Why you need an agent, not just Zillow, Trulia, etc.
There are so many places to search for Huntsville, Hampton Cove, Madison, and Madison County real estate online these days. Zillow.com, Trulia.com, Realtor.com, REMAX.com, ValleyMLS.com, and lots of individual Realtor® sites just to name a few. There is so much information out there that it can be overwhelming to buyers and sellers alike. Where do I look for the most up to date information? Which site lists all the homes for sale? Who do I call when I am ready to look at a home?
Searching Zillow and Other Sites
Zillow.com and Trulia.com seem to show up at the top of many search engine results and are heavily trafficked. These sites are great to surf and look around. The most localized information and all active homes for sale in MLS, Multiple Listing Service, can also be found on local Realtor® sites like this one.
Often on Zillow.com, Trulia.com, or similar sites, you see a home you like, you click on it for more information and there are 3 agents to choose from sometimes 4 including the listing agent. Who do you call? The one you think looks the friendliest?? The one with the most stars, or highest number of sales? Which one is most likely to be looking out for you? Which agent can you trust to help you with likely the single most biggest financial transaction most families make, buying or selling your home? The truth is, agents appear in those spots by paying the website to advertise there. They are not always the most qualified to help you achieve your goals. The listing agent spot is normally a non paid position.
It can be very confusing to buyers and sellers alike. With all the information available online, it could be easy to think you can do it yourself and use whichever agent pops on any website or answers the phone and is willing to meet you right away.
Experienced Agents Make It Easy
With my 20+ years spent helping many families buy and sell, I can tell you that it does make a difference who you choose. There are so many moving parts that go into each real estate transaction. If one part does not go smoothly, will your agent know how to handle the situation, know the needed steps to take in getting it resolved in your best interest, and keep the transaction moving forward?
I have included just a few of the moving parts that are important in a home sale below and why you want to work with an experienced agent.
Once you find the perfect home, how much do you pay? Does your agent understand the metrics within the market and what the history of the neighborhood and general area is? What does that mean in regard to how you negotiate and how much you should pay? Online sites can show you the numbers but are not able to help you understand the numbers and what they mean to you and your next home. The same home with the same square footage in the same neighborhood doesn't mean they are worth the same dollar figure. Lot size, location within the subdivision, condition, etc., all affect value. You need to understand these crucial pieces of information and how to apply it to the home you want to buy. Online sites can't provide you this type of information.
Once you agree upon a price with a seller, your agent should help you locate reputable local lenders and help you with the best available terms for the type financing you are obtaining and make sure you are paying fees that are consistent with the market and type loan you qualify for.
Home, radon, pool, septic, environmental, and termite inspections are all vital components of the real estate transaction. There are ALWAYS issues that come up with these inspections. One of the most valuable assets your agent can provide is understanding how to negotiate the repairs that are important to you. It is also important that your agent understands how to protect your interests when repairs are made and that they are properly documented.
Your agent should keep you up to date throughout the entire transaction period which is typically 30 days. There are several pieces of information you should be kept aware of, such as:
- When should you order the termite inspection?
- What if the house has termites?
- What if the house has fungus in the crawlspace?
- When to shop for homeowners insurance
- What questions to ask your insurance agent
- When do you transfer your utilities and who do you call?
- Do you call the water company too?
- Who handles cable, phone, internet, and gas service in the area?
- Will you send me this information or do I just look it up?
- What day do I transfer my utilities?
- Whats next?
The Best Agents Don't Cost More But Can Save You $1,000's
This is why you should have a professional experienced REALTOR® on your side. There are many excellent REALTORS® in the Huntsville area. I encourage you to research, ask questions, speak to the agent, read past customer reviews, before choosing an agent. It can save you lots of headaches and make for a great home purchase or sale.
I also advertise on sites like Zillow.com and Trulia.com and many other great agents do too. It is worth the extra effort and research to make sure you have an experienced professional agent to help you with such a large financial investment. Not just someone who popped up on an ad while searching.
I Am Here To Help
I have over 28 years of Real Estate and Construction experience in the Huntsville AL market. I would be honored to be your agent or if you just have questions whether you would like to work with me or not, I am here for you to call or email anytime. No cost, no obligation, I am just glad to help and if you decide I can assist you, I will be ready when you are.