Can a real estate agent really help
me in buying, selling, or renting property? The answer is YES!
When you're ready to think about buying, selling, or renting your property, you need to
ask yourself the following questions:
Do you have the time, energy, sources of information, and contacts to do the job
yourself? If you were one of the 'do-it-yourself' people, would the results be as good or
better than they would be if you had professional assistance? Would it have gone smoother?
Would it have given you more personal time? Would you have purchased for less, or sold for
more, if a real estate agent was involved?
Please read the following and learn how a real estate agent can help you with your real
Ten Reasons You Should Hire a Realtor
By Blanche Evans
Editor, Realty Times
The purpose of a home is one of the most complex, high-risk, and expensive transactions
most people will ever go through, yet approximately 40-50 percent of home buyers go to the
closing table without a representative or advocate on their side. This startling research
performed in separate studies by the National Association of REALTORS and the National
Association of Exclusive Buyer's Agents, shows that many buyers do not understand the
importance of having an advocate. Without someone representing their interests, how will
these buyers ever know if they found the right home at the right price?
You may not be using the one tool that can help you get into the home of your choice at
the price you want to pay - a REALTOR. Why should you hire a Realtor? There are ten good
reasons and many more why a real estate professional can make an important difference when
you decide to buy or sell your home:
- Realtors Are Real Estate Specialists.
Realtor is commonly used as a generic word for real estate broker or agent, but only a
member of the National Association of Realtors can be call a Realtor. The association
provides advanced educational opportunities to its members, enabling them to offer
accredited sub-specialties such as buyer's representation (ABR) residential real estate
expertise (CRS) or Internet readiness (e-PRO) to the public. Many excellent Realtors do
not have extra certifications and designations, but if you notice letters next to an
agent's name, be sure to inquire about its meaning. For their own reasons, many real
estate professionals choose not to join the professional organization. If you would like
to work with an agent who is not a Realtor, ask about the agent's experience and
- Realtors Lower Your Risk.
When you have a Realtor as an advocate, you share some of the risk of home buying.
Otherwise, it's buyer beware. You are paying the agent to assist you, advise you, and help
you to navigate the transaction legally and safely. Your agent will make sure you take
appropriate steps to protect yourself. Incredibly, many states do not have laws or
regulatory bodies in place that protect all aspects of home buying. Only 20 states
currently license or certify home inspectors, for example. Further, these and other
professionals are only liable in civil suits for the amount of their fees, not for any
costs incurred by the buyer for problems or repairs that were undetected before the
closing. If your agent suggests that you get a structural inspection, do so for your own
protection. She or he will know how an inspection should be performed and will attend the
inspection alongside you.
- Realtors Work For You At Their Own Risk.
It is hard to name any other profession whose members work on a contingency basis. Even
attorneys charge by the hour except for some high-risk lawsuits. You don't typically pay
for any services up front with an agent. That means your agent incurs the costs of doing
business on your behalf until you find and close on your home. Therefore, it's in your
agent's best interest to work quickly, diligently, and use all his or her resources to
help you meet your goals. Some agents will ask you to sign a buyer's representation
agreement which allows him or her to represent your interests. Be sure to ask what the
advantages are, and what your release options are. Interview several agents before making
your choice and compare their representation styles. Make sure you understand how the
agent you choose will work with you, according to the laws and regulations of your state.
- Realtors Understand The Current Market.
Real estate professionals have house-by-house, street-by-street, and market-by-market
experience. Their experience is invaluable and can't be learned overnight. Realtors who
have weathered the pendulum swing between buyers' markets and sellers' markets know that
the real estate market can turn abruptly. Rising and falling interest rates affect the
number of available homes for sale and their prices within weeks or days. All it takes is
the entrance or exit of a major employer, and thousands of homes in a neighborhood can be
affected. As neighborhood experts, experienced brokers and agents can help you with home
buying strategies and proposals that will get the price and terms you want.
- Realtors have inventory.
Do you want to find a home quickly? With a Realtor by your side, you will. According to
The National Association of Realtors, over four-fifths of existing homes in the United
States are represented by real estate brokers. So are 70 percent of new homebuilders and
their products, according to NewHomeNetwork.com. Realtors cooperate with each other
through an organization call the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). The MLS has the current
broker-represented properties for sale in its database. Your agent can also show you homes
outside of MLS inventory, including for-sale-by owner homes, new builder homes, and
institution-operated homes. However, no Realtor can be expected to show you this
additional inventory without a representation agreement and an assurance of being paid at
- Realtors Have Up-to-the-minute Information.
MLS data entry can take from one to 10 days, depending on the listing agent, his or her
broker, and the MLS. By the time the home is posted on the Internet, it could already be
sold. Clever agents don't wait that long to find a home for their buyers; they network
with each other. Your agent will tell other agents about you and your wish list in
exchange for information about upcoming homes for sale. That's how many are bought and
sold in a hot seller's market, without a sign ever going into the yard. If you want to be
the buyer positioned to make the first and best offers on these homes, hire an agent
- Realtors Understand The Complexity Of The Transaction.
Less than a decade ago, a home could be bought with a two page contract. Now consumer
mandated seller's disclosures, environmental and structural reports, and other liabilities
have turned the home transfer into a complicated minefield. Realtors work with contracts
daily, and can fully understand which points are harmful and beneficial to you. From
helping you make a reasonable offer, to providing for the discovery and disclosure of
material facts, your agent can also interpret information for you. If you found out that
the neighbor next door to the house you are buying just built a new fence, what does that
mean? You won't have to replace the fence on that side for a long time. To your agent, it
means something else. She or he will quickly get a survey ordered, to assure that the new
fence doesn't encroach on your new property.
- Realtors Work For You...And The Transaction.
Your agent not only represents your interests but also works on behalf of the transaction.
Does that seem like a conflict of interest? It isn't. Buyers and sellers are natural
adversaries. You want to buy for the least price, and seller wants the best price. Agents
must be skilled negotiators to keep bargaining chips from turning into deal-breakers. As
the buyer, remember that you are the one in control. You can instruct your agent how far
to go in negotiations on your behalf. One day, you'll be glad your agent talked you out of
walking away because the seller wouldn't leave the chandelier.
- Realtors Offer Flexible Services.
Realtor's services are somewhat negotiable. The more risk you ask your agent to take, the
higher the fees will be, so the more your broker serves as your advocate, the more you can
expect to pay. New ideas are coming to the real estate industry, which allow the consumer
to pick and choose real estate services based on what brokers offer in the market place.
Some offer only full service brokerage services. Others offer menu services and are paid
accordingly. If you want to save some money, be prepared to pay more up front and shoulder
some of the responsibility yourself. Perhaps you found the home you want to own, and you
only want an agent to represent you on the contract and at closing. Some agents will
accommodate you, but keep in mind that their liability may only limited to the actual job
- Realtors Are Homeowner Advocates.
Do you like the idea of deducting your mortgage interest from your income tax? Paying no
capital gains when you sell your home up to $250,000 if you are single and $500,000 if you
are married? If so, you can thank the only lobbying group in the nation that looks out for
the interests of homeowners - The National Association of Realtors. Every year, the
Realtor PAC perches on Capitol Hill and swoops down to legislators who try to overturn
these generous government-sponsored homeowner benefits. The result is well worth it. These
initiatives keep housing more affordable, enabling home buyers than ever before to move
into a home of their own. Thanks in part to Realtors, more than 67 percent of the
population are enjoying the benefits of owning a home. One of the greatest endorsements
you have for using the services of a Realtors is from your lender.
Lenders are willing to finance agent commissions for buyers in the mortgage loan. that
should tell you how important it is that you get proper representation. Many lenders agree
you many get a better price for your home and better terms by having an advocate.
Put a Realtor to work for you today. You'll soon be in the home of your dreams!
As your agent, I promise to make the process of selling or buying your home as smooth
and as stress-free as possible.