Think of all the tasks you no longer need to hire out. You don’t need a travel agent to book a vacation. You don’t need to hire a web developer to design a website. So in a DIY age with the world of real estate readily available at your keyboard, do you really need a real estate agent? Yes. Here’s why.
They have more expertise than you.
No matter how much research you do on the World Wide Web, you’ll still fall short on insider knowledge. Successful real estate agents are up-to-date at all times. They know where the best locations are, what the market is doing, how much comparable properties are going for and the ins and outs of neighborhoods, schools and amenities.
They wear a lot of hats.
From preparing property details and comps to scheduling showings and writing up offers and counteroffers, agents have a laundry list of responsibilities to their clients. By enlisting a real estate agent you push several tasks off of your own desk.
They have connections.
Good real estate agents know the ins and outs of the market, which is especially helpful when you’re shopping for a home in an area with low inventory.
A well-connected agent will know of new listings before they hit the market, homes that didn’t sell (expired listings) and past clients who have been thinking about selling – all of which come in handy when new listings are flying off the market in a matter of days.
Your real estate agent will also have a list of go-to professionals for any of your home’s needs like a handyman, home stager, interior designer, contractor, etc.
They are masters at negotiating.
Unless your offer – given or received – is stellar, you can expect to negotiate on some terms. This tactical part of the homebuying process can be nerve-racking, emotional and competitive (especially if you’re up against other bidders). Your agent is your voice in the process, as they will help you draw up your first offer and counteroffer(s), as well as requests for concessions.
They are avid marketers.
Listing your home is just one step of the process. An agent wants to sell your home just as much as you do, so they’ll pull out all of the stops to make it happen quickly and for top dollar. From listing photos and social media platforms to open houses and advertisements, agents have an arsenal of marketing strategies to help get your home sold.
They’ll handle the paperwork…at least the majority of it.
As with any legal transaction, the paperwork necessary to buy a home seems unending. While they won’t take care of all of your signatures on closing day, real estate agents handle a good amount of your form-filling and filing tasks.
They can serve as your voice of reason.
Your real estate agent is there to guide you through the process, helping you to make sound choices on your home and the price you pay for it (or sell it for). Their job is to be objective while giving you the information you need to make an informed decision – use them to your advantage!
In the market for hiring a real estate agent, see our tips for finding the right one for you here.
Whether you’re buying your first home or selling and upsizing or downsizing, we have the information to get you started. Download one of our free guides below for info about the home financing and homebuying process.