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The importance of enlisting a great realtor

I am entering my 16th year in the mortgage industry and one thing I learned a long time ago is the importance of having a good realtor representing you in a transaction. Whether you are a buyer or seller it is important to hire an experienced professional who not only knows the market well but will look out for your best interests and not just their own.
When it comes to purchasing a new home, some people think that a realtor’s only responsibility involves searching for homes for them on the computer and then driving them around town to view the homes that they like. Some will say “well I can do that myself and maybe I will get a better deal if I go directly to the seller and his agent”. I am here to tell you first hand why that statement is simply not true. I will share a recent example of a previous client of mine in which case neither the buyer nor the seller had representation.
First of all, a realtor’s job when handling the buyer’s side is much more than just researching homes and showing them to the client. It involves numerous things which include, but are not limited to, drafting up the contract, arranging for the escrow deposit, selecting a title company, discussing financing options, scheduling the inspection, reviewing the inspection, scheduling the appraisal, assisting the client with the HOA approval process if applicable, possible re-negotiations if an inspection or appraisal does not come in favorably, following up on the financing, following up with title company and assisting with any potential liens, scheduling the closing, doing the final walk through, addressing any problems or concerns throughout the process, answering numerous questions……
These are just to name a few and as you can see the list and job duties are lengthy. When a buyer, who is not a licensed realtor, tries to take on the daunting task of representing himself, there will definitely be headaches and hardship as a result.
In this recent case, my client was a first time homebuyer trying to deal with a first time seller and there were no realtors involved. I like to call this the perfect storm and boy, was this ever one! Let me highlight some of the problems we experienced during this transaction that are extremely common when no representation is present during a transaction:

• The seller had the property priced a little high but since the buyer did not know any better and had no one to advise him, he went ahead and signed the contract. Many sellers think their house is worth more than it is so a good realtor helps set realistic expectations on what their house can sell for, how quickly it can sell and will provide supporting comparables in the area to justify their reasoning.
• The buyer did the inspection and found some issues with the property that he was not happy with so his only recourse was to talk directly to the seller instead of his agent. This caused major tension early on in the process. What seller wants to hear bad things about a property they love and have lived in for years? How does a buyer know for sure what items in an inspection report are major or minor? What options do they have when signing an “as is” contract? There are too many emotions involved when buying and selling a home and, for this reason alone, you need a realtor who can try to take emotion out of the equation and get down to business.
• The appraisal came in slightly under the contract price. This shocked and upset the buyer because he thought he was getting this great deal hence why there were no realtors involved. He thought, since the seller was saving 6% on a commission fee, that he was getting this incredible deal because the seller listed it at below market price and the house was supposed to appraise higher than the contract price. The seller was also upset by the low appraisal because she thought her house was worth more. This required more negotiations and finally the seller begrudgingly reduced the sales price. At this point, the seller and buyer are visibly upset with one another and the deal is hanging on for dear life.
• Seller neglected to tell the buyer that he needed to apply and get approved by the HOA. Once again, this would have been done at the very beginning if a realtor was involved. This ended up delaying our closing which caused the buyer’s rate lock to expire. Of course, this resulted in even more tension.

It was only by a miracle that we somehow managed to close this loan for the buyer but, as you can see, it was not easy and many transactions like this end up falling through at some point. I can tell you that neither the buyer nor the seller was happy at the end of the transaction and that is no way to feel after buying or selling a home. It felt like a boxing match that went 12 bloody rounds and there was no clear winner. My advice to anyone looking to buy or sell a home is to make sure you hire an experienced real estate agent. It will not only save you time and money, but it will also relieve a lot of stress in your life. I guarantee you will not regret it!
If you have any questions about this topic please do not hesitate to contact me. To learn more about our company and mortgage products, please feel free to call Dan Longman, President of Priority Lending Corp, at 954-438-3776 ext.11 or email me at prioritydan@bellsouth.net. Visit us online at www.prioritylendingcorp.com

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