When buying or selling a home, it's perfectly normal to want the best deal you can get-right? Many people think that trying to go it alone-without a Realtor-is a great way to save. After all, both the Seller and Buyer feel they can save thousands of dollars by buying/selling a home without Realtor assistance. However, often times, not using the expertise and experience of a Realtor may be the classic case of being penny wise, but pound foolish. In reality, the apparent "savings" are often nullified because the seller or buyer lacks the knowledge and experience to actually negotiate and consummate the best deal for various important reasons.
Here are six reasons why having a good Realtor on your side when buying or selling a home may actually be the better choice:
One-They know the area
This is especially important if you are buying in an unfamiliar area. Realtors know what is and isn't a good deal based on the neighborhood. And, they can supply you with important information and statistics about not only overall price trends, but also other important factors such as crime, schools and demographics.
Two-They know the market
The best way to sell a house quickly is to price it correctly. You don't want to be waiting weeks and months for a phone call. And if you're buying, you certainly don't want to overpay. A Realtor has access to pertinent information, which is not easy to come by (even in our "internet age") regarding recent sales in the neighborhood, average price per square foot, amenities and other factors.
Three-They know how to negotiate
Not only can a Realtor help you find what you're looking for, they know how to write and properly present an offer; how to make a counteroffer; when to accept an offer; and how to initiate the contract process itself. They can present your side of the deal in the best possible light, and if the other party is difficult to work with, the Realtor will know how to handle the situation, when to give in, and when to say no.
Four-They have access to the right professionals
Once an offer is made and accepted, the Realtor can guide you in the selection of an experienced and seasoned attorney, mortgage loan officer, home inspector, contractor and other professionals you will need in the process. Imagine sifting through scores of unfamiliar names and companies. Your Realtor works with these professionals on a regular basis and can recommend reliable and experienced parties who are a good fit for you and your transaction.
Five-They know the "technical stuff"
If you're buying, they know when to call in engineers or contractors with special skills, especially if your home inspection reveals certain issues or problems beyond the scope of a standard inspection. If you're selling, Realtors know how to properly qualify a buyer so that once an offer is made and accepted you know the buyer can afford your house and is likely to be approved for a mortgage. After all, what good is getting a great price, only to learn many weeks later that your buyer doesn't qualify for the necessary financing to complete the purchase? Realtors are trained to properly address these and many other situations that may arise.
Six-They know how to make your home look great
If you're selling, a Realtor will be showing your home to prospective buyers and perhaps hosting one or more open houses. They can assess your property with an objective, professional eye and arrange and stage your home for maximum appeal. They know what "sells" and what doesn't.
So, in the end, the few bucks you think you'll save by not using a Realtor may end up costing you a great deal in the long run. A real estate agent is your professional advocate, can save you a lot of headaches, and can get you the very best deal when all is said and done.