Zillow. Trulia. MLS.com. With plenty of reputable real estate sources at your fingertips, it’s only natural to question the necessity of having a realtor help you buy or sell your home. But although the Internet is full of valuable information, it may not be enough to produce a seamless experience.
Buying a home could be a person or couple’s biggest purchase of their life, and to tackle it alone with little knowledge of the market would be careless. It’s like deciding on a college without researching a number of schools first, comparing tuition, location, curriculum, faculty, history and so many other important factors that could impact your future.
Similar to selecting an educational institution, choosing a home should be based on many criteria to secure the lifestyle you want. School systems rank high on couples’ lists, as well as shopping and dining options, accessibility to highways and public transportation, recreation and fitness, and a multitude of other things. Of course, you can refer to good ol’ Google for much of this, but a human—a housing market expert—can provide far more than what a search engine can.
Here’s our list of top 7 reasons to hire a real estate agent:
- They have extensive housing market knowledge
Apps are great for showing you homes in your ideal geographical location and in your price range, but a realtor can tell you how much it last sold for and show you comparable listings. A real estate salesperson is aware of proper zoning and is up on changing regulations—useful for both buyers and sellers.
- They offer pricing guidance
Despite not being allowed to set prices for their sellers, real estate agents will provide pricing guidance based on market conditions and history. Agents work with sellers to help them decide on their own price.
- They serve as an intermediary
Not only do real estate agents make the buying and selling process more comfortable by serving as the middle man, but they also come in handy filtering out only serious buyers, saving sellers time. Agents are responsible for tactfully requesting repairs and improving listed homes in a way that benefits both parties.
- They negotiate for you
As a buyer, you can count on a real estate agent to handle the tough game of negotiating a fair price without insulting the seller. Again, the agent serves as an intermediary—one that has no emotional attachment to the home or scenario.
- They are obligated to meet your needs
Real estate agents are legally bound to a code of ethics to serve clients, the public, and other realtors in a professional manner.
- They handle all the paperwork
Purchase agreements can be pages long and contain industry jargon that may be difficult to understand. Real estate agents read and extrapolate from these contracts, translating the most important information, and requiring just a signature from you.
- They market your home
Going beyond listing your home, real estate agents are trained in getting your listing out there, either online or to their realtor network. Having access to this network can be beneficial for future resale and purchase.
It’s easy to tell yourself you can list or find a home on your own, and it’s understandable to want to save some money on closing costs. But in the long run, a real estate agent who has your back could save you time and money on one of life’s biggest decisions.