You don’t need to budget. Do this instead.Let’s face it: budgeting is a real pain. That’s why Andrew Sivertsen, a partner and senior financial planner in the Quad Cities office of The Planning Center, advocates another way to control your money. A much easier way. His prescription: Just saying the word “budget” is enough to cause your gut to wrench and make you feel guilty. Many academics and journalists have told us that a budget is the cornerstone of financial success. Yet according to a recent Gallup poll, two thirds of Americans don’t have a budget, and I would guess that the one third that do aren’t all that excited about the process. On top of being boring and time intensive, budgets remind us that our money is finite. They punish us for making purchases that seemed exciting at the time, but later turned out to conflict with our financial goals. What’s worse is that many affluent individuals earn so much income that they think budgeting is only for college students or newlyweds. The fact is that the benefits of budgeting are actually greater for individuals at their income level. When people consider selling or purchasing a property, they want the best guidance – especially in this hot real estate market. A great way to navigate selling or buying a home is by working with an experienced real estate agent. A local agent has the expertise, marketing know-how and familiarity with transaction requirements to help you. Following are just some of the benefits of hiring an experienced local agent for your home sale or purchase:
- An agent will carefully guide and assist you through the transaction and can negotiate on your behalf. Selling or buying a home involves dealing with multiple contacts and contracts including the buyer or seller, their agent, home inspection company, the appraiser, banks and sometimes attorneys. Your agent can help you navigate all the hoops in a timely and efficient manner so that you can experience a smooth and seamless transaction.
- There’s no substitute for a professional agent who has local expertise. Agents typically specialize in specific areas and neighborhoods, giving them a clear understanding of factors, like trending and emerging neighborhoods. Additionally, experienced agents are often familiar with unlisted homes for sale and those about to come on the market, giving their clients a clear advantage.
- An agent can provide you with a competitive market analysis (CMA) that shows comparable properties for sale, days on market, price trends and much more. This can help you price your home right the first time, an important factor that minimizes the chances of price reductions or having your home sit on the market for too long.