Can you buy a home without a buyer’s agent? Of course, you can. Just like you can sell a home without a seller’s agent. Here’s the deal - the process/decision to not use a REALTOR tend to cost you time, energy, and, most of all, money! The perception - a real estate agent simply shows you the houses you've already previewed online, submits offers you could have delivered yourself, and then collects a commission. But REALTORS do so, so much more than that. Contracts, anyone? Disclosures? Counteroffers? Comps?
The advantages of using a REALTOR are many once you look at all they bring to the table.
Real Estate Agents in the Know
One of the advantages of using a real estate agent is that they are the first to know when a home hits the market. Agents live by the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). They can inform you of a coming soon or new listing, get you in to see it (and make an offer) before it disappears, or help you avoid the pitfall of chasing a listing that has already sold.
The MLS functions in real-time, meaning that price reductions or re-listings are updated immediately. Online resources receive the same data second-hand from the MLS. If you are waiting for properties to appear on the online real estate marketplaces, it's like you missed the opportunity to buy your dream house in this seller's market.
Real Estate Agents Network
What if you could see a home before the listing was even public? Unless you know someone listing their property soon, you have no way of knowing when a house is getting ready to hit the market, and a good real estate professional does! And they share a wealth of information, a lot. A real estate professional who excels at this will be well-informed before a home is listed for sale. This gives you an even greater edge over the competition! Remember, some homeowners prefer to sell their homes without listing them publicly. Without a well-connected buyer’s agent, there’s almost no chance you’ll be able to have access to one of those homes for sale.
They’re Good at What They Do
The advantage of using a real estate agent is that they know how to find you the home of your dreams, settle on an agreeable price, complete your due diligence, and get the deal done.
For example - What an untrained eye sees when they walk into a home versus what a real estate professional sees can be night and day. While a typical buyer focuses on paint color and other cosmetic items, a real estate agent is looking beyond - doing a visual tally of what the house is worth, what items may need attention, and where they can find leverage in the negotiating process.
They Move Fast
Competition is fierce when interest rates and inventory are low, so time is of the essence, losing your dream home because you are trying to save money by learning about real estate transactions. Inexperience breeds uncertainty when you’re talking about a large financial investment such as a home. In the current competitive atmosphere, convincing the seller of your ability to close a transaction without additional cost outside of the agreed-upon contract and closing escrow on time is crucial.
They Know the Legalese
Buying a home is a very formal, official, legal process, and it needs to be treated as such. This is not the time to pull template contracts off the internet! Real estate agents know all the important stuff, including the protocols, forms, costs, and fees. The last thing you want to do is sell your house and then find out a few days later that your contract isn’t legal or binding. A real estate agent isn’t a lawyer, but their job requires them to be experts in all official documents related to the homebuying process. This includes appraisals, inspections, repairs, disclosures, and buying and selling contracts.
It never hurts to have a second set of eyes take a look at these forms before you close the sale, but a good real estate agent will be able to go through all the paperwork with you. While it may seem to empower you to go it alone and save that commission, what you stand to lose typically outweighs any benefit of buying or selling a home without representation.
Now that you see the value of a REALTOR, are you ready to get started? We’ve got you covered.
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