Realtors or real estate agents are either despised or loved, depending on how successful they are at serving their clients. A realtor is a go- between for the buyer and the seller. Realtors are professionals who work on your behalf and advocate for your interests.
Done correctly, an agent’s job is to put the buyer’s interests ahead of himself. This means they must disclose all material facts, keep the buyer’s information confidential, provide them with sufficient information to purchase a home, and expertly negotiate on their behalf.
If you feel competent that you can handle a sale or purchase on your own, then you may choose to work without an agent. But you might always wonder whether you paid too much or accepted too low of a price. A realtor’s full-time job is to act as a liaison between buyers and sellers. This means that he or she will have easy access to all other properties listed by other agents. Real estate agents work full time and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together.
For example, if you are looking to buy a home, a realtor will track down homes that meet your criteria, get in touch with sellers’ agents and make appointments for you to view the homes. If you are buying on your own, you will have to play this telephone tag yourself. This may be especially difficult if you’re shopping for homes that are for sale by owner.
Similarly, if you are looking to sell your home yourself, you will have to solicit calls from interested parties, answer questions and make appointments. Keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to move on if you tend to be busy or don’t respond quickly enough. Alternatively, you may find yourself making an appointment and rushing home, only to find that no one shows up.
In addition, most realtors rely on referrals and repeat business to build the kind of clientèle base they’ll need to survive in the business. This means that doing what’s best for their clients should be as important to them as any individual sale.
Working with a realtor can bring a lot of peace of mind during a major transaction, whether you are buying or selling. And it can ultimately leave you with more cash in the bank. If you’re thinking about going it alone, make sure you thoroughly understand the work an agent does—and what you need to cover if you’re representing yourself.
There are several services you can expect to receive from your agent that you might not be able to obtain on your own. Apart from hearing about property listings before homes are available to the public, find out why you shouldn’t discard the notion of hiring an agent just yet.
- Suggest pricing strategy
- Prepare a strong offer that presents the buyer in the best light based on market demands and agent interaction
- Review documents for loopholes
- Provide a buffer between the buyer and seller
- Find homes that match your budget and needs. Property search sites give you a sampling of what’s available, but you’ll have to research whether asking prices are justified based on comparable home sales in the area.
- Dig up facts on a neighborhood, including ones that a seller might not disclose that could be important to you.
- Negotiate an offer, including the price and other clauses and contingencies in the purchase agreement.
- Navigate the home inspection, and negotiate repairs
- Explain paperwork that could be filled with complex jargon and terms you don’t understand.
While doing the work yourself can save you the significant commission rates many real estate agents command, for many, flying solo may not be the way to go–and could end up being more costly than a realtor’s commission in the long run. Buying or selling a home is a major financial (and emotional) undertaking that requires that the process should go smoothly.
An experienced real estate agent deals with the same contracts and conditions on a regular basis, and is familiar with which conditions should be used, when they can safely be removed and how to use the contract to protect you, whether you’re buying or selling your home.
Henry Ford has a famous saying. In brief, it explains that if you are going to prove you are smarter than them, hire people who are smarter than you. You do not need to do the whole works on your own. Surround yourself with people who know more than you and the job is done. Find the right real estate agent if you want your money to be correctly spent on a house that matches your requirements, and you will land safely