The Art of Negotiating

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Whether you’re trying to get the best price at the flea market, ask for a higher salary, or buy a new car, having good negotiating skills is important. Luckily, during a real estate transaction, you have a hired professional to do the tough stuff for you! Whether you are buying or selling, your agent should be representing your needs and wants through this fine art of negotiating.

Some may believe that negotiations are “all or nothing.” That one party wins over the other. This could not be further from the truth. While the goal of negotiation is most certainly getting what you want, the fact is that the best deals incorporate terms from both sides.

First, think about what you want to achieve from the process. Make a list of what you want from the negotiation and why. This helps determine what would cause you to walk away so you can build your strategy within acceptable terms. Try, also, to understand what your counterpart’s motivations are as this is equally as important. By studying the other side’s goals, it may help you frame your own by realizing that there’s a solution for you both. The single most important tool you and your agent have is preparedness. Communicating with each other the main goals and why they’re the goals gives your agent the best negotiating power there is. Follow these steps:

1.      Establish a fair sales price. Your agent should run a comparative market analysis (CMA) for you to assess what a fair asking price is based on other sales in the area.

2.      Establish what you can afford. If you’re buying, your agent should be able to help you with this a bit, and if you’re working with a lender they will be invaluable here. If you’re selling, what is your bottom line?

3.      Decide what other things would be a deal breaker. Price is typically the most important factor. However, it may also be a deal breaker if you’re selling and you cannot afford to pay the buyer’s closing costs at their request, or you’re the buyer and your insurance requires a windstorm certificate that the home doesn’t have.

4.      As a buyer, when it comes to inspections, negotiating repairs can become just as important as presenting the offer itself. If the home you’re seeking isn’t advertised as being sold “As Is” then you likely have some negotiating powers when it comes to repairs.

5.      Try not to get emotional. This is a tough one as a home is personal. And if you get too emotional, you may make an exception to your goals. But your agent is there to represent you, your goals and to make it about business so this doesn’t happen.

From there, your licensed Real Estate Agent should be able to clearly communicate your desires.  It’s your agent’s job to ensure you are represented correctly, fairly, and your voice is heard! It’s all about collaborating to meet both ends, making it a “win/win” situation.

What should you look for in an agent? These characteristics may be beneficial: An active listener, someone with a reputation of getting along with others, someone with a mild-mannered and optimistic personality, and a clear but firm communicator.

So sit back, and let US work for YOU. If you’re feeling like your agent is trying too hard to convince you to forgo your main goals, then perhaps it’s not the right fit. There’s a solution to every problem. Think outside the box, discuss rather than argue, and don’t forget, it never hurts to ASK!

8 Benefits of Buying a House at Year’s End

endofyearrealtorSummer may be real estate’s busy season, but winter offers great opportunities for buying a house, especially for renters looking to become homeowners, growing families trading up to larger houses and baby boomers seeking homes to fit their evolving lifestyles.

Generally speaking, your housing choices during the late fall are still healthy. October and November are great months to go house hunting. December is usually sparse, market-wise, but if that fits your timeline, you could luck out.

The benefits to buying a house at the end of the year include the following:

1. Tax savings

If you close by December 31, you can deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, points on your loan and interest costs. These deductions are significant, especially in the early years of your loan when you’re paying off a lot of interest.

2. Motivated sellers

Many sellers want to enjoy tax savings on the next home they purchase. They may accept lower bids in order to meet Uncle Sam’s deadlines. However, if you’re in a strong seller’s market, you’ll want to be conservative and heed advice from your real estate professional.

3. Builder incentives

If you’re buying a house that is brand new, there’s a good chance builders may push to close the books on their year—and meet quotas. They may offer upgrades or little extras to sell houses before the calendar turns.

4. Available movers

Many moving companies are booked six weeks or more in advance during the busy summer months. In the fall and winter, it’s normally easier to secure the services of a moving company or rental equipment on shorter notice.

5. Paying toward something you own

If you’re renting, your monthly check goes toward something that will last you a month: You’ll never see any return on that money. When you buy a house, your monthly mortgage payment goes toward an investment—and ultimately a roof that’s yours.

6. Consistent payments

Landlords can increase your rent. Once you secure a mortgage, you can rely on consistent payments if you have a fixed-rate loan.

7. Freedom to renovate

Modernize your kitchen, paint your home’s exterior neon orange, change your fixtures orreplace your carpeting; whatever inspires you, no one can tell you, “No!”

8. Gaining equity

In the beginning, most of your payment goes toward interest. But gradually more will go toward paying off your principal, meaning you build up equity—or savings—in your home. Another factor in equity is appreciation: As home values rise, so does your rate of equity.

via Realtor.com

WHY USE A LOCAL PADRE ISLAND REALTOR?

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WHY USE A LOCAL REALTOR?

This question probably prods every seller at one point or another…it’s your property, aren’t you the best suited to sell it? Perhaps. Then again, let me explain why maybe not. As a buyer, it’s just as critical to use a local Realtor. It comes down to the three Ts: Tools, Training, Transaction-Related Matters.

Tools:

Real estate agents have tools, and they don’t come in a box or on a belt. One of these tools is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). This is a system paid for by agents to showcase listings to all other agents. It also allows us to see and search every other property for sale, along with what’s closed, what’s under contract, etc…always in real time. Because the MLS dates back decades, it is trend and individual property history at our fingertips. It gives agents the unique ability to create a comparative market analysis on your property with the knowledge we have from recent closures. As a tight-knit community, we have a network of other agents and a network of title company experts who keep us up-to-date on changes to contracts and changes to the law. We are vested in the community where we live and work, and where you want to live or sell. We are familiar with the local market, building guidelines, and numerous specifications that our seaside area requires.

Training:

OK, it sounds like we’re running a marathon, but seriously, sometimes a real estate transaction feels like one! Real Estate Agents went to a school focused specifically on real estate and can help you navigate the (sometimes rough) terrain. Both a national and a state required exam must be passed to become licensed. Pricing, contract paperwork, real estate finance and law, these are all areas we’re proficient in and experts at. Likewise, we’re required to continue our education with a certain number of hours each year to ensure we stay informed and updated on the ever-changing regulations occurring in this industry. Also, not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the National Association of Realtors are properly called REALTORS and can proudly display that trademark on marketing and sales literature.

Transaction-Related Matters:

This comes down to the meat and potatoes of it all, concerning the contract itself, to the negotiations, to possible repair work, to closing details, and every possible scenario in between. It also heavily involves our Code of Ethics – for over 100 years, this code ensures agents treat their clients professionally and ethically. These ethics are strictly enforced, and you know you will be working with a true professional who focuses on your needs and wants. Your agent is accountable for fulfilling their full “fiduciary responsibilities” to you (has your best interest in mind from finances to full disclosure to confidentiality).  Realtors are committed to treat all parties in a transaction honestly. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use the same Realtor again.

The best agent I know once told me, “You’ve done your job if you’ve made it look easy.” So I invite you to relax…have a lemonade…allow us to make the process appear as seamless as possible.