September 1st, 2018 4:31 PM by Jackie A. Graves, President
the other day, it happened again.
I ended up
face to face with a real estate myth I thought had been debunked out of
existence in the last century.
there I was in a popular "resto," waiting for my lunch companion and
half listening to the two articulate couples chatting at the table behind me,
when I heard it.
Like so many
of us today, the two couples were raising lots of questions about what was up
in the real estate market and concerns they had regarding what to do next with
their homes. Then, one of them said: "I'd love to get the low-down on all
of this from a realtor, but I'm afraid they'd end up selling me
agreement from the others ended their discussion.
Is that how you feel?
Do you shy
away from asking a real estate professional about real estate because you think
they may talk you into something you do not want to do?
If you don't ask real estate professionals about real estate,
who are you going to ask? Your best friend? Your grocer? Google? Siri?
Ask anyone or
any digital thing about real estate and you'll get an answer.
opinions. Every digital resource from search engines to artificial intelligence
technology can always spit out links to matching keywords.
But the real
question is, "Are you receiving answers you can rely on because the
information is directly relevant to your personal situation and your specific
real estate requirements?"
professionals are among the few professionals who do not usually charge for
answering questions or explaining real estate issues or terminology. Why not
take advantage of this opportunity to enlighten yourself and verify the
reliability of what you've picked up online?
process of chatting with professionals, you'll probably meet a few you trust to
understand your situation. When you're ready to buy or sell, you will probably
choose one of them to help.
preparing to talk real estate, clarify exactly what you want to know and why
you want to know it. Here are Six Conversation Starting Points to adapt to your
situation and the real estate conversations you'd like to have:
1. Do you want to know specific
facts about real estate?
factual information, like how listings or mortgages work, ask away and take
notes. There is too much false or out-dated information online. Before savvy
buyers and sellers act, they verify, with an experienced real estate expert or
two, the accuracy of what has been discovered online.
2. Are you after details on
your choices if you decide to sell or buy in the next six months versus next
queries like these would blend fact and opinion. Not even real estate professionals
know exactly what will happen in six months, never mind next year. They can
tell you what appears to lie ahead in the short term and what real estate
forecasters project ahead. The key to understanding real estate is exploring
how real estate market values are locally influenced relative to your specific
property. That interpretation is what real estate professionals can help you
with. Ultimately, you'll need to arrive at your own opinion of the economy and
what may evolve, so talk to a few professionals to sample a cross-section of
3. Do you want to know what's
going to happen with interest rates?
real estate professionals do not know exactly what is going to happen to
interest rates over the months and years ahead. They do understand the
financial services industries and monitor economic patterns, so some may feel
confident offering educated guesses in the short term. Many will explain what
the current situation is, what the implications are for possible changes, and include
other details which would provide you with background to form your own opinion
relative to your situation.
4. If you're not social media
or tech savvy, don't shy away from talking to real estate professionals who are
They may be
very useful in helping you understand the advantages and disadvantages of
online real estate sources and using calculators and other digital tools,
relative to your real estate ownership. Just keep in mind that they are busy
professionals working hard for their clients, and they are not teachers. Since
most are committed to helping consumers receive the information they need to
make confident decisions, real estate professionals often have suggestions on
third-party resources that can help demystify online real estate content and
5. If you don't know whether
you can afford the next real estate step you'd like to take, don't shy away
from talking to real estate professionals.
professionals are not debt counselors, investment advisors, or estate planners,
but they do understand how real estate and money fit together. Most are very
good problem solvers and creative thinkers, who have well-developed
resource networks to call on. They will each have had different experiences
with income-generation, co-ownership, and other real estate options. All this
adds up to a lot of possibilities, so your persistence pays off.
6. If don't know exactly what
you want to do next, don't shy away from talking to real estate professionals.
Most of them
concentrate on specific neighborhoods and consumer lifestyles, so when you
discover a professional who'd consider you a match for their expertise, they
may guide you in your search for choices. Again, talk to several for a range of
ideas and experience. We are all pioneers in this never-before-in-history time.
Make sure you avoid assumptions and explore all available options. Perhaps,
you'll invent one or two for yourself. Look
for those who feed your curiosity with their own.
majority of real estate professionals are honest, hardworking people who are
eager to assist you. That said, and in view of the encouragement above, I add a
note of caution: In every profession, there are wide ranges of professionalism,
ethics, commitment to developing expertise, focus on staying current, and
honesty. The real estate industry is no different.
Always act in your own best interest. Take notes or
record conversations for future reference. Meet in the real estate brokerage,
so you gain first-hand experience with the business supporting the real estate
professional. Protect your personal information and privacy. When in doubt or
if you feel uncomfortable, leave. These usually-short conversations should be
enlightening and enjoyable.
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