Monday, December 12, 2011 / by Justin Hoffmann
But there are compelling reasons to seek the help of an experienced real estate agent when looking at homes for sale. In most cases, they add more value to the home-buying process than the commissions they are paid. This article will present four reasons to have a real estate professional in your corner.
#1 Insider Information
Real estate agents tend to specialize by location. They spend years helping people buy and sell houses in the same neighborhoods. As a result, they become acutely familiar with the market trends in these communities, and can help you narrow your search to the properties that best suit your preferences.
Your agent will be able to offer insight on key factors, such as the quality of schools in the area, income and crime levels, and the job outlook. He or she can also shed light on local development projects. Are there plans to build a new shopping mall or school nearby? Are utilities being upgraded? This type of information is missed by most people, and can prove valuable to the home-buying process.
#2 Extensive Background And Training
Few people are familiar with every piece of a real estate transaction. The documents, deadlines, and legal requirements involved with buying a house can ensnare even the most diligent of homebuyers. This is a good reason to hire an agent. He or she has the training and experience needed to smoothly navigate these waters. Without professional guidance, even a seemingly problem-free transaction can quickly devolve into a nightmare.
#3 Refined Negotiation Skills
Too often, homebuyers become emotionally invested in a house. This usually leads them to compromise their position during the negotiation stage, and pay more than they should for the home. An experienced real estate agent will have honed his or her negotiation skills over years of helping people find homes. This professional wont be emotionally invested, and thus can negotiate your case from the best possible position.
#4 Willingness To Handle Documentation
While buying a house has always involved filing documents by specific deadlines, the volume of paperwork has grown through the years. Today, purchase contracts (which are usually several pages), disclosures, and other documentation are required. Missing a single deadline can delay, and even derail, a transaction.
Your agent will help ensure the right paperwork is filed before the deadlines arrive. By doing so, this person will make certain the process proceeds as smoothly as possible.
Working With Your Real Estate Agent
Realize that your agent works almost exclusively on commissions. That means if you do not purchase a home, he or she will not be paid. If you bypass the agent to close the deal on your own, the hours he or she has spent helping you will have been for free.
Its also important to respect your RE agents time as you do your own. If you have a meeting scheduled, be on time. If you need to cancel, call ahead.
Be as clear as possible regarding the type of house you want to buy, and the price range you can afford. The last thing an experienced professional wants to do is spend days showing homes for sale that are unsuitable given your preferences and budget.
Lastly, avoid asking an agent to spend substantial time helping you if youre not in a position to buy a house. As noted above, they work on commissions. They need to see transactions close in order to earn a living.
It pays to have a real estate professionals help and guidance when looking at homes for sale. Unless you have plenty of experience buying houses, resist the temptation to move forward on your own.