Can I access the multiple listing service (MLS) by myself or do I need a REALTOR®?
The MLS system is owned and operated by the local association of REALTORS®. It’s one of the great benefits of belonging to the association. Access is by membership only and it’s expensive. The database provides information on all properties currently listed by members, recently sold properties, expired properties (properties listed for sale that did not sell during the listing period), properties currently under contract, and tax records on all properties in the city and county. The information is invaluable in determining the value of a property. The internet does have some information, but not all.
My husband and I are looking into purchasing a home. We are not using a REALTOR®. Should we? If we don’t, what should we do as far as a contract? How about using a lawyer?
Congratulations on deciding to buy a home. It’s one of the best and largest investments you’ll ever make in your life. I always recommend using a REALTOR®. If you purchase from a private seller, negotiate a reduced commission and have a REALTOR® put the package together for you so you are informed about all the particulars of buying a home. You can pick up a blank Real Estate contract from a book in the library or any business form store. If you choose to do it without a REALTOR® make sure you hire an attorney to look it over. Do not use the seller’s attorney- hire your own.
Why are REALTORS® so reluctant to recommend good lenders and inspectors to clients? What are they afraid of? It seems to me that they would be glad to do this.
Most REALTORS® are afraid of the liability of recommending anyone to a client. Too many people have sued when things didn’t work out. Instead, ask if they have a list of reputable lenders, inspectors, etc. that you can use to choose your subcontractors from.
I’m thinking of buying a home from a friend. Would it be better to use a real estate agent or a lawyer to put the deal together? Thanks for your help.
It’s almost always better to use a REALTOR® to put a real estate transaction together, especially if it’s a resident piece of property. A lawyer is great at looking over a contract to make sure all the i’s are dotted and T’s are crossed and who’s liable for what if the transaction gets bogged down. A REALTOR®, on the other hand, not only has access to the appropriate contracts and addendums needed, but is well versed in the responsibilities of all the parties involved in the transaction. That experience is involved when it comes to monitoring the details of a transaction necessary to get it to closing; details that, for the most part, a lawyer is no more familiar with than the average consumer. Eight out of ten for-sale-by-owners find a buyer. 80% of those ultimately do not get to the closing table. That is because no one knew what to do when the normal problems that occur in every real estate transaction popped up. Many of these contracts were looked over by an attorney. Pick your poison, an attorney or REALTOR®. Note: Buying a home from a friend is one of the easiest ways to destroy a friendship. The biggest cause for this is the unknown problems with the condition of the home. Make sure your agreement includes a clause that allows you to have the home inspected by a home inspector, so that any problems can be addressed between yourself and your friend.