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Are You a Buyer or a Seller? My Real Estate Pointers for You


By: Maria Girlie Pascual


With the flurry of continuous technical innovation and the explosion of information overload courtesy of the good old internet, buyers and sellers become overwhelmed, sometimes to a point of utter confusion over the best and proven ways of moving forward with their plans of either buying or selling their home, and in some cases, doing both simultaneously. In the center of all this is your friendly, neighborhood real estate broker, who is hopefully a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) because ladies and gentlemen, there is a huge difference, an this is where I want to begin.

A regular real estate broker (there are no more agents, only brokers since 2015 in the State of Illinois) is a licensed professional that took the broker course, passed the required state examination, and may work independently or affiliate themselves with a sponsoring brokerage. A REALTOR, on the other hand, is a member of the National Association of Realtors or NAR, pays the annual membership dues, and adheres to an extensive Code of Ethics that protect both the professional and the consumer from questionable and unethical business practices. Realtors are members of both local and national trade boards and may be subject to fines and other legal remedies if a complaint is filed against them with the NAR board. Essentially, they have an obligation to use best practices in their profession, therefore it may benefit you to use a broker who is a also a Realtor.

Experienced real estate brokers are also a better bet than the ones just making their way into this challenging arena. I myself got licensed as a agent back in 1987, and became a broker even when it was not a requirement, way back in 1989. Therefore my more than 30 years experience in this field has contributed greatly to my success as one of the Top Producers in my office, Realty Executives Advance and has given me the distinction of being “Full time, full service 24/7”.

Now that you have learned the importance of choosing the right broker, let’s talk about figuring out when is the best time to move forward with either buying or selling. Barring the real estate debacle of 2004 to 2008 which led to a nationwide recession and effectively changed the real estate mortgage qualifiers,. Your decision to move forward entirely depends on your needs, your goals, current market conditions, and your capacity to make your plans happen. By capacity, I refer to your financial capability. As a seller, how much equity do you have and need from the sale of your property, and as a buyer, how much do you have to put down in a home or an investment property, and do you qualify for the loan that you need to acquire it? This comes to my second pointer—the choice of a good lender.

Sure, internet lending is the easiest way to go. Fill out an application online, send in your paperwork and boom, your deal is as good as done, right? No, not really. The difference between an internet lender and a lender from your area is the fact that with the latter, you get a more personalized, detailed, service oriented process, than with the person on the other side of the online application. I will not get into the details of how each work, but common sense alone should tell you that flesh and blood is more reassuring than being “catfished” by a lending company. (Google the term, it generally relates to online dating where one of the parties do not have a face to the name and ends up creating a stressful situation for the one that does.)

The rest of the pointers, how to prepare a home for sale, how to get a market evaluation on the home you want to buy or sell, how to look for your next address, these will now be laid out to you by the two aforementioned professionals, the real estate broker who is hopefully a Realtor (make sure to ask if they are because if they do not belong to the NAR, they have no right or business to use the term which is copyrighted internationally), and the lender who will make the terminology, the calculations of your loan, and the timeline work out for your approval. Without these two professionals working hard for you, your experience may make the difference between a smooth transaction and a hair pulling one.

The choice of an attorney can come later, but remember the term “real estate lawyer”. Uncle Fred who does divorces, and Cousin Sal who specializes in traffic accidents may not necessarily be the best choice. Just make sure they do quite a number of real estate closings at their office, or have your Realtor recommend one for you. You will need an attorney who will have your best interest at heart always.

Realtor, lender, attorney- –these are the professionals that should put YOU first in any deal. Yes, I have come across negative people that would say, “Well, they only look at the commission”. My response to him or her was that, being full time in this business for the last 30 years while being a Top Producer shows that my goal has always been to accomplish that of my clients’, and only my clients’ vision, otherwise, there would be no referrals. In this business, being referred is the highest form of a compliment, and it shows the ultimate respect for what I have done for them. Referrals also make up 80% of any Realtor’s successful business. Without these referrals, I will not be the kind of Realtor that thrives on doing the best job I possibly can, while alleviating most of the stress that accompany each transaction. The lender, the attorney and I, make up the team that works for you , the triumvirate you need to achieve your goals.

Please call or text me for all of your real estate questions and needs. I, along with Viatimes Newsmagazine have been partners in my career for quite a long time, and I still get a thrill from actually working with our readers.

Happy Easter to all, and may God continue to bless us with love, respect, and humility as we go about our daily lives. Let’s be kind to one another everyone!


2018 Top Producer for my brokerage – THANK YOU


My seller sold this 4000 sq foot home


and bought this 5500 sq ft English Tudor mansion.


Changing the flooring updates the home- this was before the floors were changed.

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Fresh paint, removing carpet and clutter, adding a pop of color makes the home attractive to buyers.


New flooring after adds value and appeal.

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