The American Dream and Real Estate Agents

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For most Americans, buying a home is one of the largest financial transactions they will ever undertake.  Their motivation may be a desire to own their own home, to accommodate a job change, or to gain a smaller or larger living area.

In recent years, we have seen a dramatic change in the valuation of residential real estate. While some areas have fared better and some have fared far worse, the average home in metro Atlanta is down approximately 30 percent from its high point five years ago.  You might expect that home buying in general, would have lost some of its luster. And in some areas it most certainly has.  Neighborhoods that commanded a higher dollar five short years ago are run down in some spots and some have become ‘warzones’ as you hear on the streets. In spite of this, a recently released report by the NAR (National Association of Realtors) shares some interesting discoveries:

First time buyers accounted for 39 percent of the total homes bought, only slightly below the historical norm of 40 percent.  Among recent homebuyers, 30 percent stated that their primary reason for their purchase was their desire to own a home.  Real estate agents continue to play a key role in the search for the right house despite the rise of searches for homes starting online rising to 90 percent and above.

Apparently the American dream has not diminished too much but rather slowed a little as the lending institutions have made lending available on much stricter terms.  The reality still remains that a lot of people do not want to be renters even though we have seen articles alluding as such many times in recent years.  People still like the opportunity for their money to count toward something of equitable value and with prices down, they recognize that that is a much stronger opportunity today for when prices rise.

What Buyers may be running into now is that the mad dash to buy a home ‘is on’ in markets where inventory is low. I know one couple who has been looking for a home for nearly a year.  In an attempt to find their ‘perfect’ home, they went from a Buyers market to a Sellers market and now are kicking themselves a little bit as their choices have dropped. The perception of tons of inventory forever has indeed faded.  Yes, finding and reading information about homes for sale is easier now that it has ever been but understanding, interpreting, and applying that information is not so easy.  This is where a good real estate agent comes in.

Today’s home-loan applicant faces multiple pitfalls on the road to a successful closing. Appraisals come in low, inspections seem to beyond silly nit-picky, lenders have stricter terms and want higher visibility into your finances and what used to be a very good credit score is not enough for some lenders.  A good agent can help bridge these gaps. The above mentioned issues are all very common however a good agent can help navigate these waters with confidence to ensure success to the best of their ability.  If you are Selling a house, the same holds true as it is remarkable how many people still believe their home is worth what it was in 2007 which is seldom the case in most of our market.  A good agent can help get the house sold by helping the Seller have realistic expectations to sell today!

With approximately nine out of ten home sales being assisted by a real estate agent in the last year, the role of the real estate agent even with today’s technology is still quite secure. There is specialized knowledge needed that most homeowners simply do not want to take the time to learn.  With time being a precious commodity in today’s high paced world, the time spent with a solid real estate agent is time will spent indeed.

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