When is a real estate agent needed?
Some people believe they can handle a real estate transaction without a real estate agent. The risk is always wondering whether you paid too much for a house you bought or accepted too low of a price for a home you own.
Using a real estate agent can provide you with a lot of peace of mind when buying or selling a house. There is also the possibility of earning more cash. If you intend to represent yourself, be sure to completely understand what an agent is responsible for—and what you will need to cover yourself.
Many wonder if they can do it themselves and save money as well because they don’t understand what agents do.
Some buyers and sellers would be fine on their own. In fact, 10% of real estate transactions are accomplished without an agent. A highly-rated agent can make a transaction more successful, but for some consumers, it is not necessary. Those who are in a hurry and prefer to represent themselves may prefer to do it themselves, but many people will find it’s too much trouble. The decision in this regard depends on your particular circumstances, including how much time and money it would take to buy or sell your home.
Sellers can find their own buyer. An agent, however, might help you realize greater profits. According to the National Association of Realtors, the difference can be more than 40%. A lot depends on the location, the real estate market, and other factors.
People are more likely to put up a for sale sign in a seller’s market, and they may get a good number of offers. The laws of supply and demand apply and buyers can’t risk losing out on a home that fits their needs and wants. You need to be prepared for multiple offers in this situation. In addition, you should be prepared to deal with a possible lawsuit, extract money from a buyer, pass a home inspection, and close a deal.
Because there are fewer buyers in buyer’s markets, agents are more valuable.
If you don’t routinely attend every open house in your neighborhood, you won’t possess intimate details about your neighbors’ homes or know why some sold for more than others. Experienced agents know all this and use it to position your home for sale at the highest price.
Top listing agents work every day to sell homes. Most listing agents offer sellers these services:
- Marketing materials and proven selling techniques
- Professional photography and virtual tours
- Broad exposure online
- Promotion at multiple listing service (MLS) meetings and company meetings
- Making connections with fellow real estate agents
- Price guidance based on data from the market and sales numbers
- Recommendations for stagers, inspectors, and repair contractors
- Customer feedback and private viewings
- Confirmation of the potential purchaser’s qualifications.
- Expertise in negotiating counteroffers, in particular with multiple offers
- Guidance on passing the home inspection
- Tips on dealing with low appraisals
Buyer’s Real Estate Agent
A buyer’s agent’s job is to put the buyer’s interests above their own. This implies they have to convey all material facts to the buyer, keep his or her information private, present the buyer with adequate information to purchase the house, and expertly negotiate on their behalf.
You can expect to receive numerous services from your buyer’s agent that you might not get on your own. Agents can also hear about listings before the public sees them, and:
- Provide tax records showing comparable sales
- Provide map search data based on MLS sales
- Identify property profiles showing sales history, property information, demographics, and community services
- Obtain documents relating to the house’s history
- Run the listing agent’s list price to sales price ratio reports
- Calculate local statistics and trends
- Propose pricing strategy
- Preparing a robust offer that features the buyer’s best interest based on market demand and agent interaction/networking.
- Review documents and obtain disclosures
- Establish a buffer between you and the other agents in the transaction
- In order to save the commission and sell your own home, you might be tempted to avoid a real estate agent and sell it yourself, also known as “for sale by owner” (FSBO).
- Although tempting, in most cases it’s probably not worth it to go it alone.
- The risks of the market are: the lack of qualified buyers, the emotional decisions you make, and the time you have to devote to finding a buyer.
- FSBO’s lack of experience in navigating legal and regulatory requirements is one of the biggest risks of selling a home.