As with everything else in the world, many home buyers have taken their search for a new home online. With the availability of sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com many potential homebuyers may not understand the value in working with a Realtor, but what those websites don’t tell you is that finding a house you want to make an offer on is the easy part of a real estate transaction. What happens next is why every home buyer needs a real estate agent! Below you will find the top five reasons you need to call an agent today.
1. Pictures AREN’T always worth a thousand words
Yes, you can see 500 pictures of a home’s best features on every home listing website out there, but what those pictures don’t tell you is that while this home may look picture perfect, it needs a new roof, new HVAC system, and the electrical system hasn’t been updated since 1952. You want a Realtor on your side to tell you all the behind-the-scenes details of a property that aren’t apparent to the untrained eye. From what schools your kids will be attending to the most convenient way to avoid traffic when coming home from work, your Realtor will know more than Zillow, I promise you.
2. Your realtor is YOUR personal shopper
For some, it may seem appealing to just call the agent listed on the yard sign in front of the house they like, but what you are missing out on when you call listing agent after listing agent instead of committing to an agent you can trust and build a relationship with is the counsel and attention that an agent who is YOUR agent will give you. By working one on one with a Realtor, they can learn what exactly it is that you are looking for and bring you properties that fit that criteria. If a master bedroom on the main level is non-negotiable for you, your agent won’t waste your time showing you houses with all bedrooms upstairs! Even more than that, your Realtor will be searching for new properties on a daily basis that fit your specifications. So while you are attending to your day job, your Realtor is making sure that new listings don’t fall through cracks before you get to view them.
3. Realtors know people
Let’s say you found THE home and you want to put in an offer… but you’re going to need to update the half bath, repaint the kitchen, and replace flooring in a room or two before it’s just what you want. Guess what? Your Realtor is going to have contacts across those fields and will be able to set you up with their preferred vendors that they have a rapport with to give you quotes on all that work allowing you to do the due diligence needed to feel comfortable about your purchase. Imagine how much time you would have spent researching to find the right people for those jobs. In today’s market, the house would have gone under contract before you had time to call the first five of ten local painters that came up in your google search.
4. Negotiating is their strong suit
When you find a house you like, do you have to offer list price? How much below list price can you offer? Or is it the most desirable house on the market and you need to offer above list price? Is the list price actually a fair price for the property? You made an offer and the sellers came back with a counter offer… what now? Guess who has the answer to all those questions. YOUR Realtor. They will advise you on just what to do and how to negotiate the best possible deal for you on your new home.
5. Contracts are hard
Recently, a college friend who is an attorney shared with me that she had planned to “lawyer” her way through the home buying process, but once she took a look at the in-depth legal contracts that came with the home buying process she was glad she had a Realtor on her side to walk her through the process. Yes, real estate contracts are hard, but Realtors deal with these contracts every single day and know them like the back of their hand. You don’t want to buy a home without a Realtor on your side, representing you and making sure your best interests are accounted for.
These are a few of the top reasons every home buyer should work with their own Realtor, but this list could go on forever. And the best part for a home buyer is that whether you are working directly with the listing agent or with your own personal agent, the seller pays the real estate commission! So, you get all this expertise at no additional cost to you. Why wouldn’t you want your own agent?!