Go Local for the Best Real Estate Advice
Anyone who remembers what the real estate market was like a few years (or decades) ago can appreciate the opportunity that today’s incredibly low mortgage interest rates present for homebuyers or sellers.
If you own a home, consider taking advantage of the current red-hot real estate market to upgrade to a new home or cash out of your current home. And for prospective homebuyers, if you want to get the most bang for your (mortgage interest) buck, now’s your chance.
Home Field Advantage
Don’t underestimate the value that a local real estate agent can offer as you pursue the perfect home purchase or sale. Teaming up with a real estate agent who is highly connected to your community is your best bet.
“Sometimes friends or family who live outside Central Texas ask me to help them sell their house,” says Kirbi Barbosa, an agent with Sojourn Real Estate in Temple. “I tell them that I’ll help them find a local agent where they live because that person will know their market better than I will. The same thing applies when I’m contacted by buyers who are new to Central Texas—I am the expert about this market, so I’m the best person to help them house hunt here.”
“My market analysis is extremely thorough because I know the area so well,” she says. “An agent from out of town might suggest that they can do an analysis for a property,” she says, “but I’m not comfortable they would know enough details about the market here to really benefit the client.”
Barbosa says using a local real estate agent simplifies the house buying or selling process. A knowledgeable local real estate agent can recommend the best resources during a home sale or purchase. They will know who are the trustworthy mortgage brokers or title companies in town, not to mention other services a client might need—like reliable painters, stagers, landscapers or photographers.
Another important benefit offered by an in-town agent is their membership in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Access to that particular MLS directory gives the agent a code to unlock a home’s lock box. “If an agent doesn’t belong to our MLS,” says Carolina Haase, also a real estate agent with Sojourn Real Estate, “it will be a lot more work to access a house for a tour.”
“I offer clients my knowledge of this area’s governing bodies, laws and history of the market,” Barbosa adds. “At Sojourn, we belong to the Temple/Belton/Killeen/Salado MLS, and we’re privy to all sorts of helpful information about properties in this area.”
Local agents will know things like which sellers are likely to snap up an offer or who might be willing to sell a special property, even if they haven’t listed yet.
Barbosa explains: “We live and work in this community—we know where to advertise and how to get the word out about our listings. We know how to scout out the best deals for buyers. We’ve got our ears to the ground.”