Becoming a real estate agent

Anyone who is interested in becoming an estate agent will need to have an understanding of the way that the property market works. In most cases, the best way to make a career in this field is to find an entry level role with a real estate agent. This way you can learn from people who are already working as estate agents and who have the knowledge that you will need to acquire.

Become qualified

There are several qualifications that you can study for if you want to be an estate agent and if you start in an entry level role it is possible that your employer might pay for you to study and take the exams. Obtaining a qualification in this field is a good idea as it will show your employer that you are serious about your career and it will also help you in the future. You may decide that you do not want to remain all your working life with the same agency and the qualification will demonstrate to prospective employers that you have the knowledge, skills and experience that they need.

Understanding the real estate market

Whether you are buying or selling, you need to make sure that you have a good understanding of how the real estate market works. Start doing a little research before you take any steps to either buy or sell a property. Check out the property prices in the area and see how they have changed over the last couple of years.

Monitor the market

Set up notifications so that when new properties come onto the market in your area you can see them straight away. You will be able to determine what is affecting property prices if you are buying. Maybe there is a building site directly opposite that will take three years to finish. Or there might be a good school just around the corner. One can send prices down and the other up.

If you are selling then you can look at the features of houses that are priced higher. Do they have a second bathroom? Maybe they have separate utility rooms? Off-road parking? All of these things are sought-after features and will keep the cost of the property higher. Your real estate agent will advise you on any changes you should make to your home before you list it for sale. This might be something as simple as tidying up the garden or taking care of any small repair jobs that have slipped under the radar. Some work will not add value to your home but by making it more attractive you can encourage more potential buyers to view it.

Tips for choosing an agent

When you want to sell your home it is a good idea to make sure you get a reliable estate agent. The real estate world is one that can be quite competitive, and it is essential that you make sure that the estate agent you choose will do everything that they can to complete their task.

Check their processes

Not all real estate agents are created equal. Some will work harder than others to sell your home. When you talk to them before putting your home on the market you will need to ask a few questions about what they do to advertise your home. Some will charge high fees and all they will do is list it online for potential buyers to find themselves. Others will have lists of potential buyers who are waiting for property and they will make a point of contacting them to tell him about the property.

Some will also offer a full viewing service and take care of potential buyers every step of the way, while others will expect you to deal with the viewings yourself. Check all of this in advance so you can be sure of your obligations when selling.

Finding an agent to sell your home

Anyone who has tried to sell their home will know that a good estate agent is essential. They will be able to figure out which prospective buyers are serious and which ones are in a strong position to move quickly and when the offers start coming in for your home this information will be invaluable in helping you to decide which offer to accept. But how do you choose your real estate agent?

Fees

Every agent will charge a fee for selling your house. In some cases, this will be a flat fee and in other cases, it may be a percentage of the selling price. It is worth ringing a few estate agents to find out what their fees are. In all cases, as a seller, you need to make sure that you make as much money as possible on your home so that you can reinvest this into another property. An estate agent that charges a high fee would cut into that, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it isn’t worth paying. Why not read some reviews and find out how other sellers have fared with them?

Essential expenses when buying a home

When you are buying your first home there are always extra expenses that you need to be aware of so you can budget for them. Your estate agent will explain some of the details to you but here are a few things that you need to be aware of.

Survey

It is always advisable to have a survey carried out on a property when you have had an offer accepted. The survey will look at the structure of the property and provide you with information on any potential repairs that would need to be carried out. There are different levels of survey that you can have from a basic overview of the property to a full structural survey. The survey you decide to have will depend on the amount of information you might need. As an example, if the property has been empty for a long time and looks very run down, a full structural survey may be the best option, although the basic survey will identify any major problems such as subsidence.

Solicitors

The cost of conveyancing will vary from solicitor to solicitor. It is worth getting a few quotes from different firms to see how much they charge. It should be a set fee in most cases although there are some rare occasions when there may be additional costs, which would normally only happen if the process threw up a problem. Your real estate agent may recommend a few solicitors in the local area that they know have been used by other buyers that have purchased one of their properties in the past. You can then find one that you prefer from that list.

More tips for buying a first home

One of the best things to do when you are purchasing your new home is to understand how estate agents work. In the UK, a seller appoints a real estate agent to sell their home. They may even ask more than one estate agent to try to find a buyer. For this the estate agent charges commission once the sale is completed. In a strong property market, there is generally no problem finding a buyer and most houses that are not in need of renovation will sell very quickly.

You may find that if you go to view houses then you will be asked a lot of questions by the estate agent. This is because they need to establish if you are a serious buyer and if you have the means to buy it. They will also want to know if there is anything that may hold up the process. As a first-time buyer you will not have a property to sell, so there will be no chain from your point of view, but some buyers may be waiting on a buyer for their home, then in turn when they find a buyer that person could also be waiting to complete on a sale. Where there is a long chain it can be a lengthy process to complete a purchase and it can take some time before everyone is ready to move.

Looking for a chain-free property will help you to speed up the process considerably and your estate agent will be able to confirm the details of any chain.

Let your estate agent help you

Giving the estate agent as much information as possible about your situation will also help them to assist you in finding the perfect property. Try to be as specific as possible. If you only want to buy a one-bedroom flat then explain that, so they aren’t wasting their time sending details of larger houses.

They will be able to give you advance information on new properties coming onto the market before the information is listed on the UK-wide property sale websites. This means that any that you are interested in are available for you to view before most people will even know about them.

Tips for first time home buyers

Anyone who is planning to buy a house will have access to all kinds of information about the process but the best tips will come from the estate agents who have worked in the industry for a long time. Real estate agents have spent a long time figuring out what works and what doesn’t.

Start early

Anyone who wants to buy a house these days will need to start saving as early as they can. It can take a lot of money to buy a house, even if you get a mortgage. You will need to have a deposit and, in most cases, this will need to be at least 10% of the purchase price. There are some mortgage deals where you would only need to have 5%, but these are not always available and they aren’t always available to everybody. With house prices rising dramatically the earlier you can begin to save the better.

Work out what you are looking for

You need to get an idea of the price range that you are looking in before working out the type of house that you want. The price range may dictate the area that you are limited to or the size of the property. It will depend a great deal on your savings and the amount of money that you earn each year. Then do a few searches in the area that you would like to live in and find out the average prices and the type of property available.

Keep an eye on your credit score

Your credit score will have an impact on your ability to get a mortgage, so it is worth making sure that you have a good credit score. Make sure you have only a small amount of credit and that you make regular payments on time so that there are no negative features on your credit report. Make sure you are on the electoral register too, as if you aren’t then it will be harder for companies to verify your identity. If there are negative features on your report, look at ways to mitigate these and all credit reference agencies offer tips on how to do this.

Finding a mortgage

Some estate agents will have a mortgage expert who will be happy to talk to you about the types of mortgages available and the offers that you can take advantage of. All mortgages are different and different lenders will use a variety of criteria when deciding whether or not to offer you a home loan. The real estate mortgage expert will be able to explain all the options and provide you with the information that you need to make a decision.