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10 Questions to Ask Your Realtor

Interviewing Cedar City Realtor
Purchasing a home is the most important, and expensive, decision of many people’s lives. There is a great deal of doubt and uncertainty that goes along with such a huge decision. To help curb those uneasy feelings, it’s a good idea to find a real estate agent that you trust. Whether you already have a few agents in mind, or you haven’t even considered professional help yet, it is a good idea to approach the decision in the most prepared manner possible.

There are many people who are available to hire as a real estate agent. However, it is important to remember that agents are not ‘one size fits all.’ You will want to pick someone based on your needs and preferences, rather than someone else’s experience with that person. Once you get closer to choosing your agent, you will want to do a good amount of research on them. You will then want to interview each realtor. If you aren’t sure what you should be asking, the following list of ten questions you should ask your realtor will help you to make the most of the interviewing process.

1. Is this your full-time job?

There are many realtors who use real estate as a side job. Whether you are comfortable with a realtor that is only working for you part-time is up to you. There are many part-time agents that will be able to give you the care and attention of a full-time agent. Keep in mind, though, that since they do have a “day job,” they may be unavailable to you at certain times and may have priorities that take precedence over your needs.

2. Will I be working directly with you or will your assistant handle my needs?

The distribution of work among a realtor and assistants is something that happens quite often. Many times, the assistant will handle the administrative work and keep a line of communication open between you and your realtor. There are instances where a realtor may hand you off to a qualified assistant, or trainee, who will essentially take over your account. If you want to be sure that you are only working with your realtor, be sure to make that clear. However, you should still expect that some paperwork or other less sensitive items will be handled by an assistant, especially if your agent is heavily booked.

3. Which communities and areas are you familiar with?

Location, location, location. This word is repeated constantly in the real estate world. Many people start their home buying journey with only their desired area in mind. If you are focused on living in a certain neighborhood, choose an agent that is familiar with that area. Not only will this mean they will be knowledgeable about the houses currently on the market, they will also have knowledge of past sales. This knowledge is invaluable when it comes time to make offers on properties in the area because you will be sure you are paying a fair and comparable price to others in the neighborhood.

4. Can you provide me with a few references?

Realtors will often ask their past clients if they would be willing to be contacted by potential clients. It is recommended that you speak to at least three former clients to get a good idea of the overall satisfaction you can expect. Keep in mind that a realtor isn’t going to have you contact someone that was unhappy with their performance, so it is important to ask the references certain questions, as well.

Some of these questions should include:

  • Do you know the realtor outside of a professional relationship?
  • What is the one thing you would have done differently throughout the process?
  • Did you feel understood and respected throughout the whole process?
  • How often did you talk to the realtor? Were you ever unable to contact them?
  • Would you use this realtor again?

If the references you contact answer your questions in a satisfactory way, that is a great indication that you and your realtor will have a positive relationship. If you feel uneasy about the references, or it seems like their answers were not genuine, you may want to keep searching for a realtor.

5. What will you charge me?

Talking about money, especially when you’re the one doling it out, is never enjoyable. Don’t let the fear of an awkward conversation prevent you from asking this important question. Since the fees charged will vary based on every agent, this may be a deciding factor when you choose an agent. Most realtor’s fees are negotiable. Generally, you will be charged between 3% to 6%, but fees can fluctuate greatly. If you are unhappy with the amount they tell you, see if you can negotiate within your comfort zone. If they won’t budge, it may be time to look at different realtors.

6. Do you work with more buyers or sellers?

Obviously, if you are looking to sell, you will want someone who is familiar with the selling process. You will want an agent experienced in buying when purchasing. However, if an agent has only sold or only bought, they may not be an ideal choice. You will want a realtor who knows how both sides of the deal work. This broader knowledge will be valuable when it’s time to make a deal.

7. How many clients do you currently have?

When looking for a realtor, many people think that choosing one who does not have many clients is a good idea. They assume that they will be able to provide them with the most attention since they do not have many other clients to worry about. While it’s understandable why some people come to this conclusion, it is inaccurate. When you walk into an unfamiliar restaurant and you are the only diner, don’t you feel a little uneasy? This same mentality can be applied to realtors. While you don’t want to choose a realtor with more clients than he or she can handle, you want to make sure there are other people who trust their skills and expertise.

8. How will we communicate and keep in touch?

This is an important aspect of the buying and selling process that is often overlooked. You need a realtor who is easy to get ahold of in a variety of ways. For example, if your realtor can only be reached by phone, during office hours, but those office hours align with your working hours, you will never be able to contact each other. If a realtor with flexible hours who will answer calls, texts, and emails in a timely manner is important to you, be sure to ask this question before hiring.

9. What education, experience, and expertise to you have?

Just as you need a resume when applying for a job, so should your realtor. It is important that they have taken the courses necessary to be a qualified realtor. Just as important as their education is their overall experience and expertise. You want a realtor with real experience in buying and selling homes. You may also look for a realtor who has expertise in buying or selling certain types of home you are dealing with, such as multi-family homes or other residences which fall outside of the standard single-family dwelling.

10. What else should I know about you and this process?

If your realtor has experience with many clients, this should be an easy question to answer. Undoubtedly, they have had many great questions from clients that they feel would be advantageous for you to know. Whether the information they give you is about them, their company, or the home buying or selling process, it should be useful and pertinent to your needs.

The most important thing to remember when choosing a realtor is that you are the one who will be having the services provided. You have every right to ask as many questions as possible so that you will feel comfortable in your hiring decision. You should never feel as though you are inconveniencing prospective realtors. This feeling leads to choosing an agent hastily, which will surely end in disappointment. By carefully choosing your realtor and asking these ten important questions, you are setting yourself up to have a wonderful real estate experience.

Top 5 Mistakes Home Sellers Make

When it comes to selling a home, most can get a little emotional. It’s no wonder though! Most people have lived in their homes for a decade or more, making memories that you can’t put a price on. Although a home may seem more valuable to the owner who is trying to sell it, there is a point where it’s time to be realistic about what the homes value really is.

Letting emotions get in the way of making smart choices when it comes to selling your home could be the brink between selling fast or letting it sit on the market for a long time. If your home is sitting on the market for 30 days or more, it usually indicates that your price is too steep.

House For Sale Edmonton
Photo Credit: Sam ling on flickr

So to help you sell your home quickly and at a good fair price, we have compiled a list of the top 5 mistakes most home sellers make.

1. Not Maintaining Good Aesthetic

Curb appeal is way more important that most believe. Professionally staged homes with new paint (neutral colors are best), good landscaping, new furniture and ridding clutter will in turn sell your home five to seven times faster than a home that is not staged well.

2. Being Unrealistic

Unfortunately not many people will care much for what YOU paid originally for your home. So buying a home at $325,000 and adding $150,000 in renovations isn’t going to mean your home is going to sell for $475,000. Make sure that you are being realistic about the total value of your home. This includes the value of surrounding homes, cause that can either help or hurt the total value of your home.

3. Being “Dishonest”

A house is not a small investment in any way, shape or form. Buyers who are interested in a house are going to make sure they have inspectors come and bid on any damages, mold, etc. So make sure you are up front about any issues right off the bat if you are not planning on spending money to repair those issues. Otherwise, after the inspector comes, you can be sure that the buyer interested will want you to either cover the cost of repair. Or you will find yourself in a nasty legal battle if you sell the home and they find all those issues after purchasing.

4. Being Stubborn

Start with setting your home at a fair and reasonable price, and make sure you allow some wiggle room. Many buyers are going to start with a price that is well below your asking price. So to make everyone happy including yourself, be sure that you are able to negotiate and possible accept a price that is a little less than your asking price.

5. Back-Up Plans

Be sure that you know what you are going to do once the house is sold. This is so important. Many times sellers are so caught up in selling their current home and jumping into buying a new one that they do not take into consideration that some deals may fall through. Some people put clauses into their contracts disclaiming that they will not sell their home until a new one is purchased. Many good sellers will have contingency plans to keep them safe from having two mortgages and etc.

Above all it is most important to prepare for all aspects of what could go wrong or right, be negotiable and stay flexible.

Bathroom Remodel – Does it Add Huge Value to Your Home?

Are you considering adding a bathroom to your Cedar City home? This could be a good idea if you can afford the upwards cost of about $50,000. Although according to the National Association Of Realtors “2015 Remodeling Impact Report”, a bathroom addition will only recover about 52% of your initial investment.


Searching For Real Estate Online

How convenient is life these days. Everything seems to be just a click of a button away, including new homes! That’s right. You can now find a home by surfing the web and using specific tools on the internet to help your search go smoothly. Searching for real estate online is a fact of life, and there’s a few pointers on the best way to do it.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 92% of home buyers conducted a portion of their search on the internet. Which is quite a staggering number compared to years ago when you literally had to do everything manually from taking your own photos of the house to driving wherever it was to see it, etc.

searching for real estate online

When searching for a home online, there are certain steps that you should follow to help make the experience easy and painless.

Search For Real Estate Online Using Our MLS

The first step should be to search MLS, you can do this through our site by clicking the “Properties Tab”. Why? Because that is the go-to for MLS (Multiple Listing Service). Literally every Real Estate Agent uses this tool. And so should you! With updates every 15 minutes it shouldn’t be hard to pinpoint a home perfect for you!

On this tool you will have access to all the basic information on the homes and be able to see photos of them as well.

Do Your Own Real Estate Research Online

Next you need to do some research of your own. Figure out how long the home has been on the market. Maybe do a drive-by to see where it’s located and if that location will work for you. Look at the price changes it has gone through since the seller has listed it. See if there are foreclosures in the area and how many. Neighboring homes that have recently been sold. The amount you should expect to pay on property taxes, and etc.

Next you will want to check out Trulia. This tool allows you to see how the neighborhoods stacked up. From what school zones they land in, if they are located in up-and-coming areas. The crime rates in the neighborhoods. And where they are located in proximity to favorite stores and etc.

Clearly the internet makes it very easy to find a good home, but nothing quite beats having an expert on your side. Seeking out a professional to help you with buying is always a good choice. They can help with real time updates, accessing the homes, getting the best deals, figuring out what areas are best suited for you and more. So although a website can give you the head start in finding where you want to move, an agent is going to be what ultimately gives you the keys.

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To Buy or Build in Cedar City

A home is usually one of the largest, if not the largest investment a person will make. We’ll spend a lot of time designing the “dream house”. Every buyer usually has two lists when looking for a home, deal breakers, and wish lists. Deal breakers are aspects of a home that are must have’s, you can’t live without them. Whereas wish lists are features that the buyer wants, but aren’t required or necessary. So when trying to decide to buy or build in Cedar City here are a few things to consider.

to buy or build in cedar city

Buying an Existing Home in Cedar

When you are buying an existing home the advantage primarily comes down to convenience. When you find the home you want, you make an offer. Then Cedar City real estate agents like us will walk you straight through the whole process, get your paper work in order and then be in your home in 30 days or so. Much easier and convenient than building a home from the ground up. You know what you’re getting, and you don’t have to make anywhere near the amount of choices that you make when building a home in Cedar City.

You’ll still have to go through the process of searching, seeing, and searching some more. Going over house after house before finding one that meets your deal breakers, and has enough of your wish lists to satisfy you.

When looking for Cedar City real estate there are a lot of options available as far as existing homes for sale. As well there’s a lot of variety and options available from small lots near downtown, to sweeping homes with lots of acreage.

One of the bigger reasons to buy an existing home is that you’ll be in an established neighborhood, with mature landscaping, schools, and trees that can actually offer some shade. It also usually means you’ll be nearer to shopping, and all of the established locations in town, as most of the new builds are on the outskirts of town.

Building a Home in Cedar City

On the flip side of building vs buying is primarily the convenience level is much lower when building. You’ll have much more time to invest in building than just buying. Everything from paint color, to tile vs wood floors, from the permits for the city and county. Do you do stucco, brick, or something else? So if you are opposed to making decisions, then building a home in Cedar isn’t for you.

The benefits are numerous though if you’re willing to forgo convenience. The primary benefit is having the ability to get exactly what you want. You don’t have the weigh the deal breakers vs the wish list, because you’re the one that gets to decide them. This is a huge plus, there’s no need to change wall colors before moving in, or switch out the carpet, because everything is exactly how you want it.

And it’s brand new, so you don’t have to worry about whether things are going to break down on you as soon as you move in, because everything’s new. You can trust that your water heater’s going to last for years, and that your furnace will keep pumping out heat all winter long.

So the decisions up to you, but it’s certainly a decision that we are willing and able to help walk you through. If you need a building lot and a builder we can help. If you don’t want to mess with it and just buy, then we can help. So don’t hesitate to call us when you’re trying to decide whether to buy or build in Cedar City.



Finding the Best Cedar City Homes For Sale

It’s a fantastic time to be living in southern Utah! The weathers starting to cool down, and soon the leaves will start changing color. So if you’re trying to find the best home in Cedar City for sale, it couldn’t be a better time to look. There are still good deals out there if you know where to look. The homes market in Cedar City has shown a lot of life lately which is always fun to see.

Finding the Best Cedar City Homes For Sale

Where to Live – Cedar City Homes For Sale

When looking for a great Cedar City home for sale, it all boils down to what aspects of a neighborhood, and home are most important to you? Do you want to be close to schools, and restaurants? Or would you rather be out away from it all? Would you like a street filled with kids, and bikes? Or would you like a sleepy little street where you just have an occasional basketball to dodge? These are all pertinent questions that will help you in your quest to find the best home in Cedar City for you and your family.

In truth there are no perfect homes, just homes that fit your needs better than others, so you need to decided what is most important to you? If you come into see us with your most critical needs already figured out, then we will be 3 steps ahead of you in your quest to find that home. We’ll take your thoughts, needs, and desires, and help you find the best fitting Cedar City home for sale that you can find. We aren’t just realtors who merely try to sell our own listings, but we really have the client in mind. What you need, and what will serve you best is what we’re going to find you.

Best Homes For Sale in Cedar City

We pride ourselves in being able to sit down with people, analyze what they need, and then steer them in the best direction for their home purchases. Sometimes there are just way too many options when looking for the perfect home for sale in Cedar City. Which is where a little patience and experience in your realtor will come in handy. We know the ebb’s and flows of the real estate market better than most, we know when you’re getting a good deal or not.

So when you’re looking for the best Cedar City homes for sale, give us a call and let us walk you through the process. Once we know what you want, then we’ll be off to the races in helping you get into the best home out there. And if you’re looking for additional information about Cedar City homes for sale, click on that link as well.

Photo Credit: jørn utzon on flickr


How to Avoid Real Estate Retirement Planning Mistakes

Many people do not even realize how important planning their retirement is, so they naively neglect the steps necessary to ensure the retirement they desire. People who are nearing to their retirement period do not even like to hear about their retirement, forget about planning. But, it is very important to prepare ahead for retirement, especially with regards to real estate, it helps you to continue the rest of your life peaceful, otherwise it is much more difficult to survive peacefully after retirement and it could be a trying time in your life.

How to Avoid Real Estate Retirement Planning Mistakes
Some people plan ahead about spending their leisure time but they forget about the retirement planning, which is very important for them so that they could plan other things.  You should actually put a lot of effort to make sure that your retirement plan will be successful, and take a lot of care into ensuring your real estate retirement plan is one that will take you into your twilight years.  You may not see the unforeseen circumstances, which leads to failure of your retirement planning.  Therefore it is very essential to know some important questions if you want to avoid retirement planning mistakes, and real estate retirement mistakes.

Questions to Ask so at to Avoid Real Estate Retirement Planning Mistakes

  1. How many more years left before your retirement?
  2. Depending on your current financial position, how much income you will get after retirement?
  3. Are you planning to retire through your personal savings or you wanted to capitulate from various investments?
  4. Whatever the money you saved till your retirement period, for that income how much money did you generate yearly till your retirement and after retirement?
  5. Will the income that you will receive after retirement will be funded by various other income sources?
  6. Do you want to it by yourself, or do you want to take help from an expert for better income results?
  7. Keeping in mind your retirement-income basis, how much money you will get after tax?

The major reason why many people retirements plans are not successful is because they aren’t asking the important and right kind of questions. Cedar City has consistently been ranked as a top affordable retirement community, so by asking the right questions and with a little help from real estate agents like the Bontadelli Team, you’ll be squared away. The right question helps you find the right answers, and the right solutions for your retirement plan. Planning ahead for your future after retirement not only helps you lead a peaceful life but also helps you lead independent and successful life.

The Right Real Estate Retirement Investment Plan

Now you know how to ask question to secure your life by planning the right kind of retirement plan. There are many answers to these questions that you never asked before. Planning is must for any kind of investment especially during your old age, you must have secured income to take care of your health and other important things.  Make sure to check the current changes and method of making retirement plan successful. And start planning today to ensure your real estate retirement investments in a place like beautiful Cedar City are ready to go.

Photo Credit: Simon Cunningham

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How to Find the Most Reliable Cedar City Real Estate Agent

Choosing a reliable real estate agent in Cedar City is very important when you are planning to buy or sell your home. The primary thing you should look for when looking for an agent is for his/her professionalism in taking care of things. Do they have total dedication to their work? Are they committed and hard working? And finally, they must have a good reputation.

My New House

Finding the perfect real estate agent is very important; the quality varies radically from marvelous to dreadful. You should be able to find an agent who puts your needs in front than their profits. Who can suggest you the right options and right location? Over all he/she should have as many of these qualities as possible:

  1. A person of veracity
  2. A great amount of time working with the real estate field.
  3. Should have plenty of knowledge and information about entire neighborhoods and communities.
  4. Maintains a good relationship with other agents and customers.
  5. Must be respected by other agents, which means he/she should not be rude with customers.
  6. Refined in business matters.
  7. Understands your needs.
  8. Must have a license from your state, which means, the agent must minimum educational qualifications, also they should have obtained training other necessary things.

The above mentioned points are very important to consider when you are looking for a reliable agent. Some additional things to consider are things like does he or she maintain their membership with the NAR (National Association of Realtors)? Through NAR, you can find an agent with qualifications as a Gradate Realtors Institute and Certified Residential Specialist. You don’t find many agents with such qualifications, so ask.

Get Referrals to Find the Perfect Cedar City Real Estate Agent

Get referrals from friends, coworkers and family, especially the people who you know have bought or sold the house recently. Get the agents name from other people who met at the open houses, once you find the good real estate agent, talk to them for half an hour or so and ask questions, etc. Once you get to know the approach of the agent, then you can hire him to do your job.

Ask Questions

Ask questions of the real estate agent in Cedar City, to find his or her experience and closing rate requirements. For instance, if you want to buy a new house, a foreclosure, or a condo, then make sure that your agent knows how to deal with these types of properties, and how experienced they are in this field of work.

Ask them how many homes they helped to sell or buy in the last year. Ask the address of the house that they recently sold and find out the selling cost. This kind of inquiry can help you to find the agent working capacity and successful rate.

Ask the agent how he or she can help you find the best house in your budget limits. And ask their suggestions on new mortgage loan process. Also, ask about current tax changes and insurances.

Know how to reach the agent, how you can contact him/her, through email, through phone or any other source. For stable markets, you can approach the lender once a week, but for the hot markets, you need to approach the agent every single day. And make sure you get responded to quickly from them to your calls, it is very important, because you don’t want to wait for your agents response and miss the golden opportunity’s.

Once you ask these exclusive questions, you are sure to get an idea about the agent, and you will know if he is good to help you find your dream house within your budget and with all the requirements that you are looking for in your home.

Conclusion: Finding the Best Cedar City Realtor

The important thing that you should be focusing on is, after finding the agent, make sure that he is giving priority to your task and not putting your name at the bottom of the list. So make constant inquiry’s and let them understand your requirements clearly. We are hopeful and confident that we here at the Bontadelli Team at ERA can satisfy all of these requirements, to help you with all of your real estate in Cedar City needs.

Photo Credit: Michael Gil

Our Listing Services Presentation is Bar None

Services we stand above the rest on is listing presentation.

We take terrific care in our listing presentations. I see daily homes listed with our competitors with photos taken quickly with a phone. It just makes sense to take time with proper lighting and other factors to have the home looking it’s best to the buyer. First impression, if you are the client looking for a home, what are you going to be drawn to? Great photos and lots of them.

Home of Aesthetics

Please no unkempt bathroom photos!

Be honest with home descriptions. You can’t make a Volkswagen in a Cadillac with a few words. Don’t embellish. The buying public is savvy and will not appreciate a waste of their time viewing a home that states what it is not.

We work as team with you. Your help as a seller is required.

Dirty, messy homes, first impressions are the only chance you will get.

Staging has become also so important not only will it give purpose to the room, but also allow the buyer to envision this home as their home.

Can’t say this one enough! Do not over price your home. We go to great lengths to give or sellers a concise market range for sale. This is based on many factors. We hear several times a week at least, “I do not want to give my home away”. By pricing above current market value you will have no showings for one, and no offers secondly. Over pricing will offer the seller no results and huge disappointments.

As a seller offer an incentive. Maybe closing costs paid or other that will set your home above the competition.

Do your part. Have the home in good condition, everything working and looking great.

Photo Credit: apple_photo

How the Sharing Economy is Changing Home Affordability

The sharing economy has come out as a good thing for plenty of people. As its name suggests, it works when people who own things rent them out to others in need and in the process the owners earn money, where he would not have, while the person renting forgoes the cost of buying the item. The cost of renting is usually less than the traditional rentals. This also provides a great opportunity to purchase a piece of investment real estate in Cedar City.

Some of the notable examples include a house owner with an extra room renting it out, someone borrowing your car to drive himself around or the owner driving you around in their car. The sharing economics has been there for a while but over the last few years, it has started moving towards mainstream. So why is this?


Globalization and Urbanization in Cedar City and Surrounding Areas

Every year tourist boards like the Cedar City Tourism Bureau trumpet on the growth of tourists in the area. Reasons for this may be due to good living conditions or the business environment. This has made the world a smaller place as people travel further towards cities in search of housing and transport services. In the past, only big brands such as big hotels and car rentals would have been the choice but now, that is not the case. And this is the case for Cedar as well, and provides an opportunity for investment in Cedar City.

Urbanization is continuing at a very fast rate. If you would take into consideration the US, in 1960, only 67 percent people lived in urban areas. Now, it is 80 percent. Add up to the population growth, this leads to many people living closer together. This would lead to the question, “Do I really need a car?”

Some companies are studying this trend and trying to show people how to live in these conditions.

Breaking the Barriers to Adoption

There have been plenty of technological advancements towards business that have removed the barriers of adoption for home owners in Cedar City to rent out their homes on something like a vacation rentals website. They include smartphones that enable real time discovery (location of the nearest car or bus stop), social media that provides transparency (the kind of person you are renting your room to and if they are trustworthy), mobile cashless payment processes and also geolocation supporting tracking methods and many more.

With these technologies, companies such as Uber, AirBnB and Lyft which have huge brands, valuations running into billions of dollars and huge insurance covers, are able to provide price standardization, risk management and insurances allowing people to borrow and rent without fear as their services are of high quality as well as extensive experience.

Cedar City Real Estate Investment Affordability Impact

There is a huge impact on affordability in these services. For instance, a normal Lyft driver can make about $25 per hour. At times, one shift of six hours would rake in about $500 in one month. For those who rent out their car through Relay Rides, they are able to make about $250 per month. This allows people who do not require cars to save up on thousands of dollars.

Even for small US cities like Cedar, you will rarely find one room on AirBnB that costs less than $70. Therefore, it is possible to make about $300 easily by renting out your spare room for some nights every month.

With these statistics, it doesn’t take a genius to notice that spending $300 per month would make him or her avoid a debt of $50000 with 5% in interest rates. Therefore, figure out on which side you would like to be in as both sides are beneficial.

So the incentives to invest in a Cedar City investment property are getting better and better.

Photo Credit: Joanne