Trying to decide whether or not to use a real estate agent to buy or sell your home? You might want to think again. Sure, you have the internet at your fingertips and can technically search most any information you might need. It’s also true that you can find the latest home listings, right?
Well imagine this scenario if you will. We will assume that you work a Monday through Friday 40 hour work week with business hours averaging from nine to five. We will also assume that you have listed your home on several different media sites, for this example we will use Craigslist.
Let’s for the sake of this scenario only focus on one aspect of trying to list or buy a home without an agent.
Scenario 1: Listing your Home
Average Tuesday morning, you’re at work, a personal call comes in from a potential buyer, they would like to see your home today. Dilemma one, you are at work. You offer to show them the home in the evening or on the upcoming weekend. They agree to see your home on Saturday. Dilemma two, they continue to call on other properties and are able to schedule an appointment with a realtor and see a home they like that day and make an offer and your home is now out of the running.
Situations like this continue and you lose out on numerous sales.
Scenario 2: Buying a Home
You are an eager first time home owner and excited to start the home buying process. You complete your due diligence and search for your dream home using Zillow and Trulia. You continue to run into problems because homes you find are already sold. You find homes on Craigslist and they turn out to be scams, the homes listed are not the homes that are actually for sale.
You finally find the home of your dreams in your price range and no one guided you in the process and you didn’t do a home inspection. Now your dream home is a nightmare and you have no recourse. Had you used a realtor, this never would have happened!
No one is saying you can’t do it on your own, but we are saying, you really, really shouldn’t. This is one of the biggest financial decisions of your entire life, why not accept some guidance along the way and make sure it gets done right.
Realtors have to get a license for a reason
Buying or selling a home requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare and help you avoid costly mistakes.
Realtors have access to more listings
A realtor can help you find properties that are available but not actively listed yet. Plus, a good local realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Your realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so they can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.
One of the most difficult tasks whether buying or selling a home, is handling the negotiations. Many times, real estate agents can help you to get creative with your offers, so that you end up with a deal that has your best interests in mind.
And it’s not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A realtor will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.
They’re connected to everyone
Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they’re all in your realtor’s network.
The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts.
They adhere to a strict code of ethics
Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.
They wear a lot of different hats
Realtor, also known as, chief marketer of your home, sales person, therapist, friend, and guidance counselor all rolled into one.
Talk about someone who has to work for their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
And, of course, they’re working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in.
Your realtor will guide you through the closing process. At the closing table, your real estate agent will be right there with you to explain each piece of paperwork before you sign. It will make you feel more at ease with the process.
They will help you stay objective.
Whether buying or selling a home, it’s important to stay objective during negotiations in order to get the best deal.
Agents are expert problem-solvers
What happens if your inspection doesn’t come back clean? What you think is a minor repair could be a major one and agents know who to call, how quickly it should take to get the problems fixed, and keep you on your escrow timeline.
If you think you can squeeze all of this in between your regular 40 hour work week and learn all there is to know to not only get the best deal, but make sure your documents are in order and you won’t have any legal mishaps, then take your chances and roll the dice without a realtor, but as you can see, there are chances for missteps at every turn when buying or selling a home, so please make sure to think twice.