As the end of March approaches, the selling season is revving up into high gear!

The last few months, we've devoted our attention to sellers. Now, it's the buyers' turn. So, if new living space is in your future, this is the place to start.

Remember - this is the year to love where you live. If you don't already, let me help!

You deserve to have harmony in your life.

Should Buyers Work with an Agent? ABSOLUTELY!
This month we’re talking about buyers – specifically, why buyers need to work with an agent, particularly in a sellers’ market like we’re seeing in the Fort Worth area right now.
It's not just a question of negotiating the best price. It's about having the opportunity to purchase the right home, at all.

Here's a fact: good houses, priced well, sell fast – sometimes before they ever hit the market. Those that do make it onto the market often go for over asking. If you want to have the best shot at snagging the home of your dreams, you simply must have an agent working for you.

The Value of Networks
In the first place, agents have access to information that you don’t – and I’m not just talking about the MLS (multiple listing service, for those of you really new to the world of real estate). They have networks.

Those familiar with the business world know the value of networks. Even in this day and age of the Internet, word-of-mouth, person-to-person networking is incredibly powerful. Even agents with small brokerages are connected to other agents at other brokerages and, believe me, they talk to one another.

When you think about it, this just makes sense. Real estate agents are in business to sell houses. The surest way for one to get another's attention is to say, “ I have a client who is looking for ----.” An agent knows immediately whether or not a listing in - or about to be in - their portfolio matches or comes close to that description.

Have you ever noticed a "coming soon" sign that immediately gets replaced with a "contract pending" sign? A lot of homes are sold without ever really going on the market.

Your Search is Likely to be Too Little Too Late

You can search for a house in spare minutes snatched from the thousand other things you have to do daily.

Real estate agents search for houses almost all of the time. Every day, throughout the day. It's our job to know what's available.

We use Internet resources, but it doesn't stop there.

We scour the “hot sheets,” new listings, and real estate email lists. We talk to our colleagues. I literally drive neighborhoods looking for opportunities.

So, sure, you can surf through Zillow or Realtor.com. But by the time you see a really good listing, chances are it’s already gone.

Don't Forget the Future

Knowledge of neighborhoods, trends, and market changes is also something that a good agent brings to the buying process. Will a property hold its value?

Life happens. Unexpected job transfers and opportunities occur. Relationships form and dissolve. So, even if your goal is to find the home that you’ll live in forever, you nevertheless need to think about resale.

You need to know a neighborhood's history and which way it's trending. Your agent can supply that information. In the same vein, particularly if you're new to the area, your agent can fill you in on the situation with respect to local amenities like schools, shopping, services, and the like.

Potential is Important in a Purchasing Decision
Another thing to think about is potential, as opposed to current, condition. As I noted in last month's Harmonious Home Adventures (which you can find here, in case you missed it), sales of existing homes are on the rise. Just because a house has some “experience” and doesn’t currently fit the image in your head doesn’t necessarily mean that it can’t be the home of your dreams.

An exterior refresh can make worlds of difference, like in the house, below:
A remodeled kitchen can bring new life to a tired space:
Sometimes, transformation only requires a coat of paint:
Your dream home may be hiding inside a weary structure that you might not even look at, and the effort needed to reveal it could be far less than you suspect. I have the experience it takes to see that potential. It’s what I do.

(You can explore some more real estate remodeling adventures on the blog site With the Barretts)
You Can Do It - But You Shouldn't

So, sure, you can search the various web resources and pour over the listings in the paper. Then, again, you can represent yourself in court and you can set your own fractured arm. But when it’s important, it’s usually best to turn to a professional for help.

Buying a home is not only the largest financial investment that most of us will ever make, but where you live is also fundamental to your quality of life. So, let a real estate professional help you get it right.
On Another Note
On a related note, the term Realtor® is a registered trademark of the National Association of Realtors. Only members of that organization are entitled to use Realtor® in descriptive advertising. Why should that be important to you?

Realtors® not only have access to a huge network to help with your search, we also have significant educational opportunities not available to non-members. And Realtors® adhere to a strict ethical code. So, when considering an agent, ask if they’re a Realtor®. It's another layer of protection for you.
That's a Wrap!

Buying a home is a series of big decisions. But your first decision should be to let a professional help you with the search and guide you through the process. Hire a real estate agent.

Because you deserve to love where you live!

Debra’s experience in home renovation, staging, styling, and redesign sets her apart from the crowd in the Fort Worth area real estate market.

  • Creativity to re-imagine existing spaces for broader appeal.
  • Vision to see opportunities where others see problems.
  • Insight to know what buyers are looking for.

Debra doesn't just listen - she empathizes.
She matches buyers to spaces.

Debra doesn’t just sell property - she maximizes potential.
She helps her clients find harmony in their lives.

You can - and should - love where you live!
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