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What to avoid / What to keep in Mind / The Basics / 

    Common Mistakes Buyers Make:
    When you do buy, buy smart!  
      • Most buyers believe they know the market by simply accessing the MLS. Don't limit yourself. Take advantage of your agents intricate knowledge of the market place and connections in the community so you can stay ahead of the curve. 
      • Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your  buying process. Many factors determine how you will proceed. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market  and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do.
      • Your Agent possesses intimate knowledge about the property at hand. They can identify comparable sales and hand these facts to you, in addition to pointing you in the direction where you can find more data on schools, crime or demographics. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but an agent will know it had  sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.

      • Real estate agents network with other professionals, many of whom provide services that you will need to buy or sell. Due to legal liability, many agents will hesitate to recommend a certain individual or company over another, but they do know which vendors have a reputation for efficiency, competency and competitive pricing. Agents can, however, give you a list of references with whom they have worked and provide background information to help you make a wise selection.  
      • Top producing agents negotiate well because, unlike most buyers and sellers, they can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction and because they are skilled. It's part of their job description. Good agents are not messengers, delivering buyer's offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client's case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests. When the going gets tough they are the ones holding it all together and taking the pressure off you and your pocket book.

      •  Many questions can pop up that were overlooked in the excitement of closing. Good agents stand by ready to assist. Worthy and honest agents don't leave you in the dust to fend for yourself.

      •  The basis for an agent's success and continued career in real estate is referrals. Few agents would survive if their livelihood was dependent on consistently drumming up new business. This emphasis gives agents strong incentives to make certain clients are happy and satisfied. It also means that an agent who stays in the business will be there for you when you need to hire an agent again. Many will periodically mail market updates to you to keep you informed and to stay in touch.
      Common Mistakes Sellers Make:
        Every property has a price range in this economic environment, the most common  mistake is to hope that buyers will respond to the higher price. As a seller you need to  'create' a market  and generate enough activity so that multiple buyers will bid on your property. This can only be achieved by pricing at the lower end of the range.

        MISTAKE #1: Hiring the agent who offers the highest list price for your home
        If you ask several listing agents how much they think they can get for your house, and one gives you a significantly higher bid than the others, be cautious: the agent may be trying to "buy" your listing by suggesting an unrealistically high asking price. This practice is unethical and costs you time and money, as you'll most likely have to slash the price after your home sits on the market unnoticed for many months.
        TIP: Always interview at least three agents and choose one who can back up the suggested listing price with comparable sales data. 

        MISTAKE #2: Pricing too high
        Your home has one chance to make a first impression. If your home enters the market overpriced, many buyers will overlook it. The first 10 days after you implement a listing into the MLS are the most important because that's when it's going to generate the most activity.

        MISTAKE #3: Getting emotional
        TIP: Stay objective during the pricing process by focusing on statistics generated by the CMA. Don't be personally offended by lowball offers. Instead, think of them as the starting point of a negotiation that could result in a sale.