The travel agent industry has been decimated over the past two decades due to the internet. Information asymmetry has effectively evaporated with online travel marketplaces. Airlines no longer need to give up 10% of their revenue to an intermediary to play matchmaker between travelers and flights. Airlines can now easily connect directly with their customers over the internet, driving down transaction costs, increasing transparency, and improving the customer experience without the need for a third party.
Many home buyers find it surprising that building personal rapport with the seller of a property can actually make a meaningful difference in winning or losing the home of your dreams. Most buyers assume that price is the only thing that really matters for sellers and there is little else to be done to influence the outcome of a deal, other than be the highest bidder.
A new real estate business model has emerged over the past several years that is creating confusion and fear among home buyers, sellers, and real estate professionals. Under what is known as an iBuyer or ‘Instant Buyer’ model, Start-up companies and established players in the real estate industry are purchasing houses directly from property owners.
The details around the process of a home purchase can seem daunting. Especially for first time buyers, the legal requirements and seemingly arcane group of vendors to work with is particularly confusing. However, with a little bit of knowledge and an experienced real estate agent, navigating this process can be much less stressful than you might think.
The escrow process in a real estate transaction often feels mystifying and opaque for first time home buyers. Having a better understanding of the reason for an escrow period and what occurs during this stage will enable you to better communicate with all parties to the transaction, aid them in meeting key timelines, and dramatically improving the likelihood of a drama free closing.
Many new buyers are fearful of overpaying for real estate when purchasing a new property. Given that buying a new home will likely be one of the largest investments you make in your life, this is entirely understandable. However, the market conditions in which you are considering a purchase play a big role in determining what might be a fair value vs. overpaying.
Thinking about buying or selling a house is a major life decision. You may wonder when exactly is the best time to seek the services of a real estate agent. While you may just be information gathering, engaging an agent as soon as possible in your process can help inform your strategy and set you up for success.
While most reasonably competent agents can guide a successful purchase, a stellar one will also counsel you on considerations to protect your asset. This includes home insurance, warranty plans, hazard insurance policies relevant to the specific location of your home, and estate planning. Protecting your property is as important as making the initial investment, and without a trust in place you put your property at risk of a lengthy and costly court probate process.
One of the best decisions a potential buyer can make is speaking with a mortgage lender before considering making a purchase. In many cases, this could be six months to a year prior to being ready to make a purchase. In my experience, people delay reaching out to a lender until they have saved a sizable down payment and are ready to put an offer in on a property.