Found this article in the Asheville Citizen Times paper on Sunday, January 16, 2011. Written by: Alan Kellam

I think that it's so important for buyers and sellers to know the facts before buying or selling a property.

I think that it's critical for buyers and sellers to be prepared for the market, but when it comes down to it, your Realtor should provide guidance. He or she is the person in the marketplace every day, has experience in negotiations and knows the process. It's very important to obtain the services of a Realtor who you feel will give you the best experience.

Here are some questions that you should ask about the people you are considering to be your buyer's agent

Is he or she:

• An expert in your market? You need to know where property values are rising … and falling; what's been selling … and what's not. Your Realtor should have done his or her homework.

• Willing to work with you before you're ready to buy? A good agent knows that homebuying is a process, and will get you started, educate you about the process, help you define your needs and wants, show you properties, and help you find a lender, even before you're ready to make the commitment — so when you are ready to buy, you will be prepared to find the right home, and get the best value.

• Willing to suggest more than just that one property you found on the Internet? Are there similar homes in the same area that you didn't see? Your Realtor should dig for others and have them ready to show you.

• A good listener? Will he/she listen to your requirements … and respect them; but also talk to you about other ways to meet your needs?

• Not going to push listings just because they're listed in his/her own office? Sure your Realtor could make more by selling his/her office's own listings, but a good agent will show you everything that meets your requirements, regardless of whose listing it is.

• Able to give you advice on financing and taxes? Realtors are not accountants or mortgage brokers, but the good ones have the experience and knowledge to help you analyze alternatives … and let you know when to consult with the professionals.

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Whether you are considering buying or selling a home now or not, I think it's important for you to keep up-to-date on the local real estate market in the western North Carolina and North East Georgia areas.

If you have any questions about buying or selling a home, contact me toll-free at 1-877-837-3002 ext 218 or via e-mail at:

Randy Dockery