In today’s tech-savvy world there is a wealth of information at our fingertips. For buyers, browsing online is a great way to start a home search, but when it’s actually time to buy a Realtor can help you make the right decision. For sellers, there are lots of websites out there that estimate your homes’ value, but beware – many of those sites are off by as much as 35%. Real estate transactions are one of the biggest financial investments for most people. Realtors provide a value that no internet connection or how-to book can replace.
Here are my top 10 reasons to use an agent:
- Realtors have a fiduciary duty to act in their client’s best interest and are available to do so almost 24/7. This means having an expert who looks out for your best interest, financially and otherwise – an expert who is contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect you. For their clients, realtors handle staging a preparing a home for sale, showing homes, holding open houses, negotiating contracts, attending inspections, dealing with appraisals, getting repairs completed, and communicating with lenders and title companies. Those are a lot of tasks for unrepresented buyers and sellers to handle on their own.
- Realtors can get sellers a better sales price for their home. According to Realtor.com, in 2012 the typical FSBO home in Austin sold for $174.900.00, compared to $215,000.00 agent-assisted home sales. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table. Experienced Realtors offer invaluable tips regarding home staging and preparation; they know what buyers are looking for and how much they are willing to pay in todays market – netting the seller more money.
- Realtors know their markets, like when a new elementary school might be opening, how a new development across the street will be zoned, etc. With their market knowledge, realtors can offer insight that plays a crucial role in a buyer’s decision to purchase, or a seller’s decision to sell.
- Realtors can accurately price a home so that the home will sell faster and for more money. MLS data, coupled with market knowledge, Realtors can perform a comparable market analysis to find that pricing sweet spot. A seller’s emotional ties to their home may prohibit them from objective pricing. Homes sold by owners are consistently overpriced and sit on the market longer and usually close at a much lower sales price.
- Realtors can walk clients through all the financial aspects of buying and selling a home – such as what a seller will net after closing, what a buyer needs to put an offer on a home, how to get pre-qualified to purchase, and what out-of-pocket expenses can be expected.
- Realtors have professional contacts that most people do not have. Need a plumber, electrician, inspector, or lender? Realtors have many referrals that have been tried and true.
- Realtors are experienced negotiators and indispensable liaisons. Realtors advocate for their clients, taking a hard stand and sometimes even taking heat on a client’s behalf. Having a realtor negotiate on a client’s behalf can eliminate any hard feelings between buyers and sellers that could sabotage a deal.
- Realtors can show buyers more properties since they have access to more listings. The MLS (Multiple Listing Service) that Realtors use is the only place where listing information is 100% accurate and up-to-date. Agents also have contacts through which they can find listings that are not in the MLS – good examples of this are pocket/silent listings and new construction.
- Realtors can be a source of comfort and a confidante. Buying and selling a home can be an emotionally draining and a very stressful experience. Having someone you can call or email in a pinch, with even minor concerns about the transaction, can help alleviate anxiety.
- Realtors save buyers and sellers time, energy and money….see all of the above!
Bottom line – nothing can replace the human touch realtors can provide. In such complex tasks as buying and selling real estate, having a professional realtor with you every step of the way is invaluable.
Feel free to contact me to find out more about the benefits of being my client, firstname.lastname@example.org, 512.913.8642.