NO REALTOR® =
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, chances are you’ve questioned whether or not you need a real estate agent. All the information you need can be found online, right? Well… not really. In reality, trying to buy or sell a home without a REALTORS® can carry risks and lead to unforseen issues. The benefits, however, are immeasurable!
Buying a home is a BIG DEAL – maybe the most significant transaction you ever make. You should be aware of the risks before you decide to buy or sell without proper representation. Unfortunately, too many choose to fly solo, only to leave them facing pitfalls that otherwise may have been avoided.
REALTORS® have a legal & ethical obligation to put you, the client, above their own interests. This means they owe you undivided loyalty, confidentiality, reasonable care, obedience to lawful instruction and are accountable for their actions.
We wanted the best house for the best deal. Even using the internet, we stuggled to find available properties & had no idea whether it was worth what the seller was asking. That all changed when we hired a local Realtor®. Suddenly, we had more properties to choose from & we were provided reports that helped us know we were getting the best value for our dollar.
– The Rasmussen’s, Logan, UT
Potential Pitfalls When Buying… What you should know
ACCESSIBILITY TO PROPERTIES
The relationship between buyer and seller is a tricky one, since both parties are focused on maximizing their own interests while making sure the other is satisfied enough to move forward. Since you usually never even come in to physical contact with the seller, there’s a lot riding on credibility and trust. Having an agent means you have a qualified representative vouching for your integrity, in turn making it more likely that a seller will open up their property for a showing or take your offer into consideration. If you already know the seller this probably won’t be a huge concern, but it’s something to keep in mind if you’re starting the home purchasing process without any leads.
How good is your poker face? Are you comfortable bartering? Successful Realtors® are skilled in negotiations. Let’s say you find the perfect home but of a few inspection issues. Or, the appraisal comes in low. Your goal at that point is to get the seller to either pay for the repairs or re-negotiate the price. The seller, however, is trying to make a profit, and they’re not keen on budging. While you may be uncomfortable standing your ground in this situation and end up either getting less than you want or giving up on the deal entirely, a good real estate agent can usually work real magic and get you what you want, or at least as close to what you want as possible.
The internet has made it easier than ever before to see what’s out there in terms of homes for sale, but if you’re buying a house without a Realtor® you’re missing out on a ton of properties that aren’t listed on traditional channels. Real estate agents have access to a wide variety of available homes, including those that are active but are purposely not being displayed on online marketplace listings. In addition, you may be missing out on other homes that fit your needs but aren’t in your search terms. If you want to cast as wide a net as possible in your search, you’re best bet is to work with someone who has their pulse on all the data.
A home inspection report can be hard to decipher for the average person. The inspector is going to list every potential problem so that the report may include 20-50 points of concern. Some of these may be things you need to worry about, while others may look like a big deal but in fact they are not. Understanding what inspection requests are unreasonable is a service a top shelf buyers agent provides. A Realtor® looks at these reports all the time, so he or she knows how to pick out the important stuff.
VALUE FOR YOUR DOLLAR
A big part of buying a house is getting the assurance that the price you’re intending to pay is the price that the home is worth. An agent can easily pull up the comps for you and show you whether the property that you’re interested in is over-priced (a variable that, even if you’re willing to pay it, will have consequences when it comes to securing a mortgage). It certainly is possible to do the research on your own, but it will take more time and it’s possible that you’ll miss something.
From questions that pop up in the middle of the night to help understanding the fine print on your contract, it’s incredibly helpful to have a go-to source who you can turn to as you’re browsing for and purchasing a home. An agent will know all the nuances of your situations, and can respond to questions and concerns in context—something that the internet isn’t quite as good at doing. Buying a home can be stressful and overwhelming, and there’s a lot of peace of mind that comes with having the support of someone who can see you through it and out to the other end.
The Bottom LineIn most circumstances, is does not make a lot of sense to forgo using a buyer’s agent. Keep in mind in the vast majority of circumstance you DO NOT pay a real estate agent to represent you when buying a home. Real Estate commission is almost always paid for by a seller. Is it possible you will run into a for sale by owner that won’t pay a buyer’s agent fee – sure. In a case like this where you would have to compensate a buyer’s agent all you need to do is make your offer taking this into consideration. The best buyer’s agents do a lot for their clients. Without a buyer’s agent, your odds for problems go up greatly.
CHOOSING A REALTOR®
Whether you’re a first-time seller or you’ve done it all before, selling a home can be a complicated and stressful experience. It’s no wonder that 89 percent of sellers choose to list with a Realtor®.
REALTORS® aren’t just agents. They’re professional members of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribe to its strict code of ethics. This is the REALTOR® difference for home buyers:
- An expert guide. Selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. A knowledgeable expert will help you prepare the best deal, and avoid delays or costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved, so you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
- Objective information and opinions. REALTORS® can provide local information on utilities, zoning, schools, and more. They also have objective information about each property. REALTORS® can use that data to help you determine if the property has what you need.
- Property marketing power. Property doesn’t sell due to advertising alone. A large share of real estate sales comes as the result of a practitioner’s contacts with previous clients, friends, and family. When a property is marketed by a REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
- Negotiation knowledge. There are many factors up for discussion in a deal. A REALTOR® will look at every angle from your perspective, including crafting a purchase agreement that allows you the flexibility you need to take that next step.
- Up-to-date experience. Most people sell only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years in between each sale. Even if you’ve done it before, laws and regulations change. REALTORS® handle hundreds of transactions over the course of their career.
- Your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most people, property represents the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you.
- Ethical treatment. Every REALTOR® must adhere to a strict code of ethics, which is based on professionalism and protection of the public. As a REALTOR®’s client, you can expect honest and ethical treatment in all transaction-related matters.