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October 27, 2014 / patrickbelhon

Reasons to Hire a Real Estate Agent

According to the 2013 National Association of Realtors® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88 percent of all home purchases and sales were facilitated with the assistance of a real estate agent. In 2013, the typical house “For Sale by Owner” sold for $184,000 as compared to the $234,000 sale price for a typical house sold through a real estate agent. While it is possible to buy or sell a home on your own, there are many good reasons to engage the services of a professional real estate agent.

Professional & Objective Representation

Buying or selling real estate can be an emotional process for both the buyer and the seller. When you are excited, nervous, anxious, or not thinking objectively, you may make unwise compromises or bad decisions that you will later regret. Your real estate agent is objective and has the education and experience to guide you through the entire home-buying or home-selling process. Your agent can answer all of your questions, connect you with an appraiser or home inspector, and make sure all of the necessary documentation is completed.

Filtering Out the Noise

When you are interested in buying a home, you can waste a ton-of-time looking at properties that simply do not meet your needs and desires. Your real estate agent will find out what you want in a home and only show you homes that meet those goals and are within your budget. If you are looking for a new home, they will act as a buffer, keeping you away from the aggressive agents who work for the builder or developer. When you are selling a home, your agent will avoid wasting your time by only entertaining legitimate offers. You won’t be bombarded by people who are “just looking” and are neither really interested in buying nor able to qualify for financing to buy your home. A good real estate agent will work hard to immediately solicit offers from interested and qualified buyers.

Knowing Individual Houses & Neighborhoods

Your agent has a more intimate knowledge of the neighborhood or territory that he or she covers on a regular basis. While you can get general statistics about recent home sales, it is important to get specific details on individual houses. From the outside, one 2,000 square foot house looks similar to a 2,000 square foot house down the block. However, a good agent will know if the house you are interested in has been upgraded or recently had a new roof installed. They can tell you if the streets flood during heavy rains or if there are plans in the works for new development.

Help with Pricing

As a seller, you ultimately set the price at which you want to list your house. Naturally, you want to get as much as you can for your house, but if you price it too high, your house will sit on the market for a long time. Real estate agents have their fingers on the pulse of the market and know how strong demand is for homes in your area. A seller’s agent can come up with the right strategy for pricing and negotiating the sale of your house. When representing a buyer, a real estate agent can gauge the strength of the housing market and the price-flexibility for negotiating a good deal with the seller.

Access to MLS

Without doubt, having access to the MLS gives real estate agents a major marketing tool for both marketing homes for sale and for finding suitable homes for interested buyers. In addition to being a central market place for real estate transactions, being a member of the MLS gives an agent the advantage of immediate notification when a new house is first listed. You must be a licensed agent to use the MLS.

Staging your Home

Removing clutter, painting, cleaning, and minor repairs are all elements of staging a home before it is shown. Real estate agents are experts in staging homes. Whether they do it themselves, or work with partners to professionally stage a home, appearance makes a big difference in developing buyer interest and promoting a quick sale of your home.

Promotion

In addition to making use of the MLS, agents have become quite adept at using social media to advertise and promote homes for sale. Agents have websites where you can take virtually tours of properties from the comfort of your living room. Agents network with other agents, belong to professional organizations, and can be very creative in how they market your home for a fast sale at a fair price.

Processing Paperwork

All real estate transactions must be reduced to writing. If you have ever been to a closing, you know that you have to sign a stack of papers two inches thick. There are countless forms to be completed and everything must be done by the book. Failure to properly fill-out and sign a single form, no matter how insignificant it may seem, will hold up a closing and can possibly wind up costing the buyer or seller money. When you work with a professional real estate agent, you are well-protected against these kinds of mistakes. While errors or omissions are rare, they do occur from time-to-time. You can be assured that a professional real estate agent (and the real estate agency) will stand behind their work. As a client, you will be made whole if an agent’s error costs you an actual loss.

Real estate agents work tirelessly to do everything they can to make their client’s home-buying or home-selling experience a positive one. While selling homes is the way a real estate agent earns a commission, pleasing a client can be even more valuable. Getting new listings is the lifeblood of any real estate agent’s business. By developing good relationships with clients, an agent may get a referral. If a client is happy with the service provided by their real estate agent, there is a good chance they will call that same agent the next time they are buying or selling property.

Article Copyright ©2014 – All Rights Reserved Patrick Belhon (patricksellshomes@gmail.com)

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