Buying a home and selling a home are both major decisions riddled with potential obstacles, headaches, and complexities. While some people enjoy the challenge posed by facing the real estate market alone, many people don’t feel confident or comfortable going solo when it comes to buying a new home or selling one. In fact, a third of those looking to buy a new home or first time buyers, meaning they have no prior experience purchasing a home. Fortunately, real estate agents are there to help guide both buyers and sellers.
Still, hiring a realtor might not be the easiest decision either. After all, it costs time and money to hire one. The first step many people take today in the home buying process is to browse the web for nearby properties up for sale. Only 14% of buyers contacted a real estate agent first. While there’s no objectively right or wrong procedure for buying or selling your home, here are five major reasons to consider hiring a real estate agent before taking the plunge into the housing market alone.
1) Market Masters
Perhaps the largest aspect of a real estate agent’s job is staying up to date on the macro (national) and micro (local) real estate markets. These are professionals with years of education and experience learning how, why, and when the market fluctuates. This knowledge helps buying agents to find and negotiate the right price for properties, an selling agents to properly asses the value of the property being sold.
2) Knowing the Neighborhood
Understanding the local housing market allows agents to relay information to their clients such as local crime statistics and school ratings for clients with children. They are also able to hone in on specific properties and homes, digging up all the relevant information on value, depreciation, renovations, etc.
3) Taking the Heat/Protecting Your Pockets
Buying or selling a house on your own is difficult in many regards, but perhaps the most difficult aspect is getting the price right. If you’re looking to buy, how can you know you aren’t paying more for what the house is worth? Likewise, if you’re selling your house, how can you know you aren’t leaving money on the table? Again, real estate agents have the market knowledge and experience to make sure the price is right, whether you’re buying or selling. Additionally, they will handle the several inquiries that come your way and weed out the good from the bad, leaving you with only the best options.
4) Avoid Paperwork Pile-up
Like any major investment, buying and selling a house involves a whole lot of paperwork, including tax forms, legal forms, contracts, and many other tedious but necessary words on pages. Fortunately, a real estate agent you trust will already be familiar with this paperwork, translating it into layman’s terms, and requiring you only to sign the proper forms when the time comes. They will also be able to answer any questions you have about any of these documents, and then file them for you after the process is over with.
5) Providing Peace of Mind
One of the worst feelings is receiving a notice from an authority that something went wrong or wasn’t completed properly after the transaction has taken place. If you had a real estate agent handle the transaction, they will be available to help clear any of these errors and take responsibility for any loose ends and the like. By hiring a good real estate agent you can rest assured that after your home is bought or sold, there won’t be any surprises that can harm you.
For some people, the temptation to fly solo is strong when it comes to buying or selling a home. After all, working without an agent means no commission fees or anything else. But the extra work and risk involved in this process is often not worth it for many people. Real estate agents are there for a reason, and their job is to help you buy or sell a home as smoothly and fairly as possible. If nothing else, a good agent will shower you with tons of advice, and you’ll learn a whole lot by just going through the process with them. For these reasons, it’s wise to consider hiring a good realtor.