Buying a Home? Five Reasons You Really Need a Realtor
You might be tempted to buy a home on your own. Don’t – it’s a bad idea. Would you represent yourself in a legal battle? Would you try and fix the brakes on your car? The risks far outweigh the potential reward. While most homes do have a listing agent that will help the buyer through the home buying process, their priority is to the seller. You need to hire your own agent to protect your interests. Plus, the idea that you will save significant money by doing the work yourself is false. In fact, hiring an agent is….
Free… It’s the seller that pays the commission to both agents, not the buyer.
Resources – The agent does not have to spend hours and hours searching random real estate websites or driving around trying to find “for sale” signs. Realtors have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which essentially is a shared inventory of homes. They can match your needs or desires to the homes in the MLS or to homes of listing agents in their network. The best way to get the best deal on a house is to know about it before it hits the market.
Negotiation – You finally found your dream home after months of touring open houses and scouring the internet. Don’t celebrate. That’s just the beginning. Now, you need to figure out how much the home is worth, whether you are dealing with a hot or cold market and what repairs you would like the seller to make. Or….you can let the agent determine all of that and negotiate on your behalf. They have experience making offers backed up by market research. Their experience will help ensure that you don’t lose a deal and start back at the very beginning of the process.
Contracts – Real estate contracts can be very verbose and confusing, not to mention legally binding. It is important that the contract includes the proper contingencies to allow you to walk away from the contract if there is an issue during the inspection or transaction.
Network – You will need a lot of help from professionals to make it to the finish line: lenders, inspectors, surveyors. Most agents have a network of the best in each profession and can refer you to them when the time comes.
Finally, buying a home is an emotional experience. You may overlook the shotty plumbing in the bathroom if you can imagine giving your future child a bubble bath in that new tub. You may want the home that has an additional bedroom, even if you can’t afford it. An agent is trained to stay objective, keep you on budget and mitigate emotions.