9 Powerful Reasons Why It’s Important to Hire a Real Estate Agent
A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your Realtor will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
1- Your Realtor will Work for You Free of Charge…
Home buyers should always have their own agent to represent their interests. Buyer agents are free to you, so why not use one? After all, the seller is paying the commission, not you.
2- And Attention to Detail
You might be far out of your element when it comes to reviewing and understanding the multiple documents involved in a real estate deal, and you should have a thorough understanding of what you’re getting into regardless of whether you’re buying or selling. Purchase agreements alone can top 10 pages in 2019, not to mention federal, state, and local document requirements.
Luckily, your agent will be far more familiar with all this paperwork than you are. Consider this if you’re still thinking about saving money: Some mistakes or omissions in these documents can cost you as much as that commission you were trying to avoid paying—or even far more
3- Objective Information and Opinions
REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. A Realtor is a Real Estate consultant that can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.
4- Privacy, Confidentiality and Fiduciary Duty
Your real estate agent has your back. Agents have what’s known as a “fiduciary” responsibility to their clients. They legally obligated to put their clients’ best interests first.
This duty imparts a very high standard for confidentiality. As a buyer, do you really, really want to turn over your most intimate financial details to a FSBO seller who’s under no legal obligation to keep the information confidential? Your own agent would know whether any information the other agent is requesting from you is reasonable.
5- Negotiation Knowledge
There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step.
You might not be a negotiation shark if you don’t happen to be an attorney, mediator, union rep…or a real estate agent. Remember that fiduciary responsibility your agent has to you. It’s your agent’s job to get you the best possible price for your home, or to see to it that you get the best possible deal on the property you want to buy.
Agents are trained to negotiate well, if only from experience. They know what normally works and what does not. Most have tried-and-true techniques all their own. And, most importantly, they have no emotional stake in the outcome that can cloud their thinking.
You, on the other hand, might be willing to come up with $10,000 more to purchase that to-die-for home, never realizing that it’s really not necessary because you possess certain bargaining chips. It’s just more money saved if you have an agent who prevents you from taking an unnecessary financial plunge.
Many people don’t like the idea of doing a real estate deal through an agent and feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent and allows the parties to better look after their own best interests. This is probably true–assuming that both the buyer and seller in a given transaction are reasonable people who are able to get along. Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy relationship.
What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its wood-paneled walls, shag carpet and lurid orange kitchen? If you are working with an agent, you can express your contempt for the current owner’s decorating skills and rant about how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the home without insulting the owner. For all you know, the owner’s late mother may have lovingly chosen the décor. Your real estate agent can convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent. Acting as a messenger, the agent may be in a better position to negotiate a discount without ruffling the homeowner’s feathers.
A real estate agent can also play the “bad guy” in a transaction, preventing the bad blood between a buyer and seller that can kill a deal. Keep in mind that a seller can reject a potential buyer’s offer for any reason–including just because they hate his or her guts.
An agent can help by speaking for you in tough transactions and smoothing things over to keep them from getting too personal. This can put you in a better position to get the house you want. The same is true for the seller, who can benefit from a hard-nosed real estate agent who will represent their interests without turning off potential buyers who want to niggle about the price.
6- Your Rock During Emotional Moments
A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
Buyers usually have a pretty firm idea in mind of what they want in a property, from number of bedrooms to an attached garage to any number of other must-have and must-not-have factors. You’ll probably feel pretty comfortable looking at homes with that list tucked firmly in the back of your mind.
But your agent will be alert for issues that might not cross your mind, such as furnace issues, leaks, roofing problems, and mold and insect issues. An agent will recognize the telltale signs of these problems and know how best to approach them. Again, this experience and knowledge can end up saving you thousands down the road.
You know exactly how much you want for your home if you’re the seller, but is the price you’ve arrived at reasonable? You might only know for sure if you’re able to identify comparable sales that confirm that you’re in the right range—or not. Agents can do comparative market analyses in their sleep.
An agent can hand over researched, current, and reputable data regarding a neighborhood’s demographics, crime rates, schools, and other important factors. That’s a lot of time-consuming research to do on your own, particularly if you don’t know where to start.
7- Better Access/More Convenience
A real estate agent’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. A buyer’s agent work full time as real estate agents and they know what needs to be done to get a deal together. For example, if you are looking to buy a home, a real estate agent 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.
8- Real Estate Agents Understand Contracts
If you decide to buy a home, the offer to purchase contract is there to protect you and ensure that you are able to back out of the deal if certain conditions aren’t met. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale–and you aren’t approved for the mortgage–you can lose your deposit on the home and could even be sued by the seller for failing to fulfill your end of the contract.
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, when you’re buying your home.
9- Realtors are 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 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. Use them.
Hiring an agent to sell your home is likely to take a lot of stress off of your shoulders. 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.
This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly. You want a real estate agent who negotiates the best deal and treats you as their most important client.
Contact Dr. Mary Rodriguez the director of our Real Estate Division at DrMary@MaraidRealty.com … and she will connect you with the best real estate agent in your area.