Pioneer Vacation Rentals

Considerations before buying a Cabin or Chalet

Posted by on July 14, 2017

Now that you have decided your budget and what size and style of Smoky Mountain cabin you’ll be looking for your next decision will be to use a real estate agent who listed the cabin you're interested in purchasing (seller's agent) or a buyer’s agent to find your perfect cabin. There are pros and cons for both and this article will try to help give you some information you can use to be able to choose which would be the better fit for you in your search for a Smoky Mountain rental cabin.


Buying any home can be complicated when it comes to paperwork and filing all the appropriate documents. This becomes even more complicated if you are buying a Smoky Mountain rental cabin and you don’t even live in Tennessee. But don’t let the complicated paperwork issue keep you from realizing your dream of a cabin on the mountain or in the woods. It can be done.


Buyers agent vs sellers agent gifSince you’ve already determined your budget, size and style of cabin you desire, most buyers will use the internet or local publications of the area they’re interested in to begin their search. Another way to begin your search is to make a list of your ‘must have’s and use that to have your real estate agent or buyer’s agent find the right Smoky Mountain rental cabin for you. If you have found a real estate listing that interests you, whether on the internet or in a brochure, it’s time to contact someone in regards to setting up an appointment to view the property. (Photo Credit: The Ultimate listing)


If you choose to contact the real estate agent listed on the property or brochure, be aware you are contacting the listing agent. The listing real estate agent is working for the seller and has the seller’s interests in mind when showing the property. Since the real estate agent is the listing agent, they serve their clients, who are the sellers, by obtaining the highest price possible when selling the property. They are working only for the seller, not the buyer. Although the real estate agent represents the seller, they are still required to disclose any and all problems with the property and can’t hide anything from a potential buyer.


A real estate agent, or listing agent, has certain responsibilities they must uphold. It is their job to properly value the property for sale and to suggest certain upgrades and repairs that will enhance the possibility of a sale and also obtain the best price. They help the seller to develop marketing strategies, present and negotiate offers and draft counter offers, all on the seller’s behalf. They are also responsible to complete state mandated disclosures, letting the buyer know of any problems with the property, and to follow up on contract dates, paperwork and events, all in the best interests of the seller. Although the real estate, or listing, agent does officially work for the seller, they are more than likely experts in their area who know the proper values and attributes of the real estate market in their area.


Another way to consider looking for the perfect cabin for you is to enlist the aid of a buyer’s agent. A buyer’s agent works exclusively for the buyer, putting the buyer’s wants and needs first when searching for a property for purchase. Some buyer’s agents promote themselves as buyer’s agents only and don’t list or sell property at all. Others will be a buyer’s or seller’s agent, much like a lawyer can represent a defendant or a plaintiff. If you decide to use a buyer’s agent, whether they do both buyers and sellers, their main responsibility is to represent you in whatever capacity you have enlisted them to do. You, of course, will be buying.


A buyer’s agent’s responsibilities include previewing any properties for sale that may meet your needs and arranging for you, the buyer, to view them. Provide you with any information you desire concerning neighborhoods, schools, population and local trends that is legal to reveal to you. The buyer’s agent will also research a market analysis of the property and compare it to the seller’s asking price. The buyer’s agent will then determine and draft offers for you, the buyer, to present to the seller’s agent. A good buyer’s agent will counsel you and negotiate on your behalf during the full transaction of buying your Smoky Mountain rental cabin. They will also keep track of any contract dates or contingencies that pertain to your property purchase, keeping you informed on what paperwork needs to be filed and when.


One thing you want to keep in mind, should you choose to obtain the services of a buyer’s agent to represent your interests is the fact that the buyer’s agent may work for the firm where the seller’s agent also works. This is called a ‘dual agency’. Should this be the case, the buyer’s agent must disclose the fact that they also basically represent the seller. It can also be called ‘double ending’ due to the fact that the agent doesn’t have to split the commission for the sale with anyone. The buyer’s agent doubling as the seller’s agent can cause some distinct problems. Even if the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent isn’t the same person but both work for the same agency, problems can arise.


For example, if the buyer’s agent and the seller’s agent is the same person, or work for the same agency and the agent finds out that the seller is highly motivated to sell because they are going through a divorce and want a quick sale. If the agent discloses this to the buyer, it harms the seller in the deal since the buyer may determine they can offer less since the seller is highly motivated. If the agent doesn’t disclose this to the buyer, it harms the buyer in the sale. It’s a catch-22 and in some states, illegal. There really is no way to represent both parties fairly in this situation.


There is an advantage to using a buyer’s agent. They can do things for the buyer while fully representing their interests. They are your advisor throughout the whole purchase, watching out for you so that you don’t make a wrong decision. They will take time to reveal your wants and needs and then search for just the right property. They can educate you on the current market, use their knowledge that you provide about your desires to get you into the proper area for your Smoky Mountain Cabin Rental. They can determine by your list of desires whether you should look in the Pigeon Forge area or the Gatlinburg area, whether you’d be better off in one of the resort areas like Cobbly Nob just outside of Gatlinburg and which areas fit your vacation or future residential needs should you decide to reside in your rental cabin in the future. There are many things to consider and your buyer’s agent should know the area and the income potential of your rental cabin and can inform you with that knowledge. They can also help you in scheduling inspections of the potential property and counsel you on any repairs needed, also negotiating with the seller to have these repairs done. There are many advantages to using a buyer’s agent who represent you, the buyer.


Who pays the buyer’s agent or real estate agent? You, the buyer, don’t. In the case of the listing, or real estate, agent, their commission is paid out of the purchase price to the seller normally by a percentage the seller negotiated at the time they listed the property with the agent. You could say in essence that you, the buyer, do pay for the listing agent because it is included in the purchase price if we want to get technical. As far as the buyer’s agent goes, they receive their fee once the purchase of the property has been made by receiving a percentage of the listing agent’s fee. The listing agent takes care of the buyer’s agent’s income.


Whichever way you decide, whether buyer’s agent or real estate agent, there are advantages to both and cons to both. The secret to a pleasant experience on purchasing your Smoky Mountain Rental Cabin is to realize exactly what it is you want in a property and to strive to achieve it. You can do this even if you are out of state, doing business via phone or email. It’s very easy to review and sign contracts via Fax or email and your agent is only a phone call away. They can even help you determine if you should contact a bank in Tennessee or in your home state should you require a mortgage for your cabin. They are well informed on current loan rates and interest rates and can school you on this also. They can also help you negotiate for the furnishings of the cabin, which is a normal occurrence when buying a cabin that has formally been on a rental program. Your agent can also obtain the rental history of the cabin and the income potential which can be very important for your decision to purchase.


This article is expressly to help inform you on some of the differences of working with a real estate agent and a buyer’s agent and to help you in your search to own your own piece of the Great Smoky Mountains.


Read the next article in this series - Cabin Ownership - Buy Your Cabin

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