If you are looking to buy or sell a home, you may be wondering if or not to hire the services of a real estate agent, and if so, aren’t they just going to be an unnecessary expense?
You could be forgiven for thinking so. After all, it’s 2016 already, and we have a cornucopia of services to help homebuyers and sellers seal the deal: from online search websites to how-to guides and many other resources of value.
The fact of the matter is though, you very well may save a substantial amount in terms of the commission rates that go to the realtor, but for most people, facing the enormous task ahead as a one-man army may do more harm than good. Ultimately, it could even end up costing you way much more.
Buying or selling a home in person is not for the meek. It may sound like a walk in the park, but it’s a tough row to hoe, let no one kid you.
So, as much as the resources at your disposal may make a real estate agent look like a relic from the past, think of them as you would when comparing a human to an online-based transcription software. The latter may get the job done without too much hustle, true, but in the end, nothing beats a human.
And here’s why.
#1 Local Knowledge
Agents have the real estate lowdown pertaining to your neighborhood, and in the slim chance that they don’t, then they know where to source the industry buzz from.
They can do a lot and in less the time it would take you to. Whether it’s facts on the performance of your market you need (as opposed to hearsay), they have them at their fingertips. Looking for comparable sales in your area? They can hand them over to you without having to dig deep. Information pertaining to crime, demographics, schools and what-not? They’ll know it all, as they may the particulars of that property you may be eyeing.
To you, it may seem like it was on the market for half a million dollars, but to them, it’s a property that was scooped up for $100K less, having fallen out of escrow on multiple occasions, never mind the significant upgrades that went into it. Some of this information may not be divulged on those online services.
#2 Price Guidance
There is a certain misconception that has been peddled about agents selecting the prices for buyers and sellers. This is not true: agents are bound by common law across most states and there are repercussions for cheating their clients.
This is even more reason to always do business with a licensed agent because you may encounter unscrupulous dealers out there who are probably the reason this myth has been mongered.
Professional, certified real estate agents are there to help buyers weigh all the information before them and choose a price that fits the buyer’s budget. Moreover, a professional agent’s vested interest is often stated clearly in every listing. If it says 8 percent, it should be 8 percent, with no surprise figures when the transaction is finally completed.
#3 Negotiating is not everyone’s Strong Suit
Negotiating is part of a real estate agent’s job description, plus they are not prone to succumbing to the emotional aspects of the transaction, as most buyers and sellers do.
Some people hold the view that a direct buyer-seller negotiation allows for more transparency and that both parties can always look out after their own best interests. If this were indeed gospel truth, then wouldn’t we be witnessing more direct transactions?
There is an element of truth to this reasoning, but it’s easier said than done. It is not always an easy relationship, the buyer-seller’s, as some who have been through that road will tell you.
In addition to negotiating well on your behalf, you can bank on a professional realtor to present your case in the best possible light, while upholding client confidentiality.
#4 Large Network
Over the course of their work, agents come across a host of other professionals, a large chunk of whom are in the business of buying and selling.
Their legal obligation may bind them from recommending Tom over Fred, or Firm Y over Firm Z, but they sure as eggs know who has a reputation for competency, efficiency and competitive pricing. Such connection references can help you make a wiser selection than otherwise would have been the case.
That aside, an experienced agent will have reliable recommendations for top painters, plumbers, floorers and basically anyone else you would require the services of when looking to spruce up your home.
#5 Market Conditions Grasp
Realtors will at all times have a wealth of knowledge on the market conditions of the day which can dictate your buying or selling decision.
A lot of criteria goes into consideration when buying or selling a property: median and average sales prices, average per-square-foot cost of similar properties, ratios of list-to-sold prices, average days on the market, just to mention but a few.
#6 The Paperwork
A purchase agreement averages in the ten-page range these days. Or thereabouts. You still haven’t factored in federal and state-mandated disclosures, or those dictated by local custom, never mind documents such as CMA (comparative market analysis) which require a certain level of expertise to craft or grasp.
A single omission of all requirements could see you on the wrong side of the law, costing you thousands down the road. Fortunately, lawyers take care of the disclosures in some states.
Of course, you could always order things like the CMA from an agent a la carte for which they charge you a flat fee for it. But if you are handling multiple homes, these costs can really add up.
If you are debating whether or not to hire a real estate agent, the trick is to find the right fit for you. What you want is an agent who has the chops to do the job, is dedicated and has no conflict of interest.
At Master Homes, we are a licensed real estate company with boatloads of experience in the industry, a company pretty well versed with the goings-on in the real estate market, particularly in the Chicago area.
By doing business with us, you can always rest assured that you are dealing with transparent professionals who have your best interests at heart and will help you arrive at a wise decision when all is said and done.
Because we truly understand that in this industry, a reputable name makes all the difference. Plus repeat business never hurt anyone, neither does word of mouth marketing from our customers stemming from the solid relationship we are keen to establish with each and every one of them.