April, 09 2018

Assembling Your Sell Team - TOD's Tips on Finding the Best


You want somebody trustworthy who you can rely on. A good agent will listen carefully to your priorities and won’t waste time on properties that don’t fit the bill. 


  • Interview at least three agents to find the one with the experience, skill and personality that matches your needs; 
  • Make sure the agent is licensed by the state and does the job full-time; 
  • Make sure your agent is a designated REALTOR®, which means they belong to the National Association of Realtors and agree to abide by NAR’s stringent code of ethics; 
  • Real estate is a local game, and to win you need someone who plays in the areas where you’re looking to buy. Not only will they be up on market trends, they’ll know about local schools, commute times, and under-the-radar red flags; 
  • Inquire about what’s currently on the market in your price range;  
  • Ask for a list of houses they’ve handled in your target neighborhood that includes not just what the house sold for, but also the price at which it was originally listed. 




Applying for a pre-approval online can help save time and make it easier to get the best rate, but before you decide on a lender, ask for referrals. Friends, family and coworkers who own their homes can be a great source of information. You can also ask a REALTOR® for a list of preferred lenders. 


Here are some important things to consider when selecting a Lender: 


  • Small vs. large lenders: Choosing between a small local lender or a larger national lender is mostly a matter of preference but knowing which you’d prefer can help you find the right deal for your situation. 
  • Mortgage company reputationGenerally, a good lender will have a solid reputation with accreditation and reviews to back it up. To figure out where your lender stands, start by doing this research yourself. 
  • Mortgage lender customer serviceFinding a mortgage lender with great customer service can make things easier, especially if you have questions about the application or terms—or find yourself needing help with your mortgage down the line. 
  • Good faith estimateOnce you’ve narrowed down your choice to three or four mortgage lenders, ask for a good faith estimate: a detailed list of costs provided by a bank or mortgage lender to a borrower, required by law.  




Make sure to hire a real estate attorney!  Real estate law is complex—and getting more so—and laws and customs can vary widely from state to state, so it's critical to go with an attorney who has experience with real estate law in the area in which you're looking to buy. Pilgrim Title Insurance Company ONLY handles Real Estate. Our trusted attorneys and paralegals have experience in a wide array of circumstances and they are always available to clients!   


  • Attorneys can do things real estate agents can't: An attorney can provide legal advice that a real estate agent can't.  
  • Real estate attorneys are helpful for sellers, too: Sellers are less likely to seek assistance from a real estate attorney, but an attorney can be a godsend for especially knotty transactions. 
  • An attorney can also help owners understand and prepare for the full array of tax consequences of selling their home.  
  • Spoiler alert: Real estate attorneys actually do a lot of work: A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into making sure you have peace of mind and a secure future for the biggest financial decision of your life. 

Thanks to your real estate attorney, you'll be able to rest assured there are no problems with the title and that the terms of the purchase agreement are fair to you. Property law can be rather archaic and often still requires delving into county records that haven't yet been digitized, so it isn't exactly easy work either. 

See? Attorneys aren't so bad. Some might say we're even kind of useful. Lovable, even. Just look at TOD!  





Questions to ask and what to look out for.  

Home staging has become an increasingly formidable force in helping people sell their homes more quickly and for more money. Its overall goal is to help prospective home buyers emotionally connect with a space, hopefully leading to an offer to buy. Here is a list of questions to help you select the right stager for YOU! 


  • Training and Education: What formal training have you received to be certified or accredited?  
  • Experience: How long have you been working professionally as a home stager?  
  • PortfolioDo you have a portfolio I can see? 
  • Specific Style: What type of style would you recommend for my home? 
  • Market FamiliarityAre you familiar with the market in my area? Are you familiar with the expectations of buyers in my price range? 
  • Insurance: Are the resources you work with insured? Is your business covered by insurance? Are you insured to act as a contractor/project manager? 
  • Costs & ContractsWhat are your rates and availability? Do you have a contract?