Here we are 10 years after the 9-11 attacks. I don’t know about you, but I remember where I was that September morning. I was sitting in my family room watching the morning news in shock as it all unfolded.
I remember, I prayed, I cried, I was angry and I thought about the families involved and then about my family. I think we all thought about our priorities and our safety and security as the days, months and years have passed since then. We have been involved in several wars and have seen our economy boom and bust. We pulled together after those events and since then we have been pulled apart by our differences.
Many of our friends and neighbors have been devastated by the economy and the after affects of our housing upswing and economic crash. Many have lost virtually everything they had with little hope of ever having things back the way they were. We have all had to reevaluate our priorities as we watch all that is happening around the world. There is a lot of instability. People all over just want something they can count on. Now more than ever having a home of your own is still the best, safest and most secure thing you can have.
Over the past year or so the National Association of Realtors has been promoting the Home Ownership Matters Campaign as the best way to pull our economy back together and swing our countries confidence back around. 2011 NAR President Ron Phipps said the country has reached a defining moment in its attitude toward home ownership. “We’re at a turning point,” said Phipps, “not just because our livelihood is at stake, but because home ownership in an absolute sense is at stake. The privileges we’ve had, our parents had, and our grandparents had since World War II are being eroded, and our children face having [those privileges] denied to them.”
Now the California Association of Realtors has stepped up and has begun its own promotional campaign. California Realtors are Champions of Home. As Champions of Home, California Realtors can help you with all of the daunting and sometimes mind-numbing details, piles of paperwork, and intimidating issues associated with real estate. So, whether you are buying a home or selling one, relying on a Realtor is the best first step to take.
Realtors can help you wade through the complicated paperwork that goes hand-in-hand with any real estate transaction, making sure the proper forms are filled out correctly and on time. This includes the crucial purchase agreement, which serves as the contract between a buyer and seller, and is used to formally identify a purchase price; list terms and conditions pertaining to the sale time frame; and other details, such as a written commitment by the seller to cover the costs of any necessary repairs.
As members of Lodi, California and National Associations, Realtors can tap into the latest technologies serving the housing industry today. This includes Web sites and multiple listing services, as well as market reports detailing crucial data, such as pricing trends; time on the market; and historical sales activity in your neighborhood. In addition, Realtors’ broad market knowledge often makes them experts when it comes to providing a detailed snapshot of where to obtain information about your neighborhood’s amenities and services, such as schools, zoning laws, and tax codes.
Buying or selling a home calls for solid negotiating power. A Realtor can assist with the critical negotiations included in every real estate transaction, and help both buyers and sellers finalize the many details that comprise a final purchase agreement. If you are a buyer, your Realtor can work on your behalf with a seller to negotiate a sale price; set a date for escrow closing; and determine what, if any repairs you’d like the owner to complete as a part of the terms of the agreement, among other things. If you are a seller, your realtor’s role may include negotiating a sale price, such as so-called “buyer incentives” that help with a buyer’s closing costs or other expenses. Your realtor also can help you determine what, if any repairs you may be responsible for, if requested by the buyer, and negotiate deadlines for their completion.
Your realtor can assist with the coordination of the home-inspection process, and help to ensure that the seller’s responsibilities for addressing a buyer’s requirements are met. They also may help with the identification of qualified contractors to help perform needed repairs. If you’re selling a home, a realtor can save you time and money by tapping into market data and reports to help you determine a realistic selling price; screening potential buyers; and managing appointments for showings.
Closing the deal takes much more than a handshake. A realtor can provide objective support during the closing process, ensuring both buyer and seller have received the proper documentation for successfully completing a sale transaction and coordinating a final property walk-through. A realtor’s role as a valuable resource may not end when you sign the closing documents. Many questions arise for buyers and sellers long after a real estate transaction has been completed, and your realtor may be qualified and eager to assist you wherever possible — this includes help with future real estate transactions.