With so much information readily available online, you may wonder why you need to work with a real estate agent. Can’t you buy or sell a home on your own?
Some buyers and sellers may have attempted this in the past and the transaction went OK. However, real estate is MUCH more complicated than it used to be, and each transaction is loaded with legalities, contracts, paperwork and potential problems that could cost you time and money.
So if you’ve wondered if working with a REALTOR® is worth it, here are just a FEW reasons why it’s the smart thing to do:
1. EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE
You don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a real estate professional who does. Why would you NOT want to work with a REALTOR® who has training and experience backed up with a proven track record of successful real estate transactions? Hiring a pro saves you precious time and helps you steer clear of mistakes that could cost you money or lose the house of your dreams.
2. AGENTS ARE BUFFERS
If you list your home with a REALTOR®, she will filter phone calls from prospective buyers and set appointments for and monitor showings of your home. Agents provide feedback on those showings and make recommendations about marketing your home based upon that feedback.
3. NEIGHBORHOOD KNOWLEDGE
An effective REALTOR® possess intimate knowledge of the neighborhoods in which they work. If you are consulting with an agent to list and sell your house, she will provide you with comparable sales data based upon facts that you will not have access to. For example, you may know that a home down the street was on the market for $350,000, but your agent will know it had upgrades and sold at $285,000 after 65 days on the market and after twice falling out of escrow.
4. EXPERT PRICE GUIDANCE
Contrary to what some people believe, a REALTOR® does not select prices for sellers or buyers. She guides her clients to make the right choices based upon market data. If you are a buyer and you submit an offer on a home, your agent will advise you with a negotiation strategy based upon the current market supply, the condition of the home, any other pending offers and other factors that influence a fair price to all parties.
5. IN-DEPTH KNOWLEDGE OF MARKET CONDITIONS
Real estate agents can disclose market conditions, which will govern your selling or buying process. Data such as the average per square foot cost of similar homes, median and average sales prices, average days on market and ratios of list-to-sold prices, among other criteria, will have a huge bearing on what you ultimately decide to do. An experienced and knowledgeable agent will provide all the relevant data, factor in your preferences and wishes, and improve your chances of having your offer accepted and/or listing your home at the very best price point.
6. PROFESSIONAL NETWORKING
REALTORS® network with other professionals and provide expert marketing exposure to qualified buyers and sellers. They also maintain an active database of clients who are looking to buy or sell, and will market your home to these qualified clients.
7. NEGOTIATION SKILLS AND CONFIDENTIALITY
Top producing agents are skilled negotiators. They can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction, unlike most buyers and sellers who are trying to negotiate the terms of contracts by themselves. Effective REALTORS® are not messengers, delivering buyer’s offers to sellers and vice versa. They are professionals who are trained to present their client’s case in the best light and agree to hold client information confidential from competing interests.
8. HANDLING VOLUMES OF PAPERWORK
One-page deposit receipts were prevalent in the early 1970s. Today’s purchase agreements run 10 pages or more. That does not include the federal- and state-mandated disclosures nor disclosures dictated by local rules. One tiny mistake or omission could land you in court or cost you thousands of dollars.
9. SUPPORT AFTER CLOSING
Even the smoothest transactions that close without complications can come back to haunt buyers and/or sellers. If a problem or question arises days or months after the closing, one call to your agent can straighten out the confusion. Good agents with excellent reputations stand by their clients, ready to assist before, during, and after the sale.
10. DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS FOR FUTURE BUSINESS
Referrals from previous clients are the lifeblood of any successful REALTOR® and it gives your agent strong incentives to make certain that her clients are happy. She’ll be there for you when you want to work with a professional agent again. A proactive agent who cares about her clients will maintain contact with you, either through occasional correspondence, a friendly phone call or periodically mailing market updates to keep you informed and to stay in touch.
The team members of the Brandee Kelley Group are committed to giving you professional representation when it’s time to buy or sell a home. We’ll serve you with integrity and top-notch support through every step of the buy/sell process.