Buying or selling a home is usually done with the services of a real estate agent because it can be a complicated process and transaction involving many legal implications. Agents provide multiple services ranging from listing homes to hosting open houses to negotiating the best deal. But agents can – and very often do – do much more than that. Read on, then, to discover 4 things you didn’t know your Chicago real estate agent could do.
1. Help You Get Preapproved
For buyers, getting preapproved is an important first step in the process. Buyers who have been preapproved for a mortgage loan will be perceived by sellers as serious buyers and, as a result, will have more negotiating leverage. And your Chicago real estate agent can help you get preapproved.
First, though, you should be aware of the difference between preapproval and prequalification. Preapproval means that your lender has reviewed your credit, income, and employment and issued a preapproval letter showing that they will in fact lend you a certain amount. Prequalification, on the other hand, doesn’t do these things and isn’t really worth a lot.
Your [market_city] real estate agent isn’t, of course, a financial officer at your bank, but your agent is “in frequent contact with bankers, lenders, and other professionals involved in the buying process. When you’re ready to start house-hunting, your agent can assist you in determining how much you can afford to spend on a new home (using an income vs. debt formula). She can also connect you with a trusted lender who will help with preapproval so you can get out there and find a house.”
A good agent will have a broad network of trusted professionals she can call on, including various lenders. Your agent, then, can hook you up with a trusted lender to help ensure you get preapproved. To find out more about your [market-city] real estate agent’s network, just call 773.233.2301.
2. Help Select an Inspector and Attend the Inspection
The inspection is an integral and necessary component in a real estate transaction. But the difficulty lies in the fact that, as with any service provider, some inspectors are much better than others.
Your Chicago real estate agent can help you find a qualified inspector who will best meet your needs. Your agent can also suggest additional inspections that may be needed, for example, inspections to detect hidden water damage, mold, and lead paint. As a buyer, you need to be aware of things before putting your money down.
In addition, an agent can attend the inspection. Many inspections take place while buyers are at work and unable to attend. Your Chicago real estate agent can be there to make sure the inspector doesn’t miss anything. Then, when you get the inspection report, your agent will be able to fully explain it to you.
3. Negotiate Repair Requests
Another inspection-elated service your Chicago real estate agent can provide – one that is valuable to both buyers and sellers – negotiating repair requests. If the inspection turns up any problems, an agent can help in negotiations on either end of the deal.
The inspection may discover repairs that need to be made before the sale can go through. An agent can assist buyers by getting the seller to make the repairs or reduce the price. And the agent can assist sellers by bringing to bear her negotiating expertise to ensure that they don’t concede too much.
An agent’s role here, then, is to make sure sellers deal with any serious problems in the form of repairs made or a price reduction. And on the flip side, the agent is there to alert sellers when the buyer is asking for too much.
4. Assist With Staging
Surveys and studies have shown time after time that staged homes sell faster and at a better price than homes that haven’t been staged. Staging is critical then, and that’s another thing your Chicago real estate agent can help sellers with.
“While most real estate agents are not interior designers or professional stagers, they’re well aware of the subtle touches that have been proven to attract or repel potential buyers. For example, they know that staging practices like removing family photographs, clearing away clutter, and rearranging furniture make it easier for buyers to picture themselves living in the house and increase the likelihood that they’ll make an offer. Don’t feel shy about asking your listing agent to look at each room and offer suggestions for staging improvements.”
Find a Great Chicago Real Estate Agent
So, in addition to the standard things like listing, showing, and negotiating price, your agent can do many other valuable things for you that you may not have been aware of. In short, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, it pays to have an experienced agent on your side. To take advantage of the services of a Chicago real estate agent, contact us today at 773.233.2301.