5 Reasons Why You Still Need A Real Estate Agent

1. Better Access/More Convenience
A real estate agent’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. Both the buyer’s and seller’s agent work full time as a real estate agents and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together. For example if you are looking to buy a home; a real estate agent will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers’ agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.

Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to move on if you tend to be busy or don’t respond quickly enough. Alternatively, you may find yourself making an appointment and rushing home, only to find that no one shows up.

2. Negotiating Is Tricky Business
Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true – assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship.

What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner’s late mother may have lovingly chosen the décor. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers.

A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason – including just because they hate his or her guts. An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price. (In order to benefit from hiring an agent, you need to choose a good one.

3. Contracts Can Be Hard To Handle
If you decide to buy or sell a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale – and you aren’t approved for the mortgage – you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract. (Keep in mind that the details of any contract may vary based on state law.)
An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you’re buying or selling your home.

4. Real Estate Agents Can’t Lie
Well, OK, actually they can. But because they are licensed professionals there are more repercussions if they do than for a private buyer or seller. If you are working with a licensed real estate agent under an agency agreement, (ie. a conventional, full-service commission agreement in which the agent agrees to represent you), your agent will be bound by common law (in most states) to a fiduciary relationship. In other words, the agent is bound by license law to act in their clients’ best interest (not his or her own).

In addition, most realtors rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientèle base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.

Finally, if you do find that your agent has gotten away with lying to you, you will have more avenues for recourse, such as through your agent’s broker, professional association (such as the National Association Of Realtors) or possibly even in court if you can prove that your agent has failed to uphold his fiduciary duties.

When a buyer and seller work together directly, they can (and should) seek legal counsel, but because each is expected to act in his or her best interest, there isn’t much you can do if you find out later that you’ve been duped about multiple offers or the home’s condition. And having a lawyer on retainer any time you want to talk about potentially buying or selling a house could cost far more than an agent’s commissions by the time the transaction is complete.

5. Not Everyone Can Save Money
Many people eschew using a real estate agent to save money, but keep in mind that it is unlikely that both the buyer and seller will reap the benefits of not having to pay commissions. For example, if you are selling your home on your own, you will price it based on the sale prices of other comparable properties in your area. Many of these properties will be sold with the help of an agent. This means that the seller gets the keep the percentage of the home’s sale price that might otherwise be paid to the real estate agent.

However, buyers who are looking to purchase a home sold by owners may also believe they can save some money on the home by not having an agent involved. They might even expect it and make an offer accordingly. However, unless buyer and seller agree to split the savings, they can’t both save the commission.

The Bottom Line
While there are certainly people who are qualified to sell their own homes, taking a quick look at the long list of frequently asked questions on most “for sale by owner” websites suggests the process isn’t as simple as many people assume. And when you get into a difficult situation, it can really pay to have a professional on your side.
Call The Muljat Group North Real Estate office in downtown, Lynden to assist you whether it be buying or selling real estate
Article by Tara Struyk | investopedia | 5/18/10

Painting to Sell: What Color Homes Sell Best?

Call it exterior painting to sell. One underscored rule of what’s selling, is to go mainstream. Try to appeal to the widest possible swath of buyers.
Some tips on exterior painting to sell:
– Drive around your neighborhood and get inspiration that way.
-Think about your part of the country. There’s definitely regional color. Spicy tones might work in the Southwest; tropical areas might be more used to a little blue.
Earth tones abound. A great color to start with is definitely earth tones, nothing too bold and nothing too taste-specific. No lime greens. No oranges. No pink unless you have an old Victorian and you are fixing it up.
– Take a look at new construction, and copy what builders of new construction are doing.
– Make sure that your front door is beautifully painted. Front doors matter!
Think about painting the exterior to please. When selling homes: “It’s a business, not an emotion.”
Read complete article Painting to Sell by Christopher Moore


Fall is such a beautiful time of year in Whatcom County!

Front Street in beautiful, downtown, Lynden, Washington.
If you have never visited Stoney Ridge Farm in Everson, Washington you better do so because this is their final 2015 harvest season after 25 years of celebrating!

They have the largest pumpkin patch in the county! Take the whole family as they would truly enjoy taking a hay ride to the pumpkin patch to pick out the perfect pumpkin. The farm animals are a hoot to watch especially the funny goats leaping and walking on the overhead ramps! The home made pumpkin and gooey caramel apple pies are so yummy! To quench your thirst the fresh-pressed pasteurized cider is amazing. You can even harvest some fresh crisp apples as they have u-pick apples. The farm is really the picture perfect setting for the photographer in your family!

Be festive this season and visit Whatcom County Fall Activities
Happy Fall to you and your family from The Muljat Group Realtors®!


The mortgage rates are holding steady near 3.75% in September. Mortgage rates for 30-year fixed mortgages fell almost imperceptibly this week. Need help deciding which loan program makes the most sense? Caliber Home Loans is on site at our office. There are some initial steps to take when deciding to get pre-approved to buy a home. After determining you qualify to purchase a home, you’ll need to submit a loan application with a lender. Upon submitting this information to your lender, give them at least 24 hours to thoroughly review all your financial documentation and complete financial package. After such time, the lender will produce a pre-approval letter for you to give to your real estate agent to make an offer to buy a home. Once you know how much a lender is willing to offer, you can shop within that price range. With the interest rates so low it’s a great time to buy a home! Contact the Muljat Group North Real Estate office – we would love to represent you in buying a home!


It sure doesn’t feel like Fall is just around the corner in Whatcom County. We have had a record breaking summer with the number of days over 80 degrees. However, the first day of fall is September 23, and if your flower baskets are fading you may be thinking of what to plant next. For the perfect late-season bloomer, you can’t go wrong with fall mums. Mums really are the divas of the autumn garden. The blooms last for weeks, and the sheer number of flowers per plant will convince anyone that this flower really likes to show off. Mums are perfect for mass plantings, because of the tight, mounded habit and stunning bloom cover. Garden mums make great container plants. To learn more about the blooms, please read:
Gardening with mums

Your front door creates a first impression for buyers and guests. Some seller’s stage and prep the interior of their homes but often neglect the front door. Mum’s aren’t as expensive as many perennials. Pots of colorful mums placed by the front door offers a quick splash of color. Mums are the pick for a fabulous fall!


Gallup polled over 1,000 adults and found that 31 percent of respondents considered real estate to be the best long-term investment, 25 percent of those surveyed said that stocks and mutual funds are the best long-term investment, followed by gold at 19 percent. This marks a big change from 2011-2012 when gold was the most appealing investment. While confidence in real estate declined during the global banking crisis and recession, real estate is now ranked as the top investment choice or tied for the top choice among all major gender, age and income groups. A recent generational trends study from the National Association of REALTORS® reported that 79 percent of all buyers surveyed considered buying a home a “good financial investment.”
Source: NWMLS NW REporter 05/15
All in all Real Estate is a top choice investment!
Start your real estate search with a Muljat Group North Realtor® today 360.354.4242