Happy Tuesday Friends and welcome to the first Topic Tuesday! Topic Tuesday blogs will be reserved for commonly asked questions I receive and/or helpful information I have found beneficial to the consumer’s buying or selling experience. Today’s topic is choosing a Real Estate Agent and sticking with them!
“Do I need a Real Estate Agent?” There are so many positives to working with a Realtor, but I will just list a few. Sure, some aspects of real estate can be figured out on your own, however, you don’t need to know everything about buying and selling real estate if you hire a professional who does. You have enough in your daily life to handle, why add more to the list? Today’s purchase agreements run 12 pages or more, not to mention the federal and state required disclosures dictated by your local market and type of sale. Do you want the responsibility of filling those out alone and being liable in the event of a mistake? One mishap can land you in court and cost you thousands! There are volumes of forms, reports and technical documents that come with a real estate transaction. A knowledgeable expert will guide you through the process to make sure you have an enjoyable experience and help avoid costly mistakes. While you may be able to see a home online, its specs and photos, an agent can see any disclosures attached to the home, how many days on market and what it should sell for based on recent comparable sales. This ability helps make sure you list your home correctly or make a reasonable offer on your future home. A Real Estate Agent can also recommend inspections beneficial to your transaction and be present on your behalf in the event of scheduling conflicts.
“How do I choose the Right Real Estate Agent for me?” I recommend interviewing several agents, check online profiles and reviews, and ask friends and family members for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to let each agent know you are in the interview process as well. In fact, we prefer you do. This process is guaranteed to take 30, 60, 90+ days so it is important to feel comfortable with and trust the agent you will be working with. If you are still in the looking phase and decide your agent is not the one for you, politely let them know it’s not a good fit and find someone who is.
Once you have chosen an agent you like, stick with them! This bit is more for buyers. Many people do not know that one agent can show you any home and answer questions about any home on the market, even if it is not their listing. Wouldn’t it be easier to call one person for all your questions and needs as opposed to looking up and calling every single listing agent on each home you are interested in ? If you do the latter, you are guaranteed to have lots of follow-up calls from those agents vying for your business! Also, Real Estate Agents work for free until you close on the home. All the emails, phone calls, and leg work done by the agent requires time and effort. I speak from experience when I say how frustrating it can be to find out someone I thought was my customer is now under contract to buy a home with a random agent they called from a yard sign. Real Estate is my full-time career and how I provide for my family and chances are that is the case for most agents. Most of the time this happens because the consumer is not aware, so that is why I am talking about it here. This does not happen when an agent lists a home for sale because a Listing Agreement is signed. There is such thing as a Buyer/Broker Agreement that most agents do not use, but could be good practice to prevent any misunderstandings going forward.
“I cannot afford a Realtor.” As a buyer, you do not pay your Realtor (unless there is a special circumstance discussed and agreed upon up front). The seller of each home agrees to a set commission that will cover the Realtor fees in a transaction. So WHY WOULDN’T you utilize a Realtor? Now, most sellers who feel they cannot afford a Realtor tend to list their homes “For Sale By Owner”, but that is a whole other blog!
There is more to be said, but I will leave you with these thoughts. Buying and selling real estate is, in most cases, an emotional experience. A home is more than four walls. You Home is your safe place, your refuge, where you fall in love, raise a family and make unforgettable memories. Having someone in your corner that is concerned, yet objective, can help you stay focused on what is important to you.
Until next time…