You don’t necessarily need an agent to buy or sell a home, but if you think you’ll definitely be saving cash, you might want to think again. In fact, not taking advantage of the services offered by real estate agents could cost you thousands of dollars!
Many people don’t know what an agent can do for them, and prefer to rely on the Internet instead. If you’re undecided, check out the following reasons why you should never buy or sell without an agent, and make a more informed decision.
The Stakes Are High
For the vast majority of people, buying a home or selling a property is probably the largest financial transaction of their lives. It’s not quite as simple as handing over the asking price and getting the keys in return. There are a myriad of procedures to follow, documents and forms to fill in and legalities to adhere to.
While you can struggle through it alone, it’s all too easy to make mistakes or ill-informed decisions and lose a lot of money in the process. Many people who go it alone are put off by agent fees, and they resent having to pay a commission. However, such fees can soon pay for themselves in terms of the time and money potentially saved.
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
In the digital age, the Internet provides answers to almost any question. It’s easy to find out what steps you need to take during the sales process online, and sellers can even get a valuation of their home within minutes. However, there’s far more to real estate then you could ever find just by using a search engine. For one thing, agents are fluent in a whole language of acronyms and phrases that you could never easily discover online.
Real estate is an ever-changing industry, with agents reliant on good professional connections and the latest information, things you’re unlikely to have easy access to. While buyers can search listings online, agents have access to far more, many of which that aren’t even public yet, maybe helping you get first dibs on a hidden gem.
How Well Do You Know the Market?
Following on from the above point, there’s more to knowing the market than knowing all about your neighbourhood and how much your neighbor’s house sold for 5 years ago. The market is constantly changing, with a great many factors affecting it. Good local agents will be in touch with the market on a daily basis, watching it evolve and keeping tabs on any new developments.
They can quickly establish the facts and determine the true value of a property, which is beneficial to both buyer and seller. Additionally, they’re up-to-date with which types of people are buying property in your neighborhood, enabling you to better market your home to a specific audience.
Agents also have all the important numbers at their fingertips, such as the average time a property is on the market and can advise, for example, whether a buyer can make a lower offer or whether a seller’s home is taking too long to sell. This essential information is hard to come by without the right connections and tools.
Your Major Problems Are Their Everyday Work
During the sales process, things seldom run smoothly. For those going it alone, such problems can become major issues. Problems found during the home inspection, or for example, an appraisal of the home’s value which is lower than anticipated, are enough to make the inexperienced falter, potentially leading to costly mistakes.
On the other hand, an agent deals with such problems each day and has a knack for solving them efficiently. They know who to speak to and what to do to fix the vast majority of issues that arise. Without an agent, each party would be forced to deal with one another directly, and if either party is not used to negotiating, it’s quite possible that somebody will take advantage of them.
Agents Have Connections
The world of real estate is made up of a vast network of individuals and service providers, each offering a unique skill. From home inspectors and contractors, to real estate lawyers and landscapers, agents are connected to them all. When you hire an agent, you instantly gain access to their trusted contacts, who can often help you out at short notice should issues arise. They also know who to call to fix any problems that you might encounter.
An Agent Sees All
In order to successfully sell a property, it takes more than just putting up a single listing. Agents will monitor all the potential buyers that come through your door, gauge their reactions and discover what prevented them from making an offer. Armed with this information, they will come up with a plan of action, addressing any objections those potential buyers might have had.
Buying agents will monitor the local market, research the seller of a home you’re interested in, and provide you with invaluable information that will enable you to make an attractive offer that works for you. Offers lower than the asking price can be backed up with facts when it comes to negotiating.
Proper Preparation is Essential
It’s tempting to think that buying or selling a home is easy, but it’s not something that can be rushed into. With an agent, you will be guided through each and every step and they’ll make sure you fill all your forms out properly. This saves time and arms you with a solid plan of action.
Those selling will find an agent who can also take care of all the marketing, with access to stagers and professional photography equipment. Additionally, they have many routes they can use to find the perfect marketing solution for you, reaching far more listing platforms than you could ever find yourself and ensuring your listing reaches a wide and interested audience.
With an agent, you have someone you can call up and discuss your fears or concerns with at any time. If you have questions or need a resolution to a problem, they’re just a chat away. Essentially, a good agent plays the part of a sage, a counselor, a data analyst and a tough-talking negotiator. Few of us are armed with all of these qualities and fewer still have such in-depth knowledge of real estate.