Sedona is not a large first time home buyer market and as Realtors we can tend to forget to teach the home buying process to those that have not experienced it before. Before venturing out into the great real estate market we need to know what some terms and what to expect.
LICENSING: In Arizona, all real estate agents must attend licensing classroom instruction in person. It will take on average 3-8 weeks depending on if you are a full time or part time student. Arizona does not accept previous licensing from any other state.
REALTOR DESIGNATION: All Realtors are licensees, all licensees are not Realtors. A Realtor is a term that refers to a real estate agent who is an active member of the National Association of Realtors. They are trained and sworn to uphold the Realtor Code of Ethics. Realtor pay membership dues for National, State and Local Realtor Association.
MULTIPLE LISTING SERVICE (MLS): The primary source of information on any real estate market. Membership is restricted to members who are Realtors. The MLS is a local organization that will take the information on all of the homes on the market and provide it to the MLS members. MLS members may share the Public MLS information with clients, either personally or through the Internet. The MLS also share/syndicates some information to portals like Zillow and Trulia even thought they do not keep the information updated or timely. Members also typically offer compensation to any member who brings a client to buy their listed property. Membership dues are paid throughout the year.
Who Pays the Buyer Agent?: 99% of the time the Seller offer compensation in the MLS to the buyer agent knowing that the buyer agent does not represent them.
ACCREDITED BUYER REPRESENTATIVE (ABR): The ABR® designation is the benchmark of excellence in buyer representation. This coveted designation demonstrates to peers and consumers a commitment to providing outstanding service to real estate buyers. The ABR® is awarded to REALTORS® who meet the specified educational and practical experience criteria.
CERTIFIED RESIDENTIAL SPECIALIST (CRS): A CRS designation is awarded to Realtors® who have undergone a rigorous, specialized course of detailed training, aimed at making residential transactions as smooth and worry-free as possible. Only 4% of all REALTORS® have earned the right to be called a CRS. Most have a minimum of 10 years experience prior to being awarded the designation.
What about Zillow/Trulia etc: Zillow and others of it's ilk exist to gather some information from the MLS, repackage it, get you to sign up and then sell your information typically to 3 agents plus vendors. They market listings to sell information to agents. Thats the basis of Zillows income.
Buy Local or Why do you ask visitors to register?: We avoid the Zillow machine as much as possible (we use it for reviews). That means we need to meet new clients on the Internet. We live here in Sedona, not Seattle. Zillow doesn't have agents, it's not a brokerage. We're here an know the market and help you get the best price and home for the money usign that knowledge. The website also offers many options, like saving favorite homes and searches, daily or weekly updates and accuracy that well exceeds that of any advertising portal. Although it's free for you, our customer, it is not free for us. The system is highly complex and compares and updates with the Sedona MLS every 15 minutes minimum and send updates to customers on their schedule. We will not bombard you with stuff. Unsubscribe anytime.
FINDING THE RIGHT HOME
Financing: If you're going to get a mortgage, start here. You will get your credit checked to ensure you're ready and the mortgage officer can make recommendation then on the type of loans available to you. You will need to document income and employment.
Home Search: Start on the Internet. Write down a list of MLS numbers to share with your Realtor. The Realtor in turn will have a list based on the criteria you gave them. Go over both and come up with a game plan. Most Realtor don't show more than 8 homes in one day. It just becomes overwhelming keeping them all straight. Try to keep your favorite 2 or 3 at top of mind and compare all others to them.
Negotiate a sale: Determine an appropriate offer price with your Realtor based on past sales and the local market conditions. Your Realtor will advise if the property is overpriced or not.
Due Diligence: The period that you have to complete your home inspection and any other inspections you may want to perform. Typically 10 days.
Walk Through: This is to make sure any repairs are done and that the property is in the same condition or better than when the offer was made.
Closing: Signing the paperwork. You will get the keys after the sale has been funded and recorded at the court house, not before.