Re­alty Check

NOW IS THE TIME TO BUY A HOME. OR IS IT? WE FOUND A BRO­KER WHO GAVE US THE REAL DEAL ON REAL ES­TATE.

Men's Health (South Africa) - - UNCOMMON KNOWLEDGE -

Many Agents Are Clue­less

You have to take a course to get a li­cence. I went to night classes, but I know peo­ple who took on­line cour­ses they bought on Groupon. The best way to find an agent is by word of mouth, not web­site re­views. (Shifty agents can get their friends to write re­views.)

There’s No “Golden Month”

Yes, buy­ers and sell­ers pre­fer warmer sea­sons and like to work around the school year. But that old line “Now is a great time to buy/sell” is just to hurry you along.

It’s More Than the House

Too many buy­ers over­value school dis­tricts. Dig through the lo­cal news­pa­per on­line for talk of a fu­ture train sta­tion or up­scale su­per­mar­ket. Both are great for prop­erty val­ues. New land­fill? Not so much.

They’ll Waste Your Time

Agents will show you homes you can’t af­ford in or­der to push your bud­get bound­aries. They may even show you a rub­bish house right be­fore a beau­ti­ful one, so the pricier op­tion will be more tempt­ing.

Com­mis­sion Is Ne­go­tiable

The "stan­dard" is 7% on a co-bro­kered deal – but you can hag­gle down to 5 and lower. How? Tell the agent you’re equipped to sell the house, or that your friend had an agent who helped him with a sim­i­lar trans­ac­tion at a lower cost.

Stag­ing a Home Isn’t Hard

Patch holes and scrub stains, and never un­der­es­ti­mate the power of new mulch, fresh paint, clean win­dows, and shiny floors. Bis­cuits and cham­pagne can’t hurt ei­ther.

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