What First-Time Home Buyers Should Look For In A Realtor

  • Shawn Wharrey made a profit of $167,500 from the renovation and sale of three family homes.
  • He says the key to his success was a good real estate agent who advised him during the renovation process.
  • He also recommends finding someone with good reviews or word of mouth referrals.

Between June 2017 and April 2022, 31-year-old vet Shawn Wharrey made $167,500 buying and selling three different homes.

Here is a timeline of when Wharrey sold and bought his first three family homes:

Wharrey chose homes that were ready to move into, but still needed minor cosmetic upgrades. From the sale of his homes in Ohio alone, he made $135,000 with the help of his favorite real estate agent, Molly A. Mosley.

“We ended up winning $128,000 [the Pickerington, OH] lodge. I used some of the funds to pay off my student loans, and it was all through my realtor,” Wharrey says.

For first-time home buyers or sellers who need guidance on what to look for in a real estate agent, here are two qualities that Wharrey says have helped him.

1. Look for a real estate agent with good online reviews and word of mouth referrals

Mosley came highly recommended by colleagues and close friends of Wharrey’s wife. He adds: “A few weeks ago, I saw that she was in the top 5% of real estate agents with RE/MAX in the area. She also told us about the number of houses she had closed during previous years, how many offers its customers received and how quickly customers received those offers.”

Selling their first home was daunting, says Wharrey, “We were just terrified of losing money on it.” With Mosley’s help in timing the market and his staging recommendations, Wharrey walked away with a profit of $7,000 after capital gains taxes, which he had to pay as he bought and sold the house. in less than two years.

2. A good real estate agent should offer practical advice on renovations that will pay off

Wharrey worked with another real estate agent in Michigan, where he bought a house at the top of his price range with an unfinished basement. His Michigan real estate agent told him that homes with finished basements sell for $400,000 in the area, so if he was willing to get his hands on the capital, it could really pay off.

Wharrey hired family friends in Indiana to finish the basement over a few weekends, which cost about $40,000 out of pocket. After two years, the house sold for $412,500, just as her real estate agent had predicted. After the cost of the basement renovation, Wharrey pocketed $32,500 from the sale of his home.

While looking for their third home in Ohio, where Wharrey moved to be closer to his family, he again worked with Mosley to buy and sell their homes. During the tours, Mosley pointed out the earning potential of each home, knowing Wharrey was willing to do DIY renovations.

“She has a structural mind,” he says. “Walking around our house, she was very honest and said, ‘Don’t worry about the carpet or the floor, because if someone doesn’t like your carpet, they’ll replace it anyway.'”

The right realtor helped Wharrey and his family move into their dream home

After paying off the remaining $108,000 balance on her student loans, Wharrey still had $20,000 from the sale of her third home to invest in her family’s next home. Without the burden of student loans, Wharrey and her family once again worked with Mosley to find their dream home.

“It’s not our forever home anymore,” he says. “We have six and a half acres. We have a horse barn and an arena barn. We have been able to find a home that we have been really looking for since we got married five years ago.”

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