Why should I use a real estate agent/licensee?
The simple answer: Real estate agents, called licensees in Alaska, are experts in all aspects of the housing market for the area. We speak the language of real estate, know the area, understand the contracts, and know the typical expenses associated with each transaction. Our knowledge could help you save money, not just in negotiation, but in all aspects of the transaction. Don’t pay for or stress over things unnecessarily, use a real estate licensee and be in the know!
If you’re looking to sell your home, a real estate licensee can help you find the right price point (hint: it’s not by looking at Zillow) by completing a market analysis. Not sure what that is? Learn more here. We also know the best ways to market your home in the area and have access to marketing platforms that you don’t. When it comes to negotiation, your real estate licensee will use their knowledge and experiences to get you the best deal possible for the situation. They are also contract experts, and will supply appropriate contracts to make sure the sale is completed with the guidelines of the state in mind, because all states have different rules. This is a common area where many overpay, because they don’t understand the typical costs associated with the area. You can also expect them to guide you through all the road blocks along the way. Even if you’ve had success selling on your own in the past, each sale is different, and a great real estate licensee can use their experiences and expertise to guide you through.
Looking to buy a home? You’ll absolutely want to have a real estate licensee. In a typical transaction, you won’t even pay for the services you receive. Your licensee can give you access to the MLS, so you’ll see information that others don’t, and even get alerts when something new comes on the market that you may have interest in. Often, in the Kodiak area, licensees are sometimes aware of other properties that may be coming on the market in the future. After you find the right fit, your licensee will help you write an offer and use their negotiation and area knowledge to get you the best deal possible for your situation. After you have an accepted offer, they can guide you through the next steps, and will work directly with your lender and the title company to get your new home closed. Their goal is to always make your home buying process as stress free as possible.
What is the MLS and how does it work?
The MLS is short for “Multiple Listing Service”. A home on the MLS is listed with a real estate company, and often the best way to reach potential buyers. The MLS can be found nation-wide and offer thorough information about properties listed, including documents such as seller disclosures, which are not available on other sites. Only real estate licensees paying fees and participating in the MLS system have access to all property details, but they are often able to share limited access with interested individuals. If you have interest in searching the MLS for properties available in the state of Alaska, start here!
What is the difference between “Listing Licensee” and “Selling Licensee”?
A listing licensee is the term given to the real estate licensee that has a home listed for sale. A selling licensee is the real estate licensee that procures a buyer for a home. In many transactions the real estate licensee will only be either the selling licensee or listing licensee, but in some cases, they can be both. It’s also important to remember that licensees can switch roles in each new transaction, so if they were the selling licensee for one, they may be the listing licensee for the next.
However, the most important point to remember is that a listing licensee and selling licensee are not the indicator in how you are being represented in the transaction. In the state of Alaska, you will be asked to sign a disclosure any time you are working with a real estate licensee, which discloses how you are being represented. Have questions about representation? Learn more here.
What is a FSBO?
FSBO stands for “For Sale By Owner”. These are home owners attempting to sell their home without a REALTOR®. It is important to note that some sellers are willing to work with a REALTOR® in some capacity. Typically, we see this when a buyer wishes to be represented in a FSBO transaction. However, from time to time, a FSBO seller will find a buyer and ask a REALTOR® to step in and facilitate the transaction.
Zillow shows that a licensee has listed a property, but when I ask the licensee they say it’s not their listing! Why is this happening?
Don’t worry, there is a simple explanation for this, and no, it’s not that the licensee is lying to you. Some licensees work with Zillow to find clients interested in properties; these are called premier agents. Sometimes those properties are not listed by real estate companies but are FSBOs instead. Zillow will typically first list the contact information for the listing company, then the premier agent or other licensees are listed next. In cases where there is no listing company, just the licensee(s) working with Zillow are listed, followed by the seller’s information. The contact information for the owners will be in a less obvious area of the website. However, licensees can still help you when they are not the listing licensee, so don’t be afraid to contact them!