in my book.

Thank you for the awesome question Karyn!

Are websites like Trulia and Streeteasy taking business away from realtors? Like do you see them as a threat or benefit?

Asked by redfoot about 5 years ago

Good question!

In an age where everything is done on the web I really don't see them as a direct threat. It does make my job harder though. These companies harness leads through their site (taking away traffic from our sites) and then charge us for rights to get these leads. But it's just how things work now and that just means I need to try that much harder to be the agent of choice in my area.

If a home is put on the market for $1 Million and I agree to pay that asking price, what's my approximate out-of-pocket purchase price going to be after all the fees and taxes involved?

Asked by Mr.F about 5 years ago

Are you paying cash? Are you financing all or part of this purchase? What rate did you secure? What state do you live in? What county? What does your lender charge in fees? What inspections are you paying for?

Unfortunately, it's not cut and dry. Every purchase is unique and tailored to each property, client, and market. If you're serious about purchasing property I would suggest speaking with a local agent in your area.

What's your best advice about how to predict the direction of the housing market?

Asked by Ruth almost 5 years ago

 

I assume you're not always out showing apartments and houses. What's a day like at the real estate office?

Asked by Lagerfeld almost 5 years ago

 

Are cities where real estate prices are higher automatically more desirable to work in for realtors, because the commission is higher?

Asked by Mike almost 5 years ago