Karen Adelson - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty

Do you need to hire a real estate agent to help you find your dream home? The choice is yours, but ultimately, your decision to hire a real estate agent to guide you along the homebuying process may determine whether you're able to find your ideal house quickly and effortlessly. Your real estate agent can provide plenty of tips as you search for homes. In fact, there are many terrific reasons to listen to your real estate agent throughout the homebuying process, including: 1. Comprehensive Resources Although you may have a vast array of online resources at your disposal, your real estate likely can provide additional insights you won't find elsewhere. For instance, your real estate can collaborate with a home seller's real estate agent to better understand a seller's preferences. This may allow you to find out whether a seller is looking for a quick sale, how much this seller would accept for his or her residence and other "insider" information. Your real estate agent is happy to provide you with extra resources as well. This professional can send you regular email updates of home listings in particular areas, set up a home showing as soon as a new residence in a specific city or town becomes available and do whatever it takes to ensure you can find your ideal home immediately. 2. Extensive Negotiating Skills Don't enter a home negotiation without a real estate agent at your side. With a real estate agent who understands what it takes to handle a high-pressure negotiation, you should have no trouble striking a fair deal with a home seller. Your real estate agent likely understands how to stay calm, cool and collected in even the most stressful negotiation. Meanwhile, this professional can pass along tips to help you confidently submit an offer on a home and await a seller's response. Ultimately, the negotiating tips and support you receive from your real estate agent can make a world of difference in your efforts to buy a high-quality residence. And in the end, the guidance that your real estate agent provides may help you secure your ideal home. 3. Honesty and Reliability Sometimes, it can be tough to trust a real estate agent. But if you do your homework and hire a real estate agent who is both honest and reliable, you can enjoy consistent support throughout the homebuying process. Employing a first-rate real estate agent ensures you'll be able to receive unbiased feedback as you search for your dream home, too. For example, an honest real estate agent won't be afraid to point out both the pros and cons of a particular home. This feedback will enable you to make a more informed decision and may bolster your chances of purchasing a residence that you can enjoy for years to come. Listen to your real estate agent throughout the homebuying process – you'll be happy you did! By doing so, you can receive expert tips to ensure you're able to buy your dream house at a price that fits your budget.

Selling a home takes patience. Especially when you’re balancing your time between settling into your new home, and keeping up with your work and family life. So, when you’ve finally gotten to the point of accepting an offer on your home, you’ll probably breathe a sigh of relief--and you should!  However, there are still a few more things that will need to happen and a couple of things to consider before closing the deal on your home sale.

Contingencies on the purchase contract

A purchase contract typically includes contingency clauses that are designed to protect the interests of both the buyer and the seller. These clauses mean that the contract is contingent upon the actions being completed before it can be legally valid.

There are three main contingencies that will likely be included in the purchase contract before closing--inspection, financing, and appraisal.

Inspection contingency

The inspection contingency allows the buyer to have the home inspected by a professional before closing (the time should be specified within the contract, but the inspection should usually occur no more than two weeks after you accept the offer). A home inspection lets the buyer know what to expect in terms of repairs that the home needs now or will need in the near future.

Financing contingency

Since the vast majority of buyers will be purchasing their home through a loan, a financing contingency is included to allow the buyer time to secure their mortgage. Getting pre-qualified and pre-approved makes this process easier, but the buyer will still have to finalize and close on their mortgage before their financing is official.

This clause exists to protect the buyer in the event that their mortgage application is denied, ensuring that they aren’t penalized.

Appraisal contingency

The third contingency most often found in purchase contracts is a home appraisal. The buyer will order an appraisal and then the appraiser will reach out to you to find a day to come and value your home.

If the home is then appraised at the amount agreed upon in your contract, this contingency is met. However, if the appraisal comes up lower than the purchase amount, the buyer can renegotiate the price.

Walkthrough and closing

Once the appraisal and inspection have been met and financing secured, the buyer will have a chance to do a final walkthrough of your home. The walkthrough usually occurs no more than two days prior to closing on the sale. A walkthrough allows the buyer view the home one last time to ensure that the condition of the home hasn’t drastically changed since the home was inspected or appraised. So, make sure the buyer is aware of any changes you planned to make to the home before closing.

Now you’re ready to close on your home sale. You’ll receive a disclosure form to review (read it carefully!) and sign. Once closing is complete, ownership of the home is officially transferred to the buyer.

While the closing process does include several steps, it’s important to be available and cooperative along the way to ensure a smooth sale and transition into your new home.

When you’re shopping for a home, one of the most important things is that you feel comfortable in the home. Sure, you can look at the listing and visit the property, but you’ll never know what it’s like to sleep in a home until you move in. While there aren’t many homeowners that offer overnights in order for you to feel out their property listing, there are ways that you can test a home out subtly.

Check Out The Neighborhood

You can learn a lot about a neighborhood just by observing the area. See how many people are out walking around. What is the age group of the people you see? This can give you a great idea of the neighborhood that your potential home is in. You could do this investigating several times at different hours of the day to get a full picture of the area.

Getting out and taking a stroll around the neighborhood is also a great idea to see what potentially living in your new home will be like. Check out public transportation options and local establishments like restaurants and coffee shops. Another great place to check out is local parks and recreation centers. This will allow you to see both the quality and the quantity of the options available to you. 

Test The Plumbing

If you have a chance as you’re walking through a home, touring it, be sure to check out the plumbing. Turn on the faucets. See how the water pressure from the shower is. It seems like kind of a strange thing to think of testing, but it’s important. You don’t want to move into a house only to find out the water pressure is unlivable and the hot water isn’t so hot! 

Check Out How The Windows Work

A home with a breeze is always nice. See if any windows get stuck or are leaking out cold air when shut. This is a subtle way to do your own home inspection of an important aspect of your potential future home. Paying attention to the windows can also help you to hear the noise factor that you might face in the home. Can you hear a lot of traffic? Is the neighborhood quiet? Discovering these things will be very important in your decision to purchase a home.   

How Is The Storage Space?

Look around the homes that you’re considering and see how much storage space you’ll have. Is there a basement or an attic or both? How easy are these spaces to access? If a home lacks adequate closet space for storing things like towels, cleaners, clothing, etc, you may find yourself scrambling for ways to keep all of your things in the home once you move in. Make sure the storage space you see is enough for you and your family’s lifestyle.    


When it comes to adding your residence to the real estate market, it is always better to err on the side of diligence.

Ultimately, there are many reasons to become a diligent home seller, including:

1. You can price your house competitively from the get-go.

For those who want to become diligent home sellers, it is paramount to set a competitive price from the get-go. By doing so, a diligent home seller can stir up plenty of interest in his or her house and boost the chances of a quick home sale.

A diligent home seller will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about the real estate market. As such, this home seller will have no trouble establishing a competitive price for his or her residence from day one.

In addition, a diligent home seller will examine the prices of available houses that are similar to his or her own. With this housing market data in hand, a diligent home seller can establish a price range for his or her residence.

2. You can identify home improvement opportunities.

A diligent home seller likely understands that his or her residence has various pros and cons. At the same time, this property seller recognizes home improvement opportunities.

To learn about home improvement opportunities, a diligent home seller usually will conduct a home appraisal. This appraisal enables a property inspector to evaluate a residence and provide the home seller with an in-depth report about the house's condition. Then, the home seller can use these property insights to streamline his or her home improvement efforts.

Completing a series of home improvements can make a world of difference in the eyes of homebuyers. In fact, a diligent home seller will prioritize home improvement projects and finish assorted home interior and exterior tasks to transform an ordinary residence into a stellar one.

3. You can keep your cool in stressful negotiations with a homebuyer.

Let's face it – no home seller wants to worry about stressful negotiations with a property buyer. Fortunately, a diligent home seller will know what it takes to remain calm, cool and collected as home selling negotiations proceed.

A diligent home seller will understand the true value of his or her house. Thus, this home seller can enter negotiations with actionable data to help him or her make informed decisions.

Plus, a diligent home seller will maintain an open approach throughout negotiations. This approach will enable a home seller to listen to what a homebuyer has to say at all times. And if a home seller maintains an open approach, he or she increases the likelihood that all parties involved in negotiations will get the best possible results.

If you ever need extra assistance as you prepare to list your residence, you can always reach out to a real estate agent too.

Even a diligent home seller will collaborate with a real estate agent to get home selling guidance. That way, a diligent home seller can move one step closer to optimizing the value of his or her residence.

Want to transform your homeownership dream into a reality? Understanding what it takes to enter the real estate market successfully is paramount for homebuyers. With the necessary preparation, you should have no trouble purchasing your dream residence.

Ultimately, there are several steps that a homebuyer should take before he or she conducts a home search, including:

1. Perform Plenty of Housing Market Research

The housing market fluctuates regularly, and a buyer's market can change into a seller's market quickly. As such, you'll want to conduct sufficient real estate market research before you start your home search so you can streamline the process of finding the perfect house.

Consider where you want to live and whether you'd like to reside close to family members and friends. Also, consider how much space you'll need from a new home, along with whether you'd like to live near schools, playgrounds and other local hot spots.

Don't forget to check out the prices of a wide range of homes, either. By doing so, you may be able to determine the price range for houses that match your needs.

2. Get Pre-Approved for a Mortgage

With pre-approval for a mortgage, you'll know exactly what you can afford as soon as you're ready to buy a house.

Banks and credit unions frequently offer a vast array of home financing options, making it simple for you to choose a mortgage that fits your budget. Fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages are among the most popular choices for homebuyers nationwide. Meanwhile, you may be eligible for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loans as well.

Reach out to multiple banks and credit unions to pursue all of the home financing options at your disposal. This will enable you to find the best mortgage based on your individual needs and enter the housing market with financing in hand to secure your dream home.

3. Hire an Experienced Real Estate Agent

There is no reason to enter the housing market alone. Lucky for you, experienced real estate agents are happy to help you find the perfect house.

An experienced real estate agent understands the ins and outs of the housing market and will share his or her real estate expertise with you. This professional will educate you about the real estate market and ensure that you know what to look for when you attend an open house.

Also, an experienced real estate agent will guide you along the homebuying journey. From the moment you spot your dream home to the day you finalize a purchase agreement, your real estate agent will offer the support that you need to go from homebuyer to homeowner.

Perhaps best of all, an experienced real estate agent will help alleviate your homebuying concerns. And if you ever have homebuying questions, your real estate agent will provide responses at any time.

Don't settle for a subpar home – follow the aforementioned steps, and you can move closer to discovering your ideal residence.