Real estate is a popular subject. Between TV shows and the endless source of information on the Internet, you may feel well-educated on the topic. You’re familiar with the home buying and selling process; you stay up to date with the latest evolutions on your local real estate market, etc.
However, there’s a reason why real estate agents remain irreplaceable allies to home buyers and sellers. They’re licensed professionals who can guide you to help make the best decision for yourself and your future. So whether you’re planning to buy or sell your home, here are some reasons why you should consider hiring a real estate agent.
Should I Use a Real Estate Agent to Sell my Home?
If you’re considering putting your home up for sale by owner, it’s probably because you would prefer avoiding the Realtor’s commission fee, which is usually equivalent to 5% to 6% of the sale price of the property. However, by selling real estate without a Realtor, you may end up losing more money in the process.
Real estate agents are the best resources for marketing your home. Not only do they have an extensive network through other agents, but they also have access to multiple listing services (MLS). Listing your property on the MLS is the best way to advertise your listing and make it accessible to house-hunters in your area. Although you can list your FSBO property on the MLS for a flat fee, it would add to the cost of selling your home.
Additionally, realtors can also direct the sellers into staging your home, suggest which repairs to undertake to get the best value, and so on. They can also take on most of the logistics to show your house, set appointments, negotiate with potential buyers, etc., so you won’t need to take time out of your busy schedule.
Real estate agents can bring their expertise to what is often the most challenging part of selling your house: pricing. They know the best comparable sales in your area and the latest trends in your real estate market. Pricing your property correctly is essential. If you price it too low, you could lose money. On the other hand, if you price it too high, you may end up accepting a lowball offer after the house has been sitting on the market for too long.
Finally, selling a home is not only a commercial transaction but also a legal one. The purchase and sale agreement between yourself and the buyer is legally binding. If not done correctly, the sellers are entitled to sue you. Your real estate agent can ensure that you follow the local real estate laws, including disclosures, that the paperwork is in order and filed on time, etc.
Should I Use a Real Estate Agent to Buy a Home?
While house sellers may hesitate to hire a real estate agent because of the price tag attached to their services, house hunters have no reasons to hesitate. Buying a house with a Realtor comes at no cost to you, as the seller’s agent pays the commission.
Therefore, it’s in a house hunter’s best interest to find a Realtor who can assist you through the process of buying a home. Real estate agents are used to navigate the paperwork that comes with any house purchase. They have their clients’ best interests at heart and can use their knowledge of the market to get the best outcome. Moreover, they are familiar with the price range and features of the homes for sale in your area and will negotiate on your behalf whenever needed.
Thanks to their network, they have access to information that may not be available to the general public, such as which houses may come on the market soon or which areas may be growing in popularity. They also have privileged relationships with other professionals that may be needed for a successful transaction, such as mortgage officers, home inspectors, trustworthy contractors, and so on.
Finding a Realtor, whether you are looking to buy a home or sell your house, can feel a lot like entering a relationship. After all, you may be spending a lot of time with them. Make sure that you’re hiring a real estate agent who is professional, responsive, and easy to get along with. Word-of-mouth and referrals are an excellent way to get in touch with potential candidates. Take your time to find the right agent and don’t hesitate to interview several Realtors before making your decision.