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Here's what you need to know before you hire an agent:

Why Hire a Real Estate Agent? 


According to data from Statista, over 6.5 million homes were sold in 2017. To make those sales, millions of real estate agents all over the country put in countless hours of hard work. In fact, 89 percent of sellers choose to list with a real estate agent. 


The right Realtor can help a family get through the home buying or selling process with ease. Real estate agents are trained to know the ins and outs of the home buying and selling processes. They also have years of real world experience where they helped other home buyers and sellers through various situations. Agents save home buyers time by filtering through properties and only showing them the ones that fit the family’s needs. A good real estate agent will get you the best price for your house and they know how to stage and advertise a seller’s home to entice buyers. Best of all, real estate agents help with the worst parts of the process-- things like negotiating and paperwork. 


With all that said, real estate agents are not magic genies that find you a house all on their own. Whether you want to buy or sell, there is work to be done on your own. In fact, the Jessica Baker Team recommends you take the following actions before reaching out so that you and your agent can hit the ground running. 


Checklist for Home Sellers

  • Check with your mortgage lender about where you stand on your outstanding balance. Knowing the loan amount helps agents determine strategy when they take on your home. 


  • Look at listings to get an idea of home values for properties similar to yours. A quick refresh on the state of the market can prepare you for your real estate agent’s estimates.


  • Pull any and all documents regarding tax issues, disputes you have had with contractors. or other problems that could have allowed a creditor to put a lien on the house.


  • Start clearing out clutter and cleaning the place now. The less cluttered a house, the more appealing it is. Plus, it gives the agent a better idea of what the home has to offer.

  • Clear your schedule. Home selling is a time consuming activity. Have as much free time open as possible in order to handle it effectively. 


  • Start making repairs that are obviously needed. This means fixing cracks in the ceiling, patching holes in the wall, and having your gutters cleaned. Simply use the search terms “handyman or gutter cleaning service near me” to connect with local pros.


Checklist for Home Buyers 

  • Look at your credit report. Check for errors and dispute them.

  • Start researching local listings and home styles and make a list of the features you’d like to see in your future house.

  • Make a list of acceptable neighborhoods you are willing to look in. Realtors often specialize in specific areas, so knowing where you want to live can help with picking the right agent.

  • If you are buying with a partner, talk about your home buying expectations together as a way to prevent conflict down the road. 


Real estate agents are trained professionals that help people get through the home buying and selling processes with their sanity intact. While real estate agents definitely help carry the load, they can’t do all the work. Whether you are a buyer or you plan to list your current property,  take preparations to help facilitate a good Realtor/client relationship. And when you’re ready, partner with an expert from the Jessica Baker Team to ensure a smooth experience. 

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