In these difficult circumstances, most individuals are seeking for ways to save money in any way they can. And who wouldn’t want to save an extra 3% on a home purchase — $3,000 per $100,000 of the purchasing price? On average, buyer’s agents earn that much on real estate transactions, and most experts believe it’s money well spent.
Without legally signing on with a real estate agent, anyone can shop for a house and even have a look inside. However, unless you have the time to make house hunting a part-time job, an agent may be able to find you the perfect home far more quickly.
Let’s say you want a pool. Alternatively, you may want not to have a swimming pool. Perhaps you’d want a fenced-in yard for your dog or a basement playroom for your children. Whether you’re searching for something specific, a real estate agent’s job is to figure out if there’s a house out there that meets your criteria, and he or she will also walk you through the process. With millions of active real estate agents across the country, you have a lot of options when it comes to selecting the ideal agent to match your personality and help you get precisely what you want out of your next (or first) property.
Here are some reasons why working with a real estate agent is beneficial to you.
Avoiding Closing Problems
When a sale is nearing completion, a variety of problems might derail the transaction in the final hours. Before it’s too late, a real estate agent learns to keep an eye out for any problems.
For example, the house’s ownership may not be clear; the title may list a long-lost relative who hasn’t signed off on the sale. Perhaps the lender is causing an issue by failing to satisfy the loan deadline.
You want to make sure there aren’t any unforeseen title issues, that the financing has gone through, and that all of the professionals involved are staying on task and on schedule as the closing date approaches. Real estate brokers are accustomed to dealing with such challenges and are capable of overcoming practically any obstacle.
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Keeping Important Records
Despite the fact that real estate brokers are not lawyers, they can be valuable resources years after a transaction has been completed. Licensed agents in some states are required to preserve complete files of all papers pertaining to all transactions for several years.
While you can (and should) preserve your own files, you can rely on your agent to keep everything organized and safe in the event that there is a problem with the property in the future. Should you have any questions concerning the property in the future, you’ll be able to contact your agent at any time.
Expertise in Local Codes
If you wish to buy a nice little house near a business district and convert the front parlor into a candle shop, you must first determine whether the city will allow it. A competent real estate agent is usually aware enough with local zoning rules to ensure that you do not purchase the incorrect property.
Similarly, if you want to put up a fence in the backyard or add a bedroom, an agent should be able to make sure you’re buying a house where it’s legal. Furthermore, some communities may impose costly improvements on older properties when they are sold. If a house isn’t linked to the city’s sewer system, for example, and a buyer will be forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars to connect the property, the real estate agent will make sure that requirement is revealed before the purchase moves through.
Negotiation with a Professional
If you’re thinking about selling your property “FSBO” (for sale by owner), keep this in mind. Of course, you want to obtain the most money for their house, and you might believe that means skipping out on commissions. However, according to a 2017 survey, FSBOs sold for around 30% less than houses listed by an agent.
If your buyer is represented by an agent, you’ll almost certainly have to pay a commission. The commission paid to the buyer’s agent is usually considered into the deal, but you’ll still save money on the commission you would have paid your own agency.
If you’re a buyer, why not employ an agent? After all, the commission is paid by the seller, not you. Of course, there’s always the chance that the seller would refuse, but if that appears to be the case, you can usually move on and look at other houses, though this will depend on whether you’re shopping in a buyers’ or sellers’ market and who has the upper hand.
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Knowledge of the Local Real Estate Market
Working with real estate agents has many advantages, one of which is that they are well-versed in the city in which they operate. This translates to market knowledge, community context, and real estate insights that you might not otherwise have access to. This will be useful if you have specific requirements for the type of neighborhood you want to live in, the distance you want to commute to work, or the schools your children should attend. For example, you might see a home that you really like; an agent can tell you more about the neighborhood, including factors like school quality, crime rates, and anticipated commercial development.
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Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork
If you’ve ever purchased a home, you’ve probably set aside a whole shelf for the documentation related to the transaction. The written offer, the written and signed counteroffer, the minor specifics (such as particular repairs), and what was and wasn’t included in the sale are likely among them. It is possible that the paperwork will get tedious.
A good real estate agent can come to the rescue in this situation. These bids and counteroffers are frequently time-limited. The agents are armed with fax machines that never stop churning out material in a good economy.
When you’re working with someone who knows the paperwork inside and out, the chances of missing something, not initialing a margin, or not checking a box diminish dramatically.
Locating Off Market Homes
Despite the fact that most homes for sale are freely available for purchasers to evaluate on Web sites, some sellers may not want their sale to be highly publicized. Only the real estate agents are aware that the residences are for sale in those situations.
Sometimes folks don’t want it openly publicized. Perhaps it’s for a more personal purpose, such as not wanting their neighbors or acquaintances to know their house is for sale.
Health issues, financial difficulties, and divorce can all contribute to the need for privacy. People may also object to the sale being publicized over the holidays. Working with a real estate agent, in either case, gives you access to homes you might not otherwise see.
Making a Repair Request
The delicate dance of requesting repairs is often the most delicate component of a real estate purchase. A qualified independent home inspector will produce a full report on faults with the house, and a real estate agent will be able to spot flaws that you may not notice.
These reports might go into the hundreds of pages. Some of the issues on those pages are critical, while others are not. Requests for repairs, even if the house is in reasonable condition, might make or break a purchase. The agent will be able to tell you what is appropriate and what is excessive.
In many circumstances, it is also dependent on you, the home buyer. An agent can assess the issue and make recommendations. Each buyer has different requirements for what they want or need. Some people require certain specifications on their home.
Expertise in Pricing
The majority of real estate agents can price a home the moment they walk in the door. If they’ve worked in a market for a long time, they’ll know how well an area keeps its worth.
While anyone can access information on comparable house sales from the internet in a few minutes, real estate agents have the knowledge to recognize whether a house is overvalued or underpriced. In the best-case scenario, an agent will know exactly what you’re looking for and won’t spend your time showing you places that aren’t a good fit.
Agents can not only offer you with all of the data you need about local house sales, but they can also bring assets to the table based on years of monitoring waves of transactions in the area.
Consideration of Ethics
Though the National Association of Realtors (NAR) does not require all real estate agents to join, those who do agree to follow a code of ethics. This regulation effectively requires Realtors to treat all parties involved in a transaction fairly.
The Realtor is required by the code to put the clients’ interests ahead of his own. He or she must also make full disclosure of any issues with a property and be accurate in advertising.
Local boards supervised by the NAR execute the provisions of the code of ethics. A $5,000 fine, a one-year suspension from the association, or a three-year expulsion are all possible penalties. It’s uncertain how often this happens. There are no national statistics on sanctions against Realtors because local boards handle enforcement actions.
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