89% of home sellers and 88% of buyers work with a real estate agent.1
There’s a reason these statistics are so high. Whether you’re buying or selling a house, you’re making one of the largest, most complicated financial transactions of your life. And when you’re dealing with major life decisions like this one, there’s an emotional component too.
The statistics speak for themselves. While it’s possible to buy or sell a house without a real estate agent, the benefits of working with one outweigh the costs in most cases.
What do real estate agents have that you need?
Real estate agents are required to have a license to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. If an agent has their license, they have met the minimum requirements of the state and passed a comprehensive exam. Further, agents need to take continuing education courses to keep their license current.
Agents have a broad knowledge of the ins and outs of buying and selling real estate. They know the local neighborhoods and the values of homes in your area. Add to that the experience that comes from routinely working with buyers, sellers, and other agents, and real estate agents have something your average Joe doesn’t have. In a word: expertise.
Real estate agents have access:
To property listings. Through the MLS, they get the most up-to-date, relevant information on home listings in the area.
To professionals. Whether you need a mortgage broker, real estate attorney, home inspector, contractor, or home stager, your agent knows who to call.
If you’re selling your home, your real estate agent will list your home on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) for the best exposure to thousands of local buyers. Often, agents also cover the costs of marketing your home, such as professional photography, syndicating your listing to popular real estate websites, and more.
Real estate is their job, and it’s not a 9 to 5 gig. They’re often available on weekends and, at times, even in the evening. Real estate agents understand the need to accommodate the work schedules of those they partner with.
Understanding of the paperwork
You may not know what all the real estate jargon means, but your real estate agent does. Whether you need to know what earnest money or contingency means or you need explanations on the required paperwork, your agent can answer your questions and guide you through the process.
Your agent can be objective in situations when you may not be. It doesn’t matter if you’re buying or selling a house. Either way, it’s one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll make in your life and emotions can take over.
For example, let’s say you viewed a home that you’re absolutely in love with, but that love clouded the fact that the home needs a new roof, siding and/or furnace. Your agent will provide the facts and help you make informed decisions.
Like it or not, negotiation is an integral part of buying and selling real estate. Having an agent on your side with negotiation prowess is crucial in a competitive housing market. When emotions run high amongst buyers and sellers, it’s best to leave the negotiation to the professionals.
Knowledge of the Law
State laws govern real estate transactions. They determine what paperwork is required and who needs to sign what. Not only that, but many states have mandatory disclosure laws that require sellers to disclose specific hazards or problems, and any encumbrances, associated with their property.
Even if you are familiar with your state’s real estate laws, if you are a buyer or a seller working without an agent, you need legal representation.
Bound by professional ethics and the law
When you work with a licensed Realtor®, who is also a member of the National Association of Realtors®, you’re working with an agent obligated to a specific code of ethics. This means your agent must act in your best interests at all times.
Real estate agents are bound by law to uphold certain fiduciary duties. Not only do these duties include loyalty and obedience to clients, but also confidentiality, disclosure, accounting and reasonable care.
What does all this mean for you?
Using a real estate agent can mean less stress, time, and possibly more money in your pocket.
While there are for sale by owner (FSBO) options out there, if you’re set on buying or selling a house on your own, there are many things to consider.
“The typical FSBO home sold for $185,000 compared to $240,000 for agent-assisted home sales.”1
As a seller, you do pay for the services of a real estate agent, but you are more likely to sell your home faster and for more money. Not to mention saving you from dealing with the paperwork and negotiations, along with the cost and effort of marketing.
As a buyer, you aren’t paying for the services of a real estate agent since it’s typically the seller’s responsibility. You can’t go wrong by finding a great agent to help you find your next house!
The bottom line is hiring a real estate agent will save you a heap of time and stress. A great agent will be there to answer your questions and help you every step of the way.
Whether you’re selling or buying a home, the process can feel intimidating and overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to. At Coluzzi Real Estate, we answer all your questions and simplify the process. We’re there for you every step of the way. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!
1 National Association of Realtors®, Quick Real Estate Statistics
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