Embarking on your latest real estate venture in Encinitas with a trusted local Realtor? Don’t be a passive client and watch the transaction unfold from the wings. As the old saying goes, “Be smart! Ask questions.” And here are several essential queries that will make you a better-informed homebuyer or seller.
Table of Contents
If you’re buying
- Where should I focus my home search?
At this stage in the homebuying process, you should know these two things: the kind of home you’re looking for and your budget. These will influence the direction of your home search, specifically the areas you should focus your attention to.
Any experienced and knowledgeable Encinitas Realtor should be able to direct you to these neighborhoods as soon as they know your end goal. For instance, if you’re looking for a home close to the beach, your Realtor may recommend communities like Leucadia, Cardiff-by-the-Sea, and Riviera.
That said, should you only pay attention to your Realtor’s recommended neighborhoods? Not necessarily. Keep an open mind to other places; you’ll never know what you’ll find in other parts of Encinitas.
- Do you see any potential issues with this house?
Say you find a house you really like. Don’t hesitate to ask your Realtor for an honest opinion. They might have noticed something you missed or are privy to the property’s history, especially if it’s an older home or has been in the market for some time.
Realtors are not home inspectors, but they can still give you a professional’s opinion based on their own experience and knowledge. Take note of potential issues, especially those concerning the property’s structure, and relay them to the right expert if necessary.
- What’s our offering strategy?
The chances of your offer being accepted aren’t only determined by the offer price but several factors as well. Contingencies and other requests come into play. Furthermore, local market conditions can also influence the success of your offer.
So before you come up with what you think is a good price, consult your Encinitas Realtor for the right offering strategy. What’s a fair amount, and what are the contingencies you can waive or absolutely keep? If it’s a sellers market, should you add an escalation clause (it increases your offer automatically in case of a competing bid)? And will a sincere letter help further your case?
If you’re selling
- What are my home’s best selling points?
Ask your Encinitas Realtor what sets your home apart from other properties for sale in your neighborhood. It could be its geographical location (ex. waterfront, hilltop, near top schools), its provenance or story (ex. it was designed by a renowned architect), its features (ex. lots of outdoor space with resort-style amenities), to name a few.
These highlights will be front-and-center in the home’s marketing strategy, from the listing photos to the accompanying write-ups and tags. Selling points also play into the pricing of your home, which is one of the reasons why it’s important to determine them early on.
- How will you price the home?
Two things catch the attention of homebuyers when they’re browning online: the listing photo and the price. The former piques their interest, but it’s the latter that ultimately decides if the home is worth pursuing, especially for homebuyers who are strict about their budget.
Instead of offering an amount or asking your Encinitas Realtor what the listing price should be, ask about the process and the factors that will influence the number. Real estate agents often use a combination of comparable properties, market conditions, appreciation rates, and even a home’s pricing history to come up with a realistic price.
If your Realtor can’t justify the price they came up with, you might turn buyers away and lose profit.
- How will you screen potential buyers?
An effective marketing strategy will constantly draw potential buyers to your property. But how will your Encinitas Realtor screen serious homebuyers from those who are just looking around?
Vetting homebuyers is important- it minimizes the risk of a deal falling through and increases your chances of selling your home fast. And the faster you get your property off the market, the better. That’s because you’ll be able to sell your home for the best possible price.
But back to the question: how will your Realtor screen buyers? One of the standard ways is to ask sellers how they’re paying. Cash offers are great and straightforward, but if the buyer is getting a mortgage loan, a Realtor may ask for a pre-approval letter as proof that they have financing lined up. Some Realtors ask if the buyer is also selling their home, which can be a red flag depending on the situation.