Good reasons why you should use a realtor to buy a home
The number one reason, of course, is the Multiple Listing Service. The majority of homes for sale are listed through the MLS, and you must be represented by a realtor to purchase any of these homes. There are plenty of other excellent reasons why you will want to take advantage of the services provided by a realtor.
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A realtor can draw on their years of experience and ongoing immersion in the market to tell you which homes have true value, which are over-priced, or which will have hidden costs in the long run. A realtor can also provide invaluable insight into the potential for return on investment.
A realtor must adhere to a rigorous code of ethics. A direct buyer or seller is not so constrained. Buyers and sellers both want the protection a realtor can offer.
Much of a real estate company's business comes from corporate or personal referrals. This market is unavailable to private buyers.
Realtors often have a number of contacts in the community who are interested in selling to the right buyer, but don't actually have their house for sale at the moment. I have access to these homes, as well as similar homes through other realtors' contacts.
Seeing homes becomes much less of a headache. No more driving around, only to find out that the owner is not home when you arrive to look at it.
Private showings eliminate the possibility of a personality conflict between seller and buyer.
Demonstrating property is an art. Not everyone enjoys poking through other people's closets. It's the salesperson's job to recognize and demonstrate the home's strong points and its features.
A realtor can select the best route to a showing and point out comparable properties for sale or sold recently, so you will have more a feel for the properties you are looking at.
Virtually every buyer has objections, which sales representatives are trained to handle. A private seller is more emotionally involved, and may be less equipped to address these concerns.
Private sales attract bargain hunters. Any time a seller doesn't sell through a store or through a salesperson he expects to get more by paying no commission. This is true for non-represented buyers, too. Why should someone do all the work a sales representative would normally do and still pay the full price? For example, if the seller is trying to save about 7% commission and the buyer is trying to save 7%, now they are 14% apart.
Real estate professionals are trained to follow-up and negotiate with sellers. Such follow-up is normally expected and does not have a detrimental effect on a buyer's bargaining position, while a private buyer doing follow-up can seem desperate.
In real estate, the offers are in writing and irrevocable. Private buyers and sellers often give verbal agreements and then revoke them.
Realtors are trained to negotiate better than a buyer can on his own behalf.
Realtors have home inspector contacts, and lots of experience in the industry. I can offer you advice in selecting a home inspector, or can book an inspection for you. I can often get last minute inspections, where as a customer off the street might not.
A realtor is aware of many different ways to finance a purchase and often have reliable financing contacts, while a private buyer is on his own in finding suitable financing.
A realtor can help eliminate red tape and keep legal costs to a minimum. If you are not using a realtor to draw up your contracts and collect other legal documents, a lawyer will have to do it for you, and they will charge you accordingly.
Realtors stay involved with the deal until the transaction is closed.
A buyer can remain secure in the thought that although a seller may leave town, the agent will be there to help out should a problem arise after closing.
From a buyer's perspective, a licensed real estate representative is more credible than an owner, who will not likely be around after the sale.
Something to consider - selling your own property is a hassle for which most people are ill-prepared. Most real estate commissions are cheaper than most law suits.