April 15, 2024


Mad about real estate

Do I Really Need a Realtor to Buy a Home?

Do I really need a Realtor® to buy a home?

As a full time Realtor®, I get asked this question all the time.  It’s a great question after all.  With all the information so available online, many people believe they don’t really need an agent to purchase a home.  There are certainly an ample number of stories of buyers who “go it alone” and do perfectly well purchasing without representation.  Unfortunately, there are many more stories of buyers making huge mistakes because they didn’t initially see the need to have a Realtor® represent them.  If you’ve found yourself pondering this same question, here are a few reasons you may want to at least consider hiring a professional Realtor®:

1)          Code of Ethics   

I hope you noticed that I said Realtor® and not real estate agent.  There is a difference.  All Realtors® are licensed to sell real estate as an agent or broker, but not all real estate agents are Realtors®.  In order to display the Realtor® logo, we must be members of the National Association of Realtors® and pledge to follow a Code of Ethics.  This code establishes a level of conduct that is higher than ordinary business practices or those required by law.  Only about half of all licensees are Realtors®.

2)          Experience

You don’t have to know everything there is to know about buying real estate as long as you hire the right person.  Most Realtors® specialize in a certain part of town or in a certain type of real estate.  For example, some agents work with first time homebuyers, or the condo market or luxury homebuyers, etc.  You get my drift.  Pick a Realtor® that knows the market and earns their living working with clients in real estate.  You will find that your Realtor® may not know everything, but they will know where to find out any information you need.

3)          Neighborhood Expert

Realtors® have access to all kinds of information about neighborhoods.  Not only can we find comparable sales in the area to insure you are not paying too much for the home, we can usually find out what kind of upgrades those homes had and if any contracts fell through during the process.  I talk to fellow Realtors® all the time about market trends and houses currently on the market.  We can also guide you to other sources to find out crime statistics, demographics or information on schools.

4)          Price Guidance and Market Conditions

Contrary to popular belief, we do not provide the suggested selling price or tell buyers what to offer.  Having said that, we do have a vested interest in seeing that the house sells.  We can do a market analysis and determine how long homes in the area have been on the market, what the ratios of list-to-sold prices have been or even the price per square foot if needed.  All of this information will have a big impact on what you as a buyer ultimately decide to do.

5)          Networking

Realtors® tend to have a large network of professionals they can refer that will assist you with obtaining financing, home inspections, pest control, minor repairs, etc.  Typically, these are professionals with whom the agent has a history and feels comfortable recommending.

6)          Negotiating Skills

Unlike most buyers and sellers, Realtors® can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the transaction.  We use this skill every day in a variety of situations and it’s our job to maintain the level head in the deal.  In addition, we are bound to keep your information confidential which enhances your negotiating position.

7)          Paperwork

Take a look at any folder being carried about by a Realtor®.  It will be somewhere between 1 inch and 3 inches thick.  This folder contains all the executed contracts, amendments, disclosure statements, exhibits, termite letters, inspection reports, instructions to closing attorneys and financing information for a single transaction.  One omission could land you in court or allow the deal to fall through with no consequences to the offending party.

8)          Post Closing Questions

No matter how smoothly a transaction is, there may still be questions that come up weeks or months after the closing.  Any Realtor® worth their salt will be available after closing to point you in the right direction for getting your questions answered.  We do it to maintain a relationship with a good client for referrals and future business and we do it because it’s the right thing to do.

Well, there you have it.  Eight reasons for selecting a Realtor® when buying a home.  Just remember that real estate is what we do all day every day.