A couple of weeks ago, I shared a story with you about that time our realtor assisted us in selling two spec homes. If you recall, this realtor did nothing short of saving us our sanity during a very difficult season in our family. On the flip side of that, over the past 17 years my husband and I have purchased three homes, all with the help of our realtor. And so today, I would like to come full circle and share with you the story of the house we didn’t buy, thanks to our realtor.
Last year, we found a home in foreclosure that we thought was perfect for our family. It was in a great neighborhood, had four bedrooms, a partially finished basement, and even a swimming pool. We thought we had found the perfect home for our family at a great price. Although it needed lots of work, we weren’t bothered at all. We had experience with putting elbow grease into our homes, since we completely remodeled the house we live in now upon purchase.
Since we had built spec homes before we had a great list of contractors, we knew we were more than capable for the job. As we walked through the house full of excitement, our realtor began to point out things that in our excitement we were blinded to. With years of experience, he quickly recognized areas of concern that warranted our attention. Evidence of a previously flooded basement, mold on the wall, and a cracked foundation were just a few of the issues mentioned. Even though the house was priced considerably lower than market value, the needed improvements just to make sure that the home was safe for our family were significant. Thankfully our realtor had our best interest at heart; it wasn’t just about selling another house to him. He suggested we get bids from professionals to give us a better idea of how much the repairs would cost.
We knew that waiting for estimates to determine the cost of the needed repairs could potentially cost us this house, but we trusted our realtor. Turns out, the needed repairs would have cost us close to $50,000! That didn’t even count the cosmetic upgrades we wanted to make; this was just to make sure the house was safe for our family to live. Nevertheless, had we not trusted our realtor’s professional opinion and years of experience, we could have gotten ourselves into a very difficult financial bind. This wasn’t our dream house after all; in all reality it was a huge money pit. In this case, we are thankful for our realtor’s expertise in a real estate transaction that didn’t come to pass. We love our home and are very content staying right where we are.
Besides our personal experience in buying and selling homes, my husband Gary is a Mortgage Loan officer who works with home buyers on a daily basis. Because of his line of work, he understands how much smoother the entire process can go when a real estate professional is involved. Now that you have heard our personal experience in home buying, he is going to share from his professional expertise.
As a professional who works in the real estate market every day, I have seen and come to appreciate the importance that realtors play in working through a real estate transaction. My job is to help families find the right mortgage that will allow them to purchase a home. I have worked with clients who did not have a realtor representing them when they initially came to me for a mortgage. In many of those cases, the client was asking me questions that I am just not qualified to answer. I had to complete many hours of class work and pass a state and national exam, as well as be licensed with credit and background checks. The State of Tennessee says that I am qualified to answer questions that deal with acquiring a mortgage on a home, NOT the process of selling or buying a home. Yes, I have sold and bought many houses through the years, but that does not make me an expert in the field of real estate.
So what can a realtor offer you? The realtor is an extra layer of protection for you. Your realtor will be out in front of your transaction speaking with the mortgage broker, title company and listing agent (as well as many others), ensuring that the transaction is moving along and on schedule. Typically, the realtor has relationships with all of the involved parties and can communicate effectively to ensure the closing is on target. By enlisting the help of a realtor, you can rest assured knowing you have a trained professional who knows what they are doing and can proactively navigate the buying or selling process.
Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you will ever make in your lifetime. I don’t know about you, but if I am dealing with a legally binding transaction, I don’t want the best opinion of someone not trained in the business. I want a professional who deals with this every day! Using a real estate professional can be the difference in selling your home or purchasing your dream home. They serve as the protective and helpful barrier between you and the other party. Let a licensed professional represent you, and thus ensure that your transaction will run smoother.
Now that you have heard both our personal and professional experiences, the next step is finding a fabulous real estate professional. Dave Ramsey offers an Endorsed Local Providers (ELP) program. The ELP program is a super simple to use, trusted program. You can even find recommendations specific to your local area across the country. Rest assured that those included in Dave Ramsey’s ELP program have passed stringent guidelines to be included in the program. In fact, each real estate ELP professional is evaluated monthly based on their performance. Having that extra layer of accountability can make a huge difference between finding an average real estate agent and getting matched with the best real estate agent in your area.