Whether you are a seller, purchaser or investor or potential renter, is your agent listening to what your needs and wants are?
Are they communicating with you and probing and gathering information to assist you?
If you are looking to sell, have they provided you with a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis) to determine your current value?
Do they have an understanding of when you want to sell, how long it will take to find that qualified purchaser? Your reasons for selling?
Many, many other questions will arise that will be important, so you and your agent will be on the same page, once you list your home.
If you are purchasing and you will be financing your purchase.
Have they asked you pertinent questions as to your income, debt to income or credit scores? Will you have a pre-qualification or commitment letter before you go out and try to find your dream home?
Many buyers miss their opportunity because they do not have that very important letter.
Some agents may feel like a “glorified taxi cab driver” while driving their customers around without the crucial information that you are ready, willing and able to purchase, the moment you find them that special home!
Are you being straight forward and upfront with your agent, so he or she will have a clear understanding of what will satisfy your “buying equation”?
There are a lot of cash buyers in the market, who are ready to pounce, maybe on your next home that you have seen; and as a buyer who is seeking out a mortgage, you must be prepared as possible to be ahead of the curve and be ready to strike, when the right home is found.
Unfortunately, first place is the only position that pays off.
Investors are seeking the best return for their money as they can find. Lately, the market is not always providing the most optimal R.O.I. (return on investment).
Will you improve and upgrade the property? How many years will it take to return that investment to your pocket?
However, sometimes you have to view the rent roll and determine what, if any upside potential there might be on existing leases, which are older and below market value.
This might lead to possible increases in the new leases coming up.
However, be careful not to lose an old tenant, unless you are fairly sure you can replace them in a reasonable time, at a higher rent, otherwise, sometimes keeping the tenant might be more viable than looking for a new tenant and losing several mouths of rental income.
Look at your investment from a long term view over 10-20 years or however long you anticipate keeping the property.
All things being equal, besides increases in rent, Inflation can be your best advocate in the long run to increasing the value of your properties.
Watch out for upcoming locations that have hit bottom or that are on the fringes of areas that are improving; and the next town over just might be next.
If you are considering renting, asking yourself a few questions.
Is this the best and only path I can take? Can I scrape up the down payment from family or relatives as a gift to consider purchasing?
But still stay within the same amount of money that I would have spent on renting.
Remember, rents will increase based on supply and demand (and there is a huge demand currently), but a fixed rate mortgage will be stable for 15-30 years.
Also, consider the tax ramifications of your deductions of interest on your mortgage and real estate taxes.
Lastly, why pay the landlord’s mortgage or profit, when you could be your own landlord?
However, if you are getting older and downsizing and want to rent because owning does not make any “dollars and sense” that is a consideration one must ponder.
Tax deductions may not be as important an item anymore (ask your accountant for more analysis of your situation).
Maybe going to another state for the winter and then coming back in the spring by renting for a short term might be a possibility; but this option, presents difficulties, due to the fact that most landlords want to rent their places for a year or more.
Lastly, a pied-a terre could be the best opportunity, if the price is right; sure beats renting a hotel room for several months!
Whatever path you are considering, do your research, provide your agent with enough information and engage them to get their opinions and let them probe you with questions to help you determine what might be best for you, your family, your investment needs and wants or to rent or purchase.