You may be tempted to buy or sell a home without the help of a professional real estate agent. However, you are risking time, money and aggravation without an agent’s skills to help you move through all the stages of a real estate transaction. Your agent’s knowledge is valuable in all cases, but especially if you should hit a snag. At least one in every five home sales encounters a problem that can delay or cancel the deal. Whether it’s handling inspections, documents, pricing or marketing, you need a professional’s help if you want the best results.
All experienced home owners know that the purchase isn’t simply two parties reaching an easy agreement, signing papers and calling the movers. There is a bewildering amount of paperwork involved and real estate regulations can change from state to state. You need to know the requirements of the homes association if there is one. Your agent will coordinate closing dates, the contract, title issues, deposits and the list goes on.
Currently much of the country is experiencing a seller’s market with multiple offers coming in for many properties. Having a seasoned agent on your side will help you compete against other buyers. Agents have an established network that will give you a first look at the kinds of homes and neighborhoods you want to consider. Negotiations are critical and your agent can manage them for you without emotions getting in the way. On the seller’s side, it can be hurtful to have buyers nitpick features of the home you love. Your agent can handle the criticism for you and still keep an interested buyer from being scared away.
You will need many different people to get a house bought or sold: a trustworthy home inspector, an efficient lender, a good interior designer, a home stager or a handyman are all possibilities. Depend on your agent to have the connections to make credible recommendations.
Your seller’s agent will help you evaluate the curb appeal of your home and suggest minor repairs or renovations to help the sale. Their knowledge of the current market will help you set a price for your home to move it quickly and get you the most return on your investment. As a buyer, your agent will not only keep you apprised of the homes available, but will also provide insight about the neighborhood, schools, access to roads and transportation and other community amenities. Additionally, there is a huge list of behind-the-scenes services your agent will handle to keep your transaction on track. A few of these include verifying the property’s legal description and zoning, ordering a plat map, reviewing appraisals, calculating utility costs, entering the property into the multiple listings service database, scheduling inspections, tracking the loan process and coordinating all closing requirements.
You may only buy and sell homes a few times in your life, but your agent has signed off on hundreds of deals. If you are thinking of looking for your next home on your own or if you are considering for sale by owner, reconsider. Play it smart and utilize the skills of a talented agent, your invaluable partner for getting the best deal whether you are the buyer or the seller.