Blog :: 10-2013

Choosing the Right Realtor as Your Buyer's Agent

Choosing the right Realtor to represent you can be overwhelming. There are many things you as a buyer need to factor in. I will help guide you through this process and feel free to contact me with any questions. The first step in the process of choosing a Realtor is picking up the phone and talking to different agents. When a buyer contacts Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate The Shanahan Group I always have prepared questions so I can better understand their wants and needs. I am always curious in how long someone has been looking, if they live in the area, and what their timing expectation is. It is extremely important that Realtors ask questions -- not only for their own knowledge but to form a connection with you as a prospective client. A Designated Buyer Agent works solely in the buyers BEST interest and you as a buyer should make sure you form a connection with your Realtor. Remember, you will be spending lots of time with your Realtor! I always recommend setting up a time with my clients either at our office or in their home for a brief meeting. I present how I, as a Realtor will represent them and Ill ask more questions about the clients wants and needs. A sit down discussion about you, the client, should not be scary. I know it is overwhelming, having someone ask a handful of questions about your personal life. Remember, buyer agents work for you and cannot disclose information. Everything remains confidential and questions are only for your Realtors knowledge to help find you the BEST HOME for the BEST PRICE. Here are just a few questions a good Realtor should ask his or her clients:
  • How soon do you need or want to be in a new home?
  • How do you plan to finance the purchase of a new house?
  • Have you been in contact with mortgage lenders in your area?
  • What price range are you looking?
  • How much had you planned to put down?
  • What are your top priorities?
  • Are you familiar with the home buying process?
Next, I set up a search based on my clients home criteria - price range, towns, type of home, number of bedrooms, age of the home, etc., with email alerts directly through MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Not only will this show buyers homes which are currently available on the market, but also alert buyers to price reductions, new homes on the market, and even open houses. Once you find the home of your dreams, I provide my client with relevant market data as well as my own experience and expertise so we can develop the strongest offer. Once we decide on the best price, I present our offer to the listing agent personally, discussing what makes my client the best buyer for the property. We give the seller a time frame on when we need to hear back which usually is about 24 to 48 hours. We then wait for a response. Best case, they accept, but if not the sellers can either counter offer or reject. If the sellers counter-offer, I will negotiate with the listing agent for the best price and terms on behalf of the buyer, always keeping you informed throughout the process. Once an offer is accepted, your Realtor will help advise you on next steps, most notably a home inspection and other inspections needed by law. Its important for the buyers to follow their inspector during a home inspection. Its a great time to ask questions to learn more about the property you are in the process of buying. Other to-do items you may discuss with your Realtor include homeowners insurance, certifying funds for down payment and closing costs, and advising you about utility turn overs and movers. Last but not least, the closing and funding. Just before settlement you and your Realtor should make one last walk through to make sure the home is in the condition you expect. Buying a new home should be enjoyable and the right Realtor should help make this process stress free. Remember to interview a Realtor and discuss how they will best represent you. Relax, take a deep breath, and have fun finding your dream home!!! stephanie Once again, we're happy to have Stephanie Walsh blogging for BH&G Shanahan. You can reach Stephanie at 781-572-9218 orstephanie.walsh@shanahanre.com

Get to Know Your Realtor - Part 4

This week, in our continuing blog series Get to Know your Realtor, we are pleased to introduce Stephanie Walsh as our newest team member and our newest blog contributor. When Stephanie says it's been a whirlwind, she's not joking! She's come to us with energy, ideas, stories, humor, and insights. We are so happy to have her as part of Better Homes and Gardens The Shanahan Group. Stephanie from FB Back in 2010 I started my Real Estate career in Boston with apartment rentals. My office was right between the University of Boston and Boston College a perfect location for walk-in clients. My office was great and had the support and networking systems I was looking for. I remember during my first showing our office manager talked me through the steps in showing an apartment. I was so nervous!! I got in my car, put my GPS on, and headed out to meet my client. My palms were sweating and my heart was beating fast. I pulled up to this adorable one bedroom apartment in the heart of Brighton where I met my first client. I calmly introduced myself and keyed into the apartment. We looked around and talked about the sunny living room and recently updated kitchen. He seemed to really like the atmosphere and location and cheerfully asked for an application. I was so proud of myself! Throughout my Real Estate career I have encountered many funny and awkward moments. One afternoon during my rental career, I had a showing in Somerville then another, one hour later in Brighton center. I was stressed out about time and nervous I wouldnt make it to Brighton. I got in my car and tried to turn it on nothing. My car wouldnt start and I now had a showing appointment, which was about a half hour away. There was only one solution to my problem I needed to call my dad! I was lucky that my father was at a plumbing job in Cambridge and could switch cars with me. Little (funny) problem the car I was getting was a large white pickup truck with pipes and tools loaded in the back. But it was my only option I had to! Luckily, I made it to Brighton in time for my showing and saw my clients waiting at the driveway. I opened my not so stylish truck door and slid out in my heels. The couple laughed as I made my way over while asking, Are you from maintenance? I was shocked! Chuckling, I replied, No! Im your agent! I still laugh about this story to this day! Now Im a Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens The Shanahan Group in Winchester. The first couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. As a Realtor now based in Winchester, I need to create databases, send out announcements, and interact with people and organizations, such as Family Action Network, supporting families and the Winton Club, supporting Winchester Hospital, to form relationships. I need to become familiar with the area; what it means to be in The Flats vs. Winchester Highlands - not to mention the brand new Vinson-Owen school that just opened, Winchester High's award winning status, and so on. Luckily, as a lifelong resident of Stoneham I've got that area covered - as well as my knowledge of the surrounding communities such as Wakefield, Medford, and Woburn. I am ecstatic that I am part of such a wonderful company, which is the number one trusted brand in Real Estate! I know I will succeed in this new chapter in my life. I have a great support system here at the office along with my family and friends. Best part about this new chapter, my phone extension is the number 19 my familys lucky number I now know this wonderful opportunity is meant to be. Im not just a Realtor selling houses but forming lifelong relationships with my clients. I give 100 percent to everything I do and Im extremely down to earth. I might be living my dream but Im also making dreams come true for others!