Do You Really Need To Use A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home?


Do You Really Need To Use A Real Estate Agent When Buying A Home?

The increasing prominence of the Internet in our daily lives has absolutely changed everything over the last decade and further. From how we hail our taxis, rent out rooms, to how we connect with people socially; there is no doubt the internet has affected how people buy and sell their homes too. Many third party  real estate services have recently started cropping up online, making it easier for you to do certain tasks more easily. With all these tools many are then left to wonder, do you really need to use a real estate agent when buying a home? Other questions you might be wondering include When Is The Right Time To Buy A House? or possibly Should I Sell My House First, Or Buy a New Home First? Deciding whether or not to include a real estate agent will be one of the most important choices you will have to make in this home buying process.


Determining if you need a real estate agent

While it is possible to buy a home without the help of a real estate agent, it is likely that you will miss out on a variety of services and advantages. Be wary of foregoing the services of a great real estate agent in the quest to save the money you would pay them in commissions.


Note though, that it all depends on the market. If it is a hot seller’s market, you will have no shortage of offers from simply sticking a sign in the yard or passing out a few fliers. However, an agent’s services are shown to be especially valuable in a seller’s market by getting you a better price for your next home. 


In South Carolina’s Charleston area, the real estate market is currently experiencing a sort of renaissance. With foreclosure rates falling fast and economic prospects improving over the last few years, more people are buying and selling homes in the area and the future is only more bright for this area.


Buyers and sellers include both existing residents and individuals relocating from the north or midwest in search of a second home or a good place to retire to. Given that Charleston has been dubbed “America’s Most Friendly City” by Conde Naste Traveler, it is truly a great place to live and work.


Why you really need a great real estate agent

A recent Forbes article acknowledged that people today can indeed use third party services to complete real estate transactions on their own. However, it also goes on to say; this option could end up being more costly for most people in the long run. Furthermore, of all the people buying homes, 80 percent do so through a real estate agent. Working with one will expose you to a larger population of potential buyers. Other reasons to work with a real estate agent include:


1.   Improved Access and Convenience

The agent’s job is to act as a contact for the buyer and seller. They will also be able to access all of the homes listed by other agents. This means you will have a greater selection of properties to choose from. A good agent will also be able to easily make appointments for you to view the properties you are interested in.


2.   Handling Negotiations

Many people assume handling negotiations themselves will make the process more transparent. However, negotiation is an absolutely tricky business. A good agent is one who is a skillful negotiator. They will be able to get you the property you want at a good price without ruffling a lot of feathers.


3.   Handling Contracts

One of the hardest parts of buying or selling a house is ensuring all the required contracts, and relaying protocol is followed to the letter. Failure to do so is why a lot of solo buyers end up losing money in the long run. Working with a professional, well-informed agent will help you avoid these difficulties.


Buying or selling a home by yourself is a difficult, draining and time-consuming venture. The only people who should do so are those familiar with real estate procedures and contracts. Otherwise, working with a professional real estate agent is the best way to ensure a relatively stress-free transaction.


It is easy to feel like you can saving money by not using a real estate agent. But be wary, as this money is gained on the front end and is typically lost on the back end. Your goal is to have the lowest price from the transaction and to minimize time spent on showings, negotiations, contracts, or which areas are best and where to find the best value; absolutely none of this has to be your problem if you find yourself a great and trusted real estate agent.


Come learn about what Justin Thomas Real Estate Agents bring to the table today.


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What Are The Disadvantages of Putting Less Than Twenty Percent Down When Buying A Home?

For many home buyers, one of the biggest hurdles and objections in the process of buying a home is saving up for a down payment. In today’s markets, home values are high, so trying to save up for the traditional 20-percent down payment may seem like an endless task. Just as you think you’re getting close, home values increase again and you’re left chasing after an unattainable goal.


Some buyers get around this dilemma by offering a smaller down payment, such as 10 or even 5 percent of the home’s purchase price. They may get to move into their own home sooner, but there are still inherent risks and disadvantages associated with smaller down payments that you should consider before going this route. A question one should ask before buying a home is what are the disadvantages of putting less than twenty percent down when buying a home. Now, be aware that a smaller down payment can actually increase the total cost of your home purchase. When it’s time to buy, being sure to work with a knowledgeable and reputable realtor will help you understand all the ins and outs of mortgages and down payments.


Higher Mortgage Payments

The smaller your down payment, the greater the amount you will need to borrow to buy your home.  This means that the amount you will need to pay every month will be larger. Mortgages are set up to cover a specified time period, usually 15 or 30 years, so in order to get all of the principal and interest paid within that time, a larger loan leads to larger monthly payments.


Higher Interest Rates

Many lenders charge a higher interest rate on a mortgage when their customers make less than a 20-percent down payment. Why? If customers can’t save or otherwise produce that much for a down payment, lenders see them as less financially secure (ie, if you can’t pay this now, how exactly are you going to be better off in the future than now?). This in turn makes the customer a higher risk for repaying the loan, so the lender in essence charges them more for it.


Private Mortgage Insurance

If you put down less than 20 percent of the home’s value, expect to add private mortgage insurance (PMI) to the total cost of the loan. PMI is a form of insurance that protects the lender in case you default on the loan, and it’s probably the biggest disadvantage to making a down payment of less than 20 percent. The actual amount you will be required to carry on your mortgage will depend on a number of factors, such as the amount of the loan and your credit history. Over the term of a loan, PMI can add significantly to the end cost of your purchase of the property. In most cases, you’ll pay the PMI premiums as part of your monthly payment to the lender; which (these premiums) can often double the amount of your payments.

In addition, the amount of PMI your lender requires will likely increase as the amount of your loan increases. So a down payment of 5 percent will trigger larger monthly payments than even a 10-percent down payment will. Finally, lenders may limit the amount of money you can actually borrow if you can offer only a small down payment because they see you as a greater risk. The cost of PMI will be included in this final amount, so you will have less actual mortgage funds available to pay for your new home.


Getting Help and Advice

There’s no need to try to figure out these costs on your own. You could be asking yourself a number of questions, including When Is The Right Time To Buy A House? or What Is The Relationship Between Mortgage Rates And Housing Prices? Now, talking to a lender or a financial advisor can help, but your best source of information may be a well-informed realtor who deals with these situations on a daily basis, knows the territory, and has experience working with local financial institutions.


Find out how Justin Thomas Real Estate Agents can help make the best decision for you today…

What Does A Real Estate Investor Need To Decide When Investing In A Property?


What Does A Real Estate Investor Need To Decide When Investing In A Property?

In 2016, the city of Charleston, South Carolina, was ranked as the fifth best place for real estate investment in the U.S by HomeVestors and the Local Market Monitor. This ranking was based on the employment growth rate of different cities across the nation. Although it mainly concerns rental properties, it is one of many clear indications of the importance of investing in real estate. The first question one then may ask when considering investing in real estate is what does a real estate investor need to decide when investing in a property? From this, a common objective unites the greater and more knowledgeable real estate agents in Charleston; which is to assist you in coming up with innovative solutions for all your real estate investment needs.


Real estate investments are considered the most stable and secure long-term investment strategy, and it is important to consider other factors that will affect your capability to maximize returns. Having adequate knowledge of these factors (and the right real estate agent to help you) will enable you to make logical decisions and to capitalize on the fullest potential.


Factors to Consider When Investing in Real Estate Properties

As with any investment strategy, real estate has two sides; the buyer’s side and the seller’s side. Whether you are looking to diversify your rental portfolio, acquire, improve and sell distressed properties, or looking for a second property; it is important to consider both factors. Other questions you could be wondering include What to Look for When Buying an Investment Property in Charleston, SC or Should I Sell My House First, Or Buy a New Home First?


These details below will help you to make an informed investment decision that will give you good returns. Some of the most important factors to consider when investing include:


  1. Market availability

This involves considering the economic viability of property in relation to the prevailing market conditions. If you are a buyer, it is important to have comprehensive knowledge of all properties that suit your needs and then narrow them down accordingly. Selling in a market with no buyers will just waste your time.


However, for both buyers and sellers, be sure to have extensive comparative market analyses that will help you know the actual value of your prospective investments. This will enable you to consider all options, and get all the information required to close the right deal successfully.


  1. Expenses and returns

This is probably the next most important factor to consider after market availability. It includes the costs incurred during the acquisition of the property, as well as those incurred if it requires any renovations. This also includes items like property tax, insurance costs, and even income tax (depending on how the deal is structured). When considering the returns, you’ll also look at the rate of appreciation if you are going for a resale in the near future. Comparing the expected expenses and profits will allow you to make a meaningful and well researched investment decision.


  1. Actual property and location

It is important to have this in mind because there are many prime locations in Charleston such as the Charleston Peninsula and Upper King Street. However, other places in Charleston are sometimes troubled with unstable grounds and heavy flooding. These factors will negatively affect the value of the property and the ability to resell. The objective of property investment is to get good returns, and if this is not achieved then the property adds no benefit to your portfolio. Following through on proper data and research is vital, which makes knowing a knowledge real estate agent that knows your overall market vastly important.


  1. Contingencies

These allow for your legal protection through insurance, house inspection, and corporate structuring. It is important to have an expert or your attorney advise you through the whole process so as to have a full list of options in case any unexpected circumstances arise.


Real estate investment in Charleston is a very lucrative venture. Nonetheless, it is crucial to consider a full range of options that will positively influence the investment process in your favor. It will enable you to make sound investment decisions and to maximize returns to their full capability.   


Be sure to have a knowledgeable realtor that really knows the market.


Contact me for a list of real estate investment opportunities in the Charleston area.

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