How many of these 7 real estate facts did you already know?

There’s a ton of real estate intel on the interwebs. (Why, you’re looking at some of it right now!) But even if you consider yourself the most research-savvy digital consumer of all time, you may not know everything you need to in order to make the wisest decisions when negotiating a real estate transaction.

Maybe you’re already familiar with real estate terms like “escrow” and “easement.” But we’re not just talking about a few words that test your real estate vocabulary. We’re talking about processing the bazillions of details you’ll deal with to buy or sell a home.

Here’s a quick list of things you may not already know that could put, or keep, money in your wallet while you’re in the real estate game.

1. Home Ownership is an Important Way to Build Wealth

Home ownership isn’t for everybody. But those who step onto the home ownership ladder steadily build wealth over their lifetime. A typical homeowner’s net worth was $195,400, while that of the typical renter was $5,400, according to 2013 data from the Federal Reserve, the most recent available. Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® (NAR), recently estimated $225,000 to $230,000 in median net worth for homeowners and around $5,000 for renters. This is quite a difference.

2. Owning Real Estate Can Save You Hundreds in Taxes

If sending a chunk of your hard-earned money to Uncle Sam or your local government makes you nuts, real estate is for you. When you own, you may be eligible for a slew of real estate tax deductions and credits, including state and local income and property taxes, and mortgage interest and mortgage insurance payments. At the average tax rate, real estate deductions helped taxpayers save roughly $100 billion in 2015, according to an analysis by NAR.

3. Buyers Who Tapped Expert Real Estate Advice Were Glad They Did

When buyers who’ve recently worked with a real estate agent were asked why they teamed up with one, more than half said it was an important step in finding the right home, according to NAR’s “2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.” Nearly four out of five consumers, 74%, say their agent was a very useful source of information and helped them understand the process.

4. Sellers Were Just as Happy They Worked with a Real Estate Pro

Your fellow consumers wholeheartedly believe it’s important to work with an agent when selling. According to NAR’s “2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” Nearly nine out of 10 sellers, or 88%, did and said their agent to others.  (note: 99% of Roy Wheeler clients say they would recommend their agent) according to NAR’s “2017 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.”

5. Sellers Who Spruce Up and Declutter Their Home Draw More Interest

Staging a home makes a big difference in buyers’ ability to see its potential. Four out of five real estate agents who work exclusively with buyers say staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize themselves living in the staged home, according to NAR’s “2017 Profile of Home Staging." Nearly half say staging will increase a home's market value, and just under one-third say buyers are more willing to overlook a property’s faults when staging highlights its best features.

6. Sell-It-Yourselfers Are a Dwindling Crowd

The number of sellers who sold their home without a real estate pro has dropped to 8%.  Why?  NAR 2017 home buyer and seller trends says it is Because their agents helped the understand the process, negotiated better contract terms, improved their knowledge, and were able to recommend a better list of service providers.

7. Sellers Who Go It Alone Leave Money on the Table

The median price of homes sold without the expertise of a real estate agent historically is higher than when a seller does not use a Realtor.  Often times the agent can get a higher price that offsets what they charge to sell the home.

-Michael Guthrie, Broker and CEO of Roy Wheeler Realty Co.

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