Home Buying Process: Part 1 Finding an Agent

Part 1:  Finding an Agent

The first thing to do when buying a property is to find a well-qualified real estate expert to help you with the process.  It is always fun to look for houses on the IPad or smart phone, and really it is ok to go ahead and do that when you decide to buy.  But do not set foot in a house or property until you have found a good realtor to help you. If you are buying in an area that you currently live than you probably already know a good deal about your town.  But a good realtor will know a lot more and be able to assist you throughout the entire process.  If you are moving out of town than it is imperative that you locate a professional in the area you are buying.  The last thing you want to do is waste time looking at properties in an area that you should not be buying.  Or you could end up buying the wrong house in the wrong location.  Home-Buying-101An expert in the area can really help you locate the right property for your family and lifestyle.  But locating a house is just the beginning. A good realtor should be able to provide real value during the entire process.  For example, negotiating, inspecting, financing, and creating the contract.  You can find a good person by searching the internet, making a few phones calls or even meeting with a few different agents.  Now that you know you need help it is important to understand what to look for in a good real estate person.

First, please understand that sometimes less is more.  The agent that sells the most may not be the best fit for you.  Top sellers usually employ a team of agents and they focus primarily on volume.  Top producers are good agents but they may not have a lot of knowledge in some markets.  For example, if an agent sells 200 homes a year spread out over 4 counties it would be almost impossible for that agent to have expert knowledge in all of those areas.   Second, you need to find someone that earns a living selling real estate and works full time in the business.  There are some part time agents that work very well in their market. But you probably wouldn’t hire an attorney that practiced law as a side business.  Would you go to a doctor that that mainly worked as a landscaper and practiced medicine part time?  NO! So why on earth would you buy a house or investment property from someone who “dabbles” in real estate?  It is impossible to be good at something by going half way.  Real estate is a profession just like law, medicine, or finance.  So you need to find a professional and not a part timer.

Lastly, find a person that knows the area you are looking to buy.  The best agent in Atlanta, GA is just about the worst agent in town when they come to Athens to sell a property.  Real estate is a local business that involves high level local knowledge and high level service.  You cannot get either from someone that doesn’t live and work in the area you are buying.  If you keep these three things in mind when looking for a realtor you will likely find a good professional to work with you through the entire process.

In closing, you need to understand that you need help.  It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much HGTV you have watched.  If you want the process to run smoothly you need a good realtor.  If you have any questions or need help in the Athens area just email or call.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.

Welcome Back Students and Thank You

In Athens, August marks the return of the student population.  I have lived and worked in Athens for 16 years and one thing has always bothered me regarding our student population.   I don’t think they are too loud.  I don’t think they drink

UGA Students Cheer on the Dawgs

too much, and I don’t think they are a nuisance.  But I do think people here in Athens do not appreciate our students as much as they should.  Athens, GA is known as one of the nation’s best college towns.  It has made numerous top 10 lists through the years claiming it to be true.  Depending on who you talk to this can be perceived as a negative or a positive.  The reality is that most college towns have a lot to offer residents because of the university.  There are some great college towns that would still be great areas without a major university like an Austin, TX but Athens, GA is not one of those places.  As great as Athens is without UGA it would likely be a small railroad intersection about 20 miles Southeast of I-85.  Fortunately, that is not the case because UGA is located in Athens.

It is not uncommon to hear an adult Athens resident complain about the students. For example, some people complain about the traffic, the amount of bars downtown, and of course the hated fraternities just to name a few.  These common complaints have always bothered me and they seem to bother me more and more as I get older.  Granted people between the ages of 18 and 22 aren’t known for making wise decisions but they sure bring a great energy to our town.   First of all, the university is far and away our biggest employer.  UGA brings many visitors to Athens all year long and every fall it provides Athens with a new batch of students that are going to love Athens for the rest of their life. What other Georgia town has such a strong engine fueling its community? Thanks to the university Athens has a major government employer, a strong economic base, and a culture rarely found in a small town.

I think the students are one of the best things going in our community and welcome them every year.  Thanks to our university Athens remains a wonderful place to live, start a business, or invest in real estate.  We have wonderful neighborhoods, strong outlying communities, and a steady pool of renters that need affordable housing.  This helps make the Athens area a great place to live, retire, or invest.  So in closing, I want to thank all the college kids that live in Athens year in and year out.  I am so glad you are back because without you Athens just wouldn’t be Athens.

If you have any questions or real estate needs, please don’t hesitate to contact me or visit my real estate brokerage firm, 5 Market Realty.