How to Choose a Listing Agent

With so many listing agents out there, it can be difficult to determine which one is right for you. By interviewing various listing agents in your area, you can find out who will go the extra mile with the sale of your home and who won’t. Here is a list of questions you should consider asking any listing agent you interview:

How much can you sell my home for?

If you’ve found that two listing agents state they can sell your home for $400,000 and a third one states $500,000, the third one is likely exaggerating in order to attract you. Opt for a listing agent who is realistic about sales price.

How much real estate did you sell last year?

Previous performance often indicates future results. That’s why, you should find out how much real estate each listing agent you interview sold last year. Refrain from hiring anyone who was not successful in the past.

What are your marketing strategies?

You’ll find that some listing agents put a great deal of time and energy into marketing homes while others make no or minimal effort to do so. By asking listing agents how they will market your home, you’ll get a better feel for how many eyes may get in front of it.

How do you track online listing activity?

Since your home will likely receive three times more traffic the first week it’s listed, you should select an agent that can track online activity and give you an update on the performance of your home. You could then use this information to alter your listing if necessary.

What is your method for following up with open house attendees?

Many listing agents arrange open houses to market homes. Ask the listing agents you interview whether they have a specific method for following up with open house attendees. They should be able to keep track of serious open house leads and collect valuable feedback about your home.

Do you have a specialty?

While some listing agents focus on starter homes and condos, others sell luxury homes. Try to figure out the specialty of each listing agent you interview so that you know whether their experience is valuable for your particular situation.

Do you consider yourself readily available?

If your listing agent is only available on certain days of the week because of another job or commitment, your home may not sell in a timely fashion. Ask listing agents about their availability and avoid hiring anyone who seems overly busy and won’t be able to be there for you when you need them.

What is your commission rate?

In most cases, the commission rate will be about 6% and split with the buyer’s agent. You may come across listing agents that offer to negotiate their commission. While it may be tempting to choose them, keep in mind you’re paying for a professional service and you should choose someone based on their experience and quality of work rather than their reduced commission rate.

Asking these questions to multiple listing agents will help you get the greatest possible return on your investment and locate the most qualified buyer.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.

2018 Planned Rate Hikes and How Home Buying Will Be Affected

Interest rates can affect many aspects of your financial life and are driven by the monetary policy decisions of the Federal Reserve. Major banks use these monetary policy decisions when borrowing or lending funds.

The Federal Reserve agreed to raise its key interest rate of 1.25% to 1.5%., the third increase in this rate in 2017. The raised rate will push up rates for credit cards, adjustable-rate mortgages and home equity lines of credit. Its effect on fixed-rate mortgages will not be as pronounced.

Mortgages typically come with 15 to 30 year terms which is far longer than short-term borrowing affected by the federal funds rate. Therefore, mortgage rates which have been below 4 percent for the majority of 2017 are not as sensitive to the incremental rate increases.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Individuals Seeking a New Mortgage and Homeowners With An Adjustable Rate

The individuals that are most vulnerable to this rate increase are those who are seeking a new mortgage or already have one with an adjustable rate. If you have an adjustable rate mortgage, the rising interest rates may affect your rate when your introductory period ends.

You may want to consider refinancing your adjustable rate mortgage to a fixed-rate one without extending the term of it. Opting for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage may also decrease the total amount you pay in interest.

In addition, if you’re considering buying a home through a new mortgage, you should expect an interest rate for a 30-year mortgage to rise to about 4.40 percent, up from the current 3.95 percent rate.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Homeowners With a 30-Year Mortgage

In the event you already have a 30 year mortgage, the increased interest rates will not affect your monthly payments. This may make it tempting for you to stay in your current home and keep the interest rate you locked in rather than selling your home and applying for a mortgage with a higher interest rate.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Homeowners With a Home Equity Line of Credit

If you have a home equity line of credit, your rates will likely increase, meaning your payments will increase as well. It’s important to understand that even if your payments do rise, this is because the Fed believes there has been improvement in the economy and there will be more economic growth in the future. You may find that you get a raise at work or find a higher paying job.

How the Interest Rate Increase Will Affect Rental Property Owners

If you own rental properties, the rate increase may help you out because more people will be tempted to rent rather than buy a home. Increases in occupancy and rental rates can increase the value of your real estate.

By doing whatever you can to keep your interest payments low and paying off your debt as soon as possible, you can ensure that increased interest rates have a less drastic effect on your mortgage and financial situation.

Contact The Shevins today for a consultation on anything
Calabasas and Hidden Hills real estate.