Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell Without an Agent

real estate agent home buyers

BY: RACHEL STULTS

NEVER BUY OR SELL WITHOUT AN AGENT

It’s a slow Sunday morning. You’ve just brewed your Nespresso and popped open your laptop to check out the latest home listings before you hit the road for a day of open houses.

You’re DIYing this real estate thing, and you think you’re doing pretty well—after all, any info you might need is at your fingertips online, right? That and your own sterling judgment.

Oh, dear home buyer (or seller!)—we know you can do it on your own. But you really, really shouldn’t. This is likely the biggest financial decision of your entire life, and you need a REALTOR® if you want to do it right. Here’s why.

1. They have loads of expertise

Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently.

Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.

2. They have turbocharged searching power

The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.

Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it’s just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so she can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

3. They have bullish negotiating chops

Any time you buy or sell a home, you’re going to encounter negotiations—and as today’s housing market heats up, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.

You can expect lots of competition, cutthroat tactics, all-cash offers, and bidding wars. Don’t you want a savvy and professional negotiator on your side to seal the best deal for you?

And it’s not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A Realtor will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.

4. They’re connected to everyone

Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they’re all in your Realtor’s network. Use them.

5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country.

What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

6. They’re your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one

The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

And, of course, they’re working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly.

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6 Reasons You Should Never Buy or Sell a Home Without an Agent

never buy sell without an agent

By: Rachel Stults

It’s a slow Sunday morning. You’ve just brewed your Nespresso and popped open your laptop to check out the latest home listings before you hit the road for a day of open houses.

You’re DIYing this real estate thing, and you think you’re doing pretty well—after all, any info you might need is at your fingertips online, right? That and your own sterling judgment.

Oh, dear home buyer (or seller!)—we know you can do it on your own. But you really, really shouldn’t. This is likely the biggest financial decision of your entire life, and you need a Realtor® if you want to do it right. Here’s why.

1. They have loads of expertise

Want to check the MLS for a 4B/2B with an EIK and a W/D? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and semi-arcane jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently.

Plus, buying or selling a home usually requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures, and other technical documents. Realtors have the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal—while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously mess you up.

2. They have turbocharged searching power

The Internet is awesome. You can find almost anything—anything! And with online real estate listing sites such as yours truly, you can find up-to-date home listings on your own, any time you want. But guess what? Realtors have access to even more listings. Sometimes properties are available but not actively advertised. A Realtor can help you find those hidden gems.

Plus, a good local Realtor is going to know the search area way better than you ever could. Have your eye on a particular neighborhood, but it’s just out of your price range? Your Realtor is equipped to know the ins and outs of every neighborhood, so she can direct you toward a home in your price range that you may have overlooked.

3. They have bullish negotiating chops

Any time you buy or sell a home, you’re going to encounter negotiations—and as today’s housing market heats up, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.

You can expect lots of competition, cutthroat tactics, all-cash offers, and bidding wars. Don’t you want a savvy and professional negotiator on your side to seal the best deal for you?

And it’s not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A Realtor will help draw up a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies, and anything else that’s crucial to your particular needs.

4. They’re connected to everyone

Realtors might not know everything, but they make it their mission to know just about everyone who can possibly help in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home stagers, interior designers—the list goes on—and they’re all in your Realtor’s network. Use them.

5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every real estate agent is a Realtor, who is a licensed real estate salesperson who belongs to the National Association of Realtors®, the largest trade group in the country.

What difference does it make? Realtors are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed agents and must adhere to a Code of Ethics.

6. They’re your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one

The thing about Realtors: They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, but they actually do a whole heck of a lot to earn their commission. They’re constantly driving around, checking out listings for you. They spend their own money on marketing your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comps to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

And, of course, they’re working for you at nearly all hours of the day and night—whether you need more info on a home or just someone to talk to in order to feel at ease with the offer you just put in. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and guiding you through it isn’t a responsibility Realtors take lightly.

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6 Reasons Real Estate Agents Aren’t Extinct

realtors

By: Craig Donofrio

About a year ago I decided I wanted to buy a house. I got seriously excited about it. I even picked out a custom refrigerator and looked into getting a Lowe’s credit card to cover all of my remodeling needs.

I thought of everything—except for how I was going to, you know, pay for it.

It’s 2016, and it seems our need for real live people is ever-diminishing. There’s self-checkout instead of cashiers, selfie sticks instead of photographers, self-driving cars, self-watering plants, self-administered colonoscopies … well, you get the idea. Given that technology has become so important to buying and selling homes, you’d also think real estate agents would be a dying breed—yet they aren’t showing any signs of slowing down, with approximately 2 million active real estate agents throughout the country.

So why did real estate agents make the technology transition fully intact as opposed to, say, travel agents? We asked some experts to weigh in.

Reason No. 1: Selling is complicated

For many people, “a real estate transaction is financially momentous and complex—the most complex transaction people do in their life,” explains David Reiss, a law professor and academic program director for the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Law School.

Comparatively, personal travel agents—the kind where you’d walk in their office and have them book you a hotel and a flight—have gone the way of the dodo, because now that’s all simple DIY stuff (to be fair, not all travel agents are out of a job—there’s still a healthy travel agency sector that thrives on corporate and luxury bookings).

“People like having an expert when dealing with large, complicated transactions,” says Jeff Tomasul, founder of Vespula Capital LLC, an investment management company based in Greenwich, CT. “Why do people still have financial advisers? They want someone who does it full-time to make sure they are not doing anything wrong.” Same with real estate agents.

And real estate transactions are often anything but straightforward. Some deals, like short sales, can be “much more intricate than a regular transaction,” Reiss says, with lenders who have requirements that “a regular person would have no idea about.”

Reason No. 2: Buying ain’t easy, either

Buying a home, even if you come in with all cash, is not a cookie-cutter task, and you can find yourself drowning in paperwork and stressed out juggling things like meeting buyers, and dealing with the seller’s agent, lender, and title companies. Agents ease the whole transaction, and it’s something that has kept their profession alive.

“They can hold your hand through the process,” Reiss explains. “They might say, ‘This lender takes a long time, so put in your contract immediately and sign this and that paper and get all this stuff ready before you’re walking over hot coals with the lender for money.”

Reason No. 3: It’s their top priority

Your own interests and priorities will very likely always be split—because of those pesky little things like, say, job and family—but a Realtor® can be laser-focused on getting the deal done. “A Realtor has a singular aim: to sell houses,” Reiss says.

Simply put, having a real estate agent can make your life easier. Tomasul found himself in a frustrating position when he tried to sell his apartment in Manhattan without an agent. “Showing it was so tough with my schedule, and it was hard having a full-time job and keeping up in a timely matter with potential buyers,” he recalls.

That means the less you make time for buyers, the longer your place will stay on the market—and that’s not good for your bottom line.

Reason No. 4: They know the market, and the players, better than you

“The agent knows the market intimately, even more than a pretty informed resident,” Reiss says. And all that knowledge saves time. “Tracking sales, knowing listings, spending a lot of shoe leather on houses already for sale—right off the bat, they know more than the ordinary Joe and Jane. They understand condo boards and title companies. As a player in the game, they know what the other players are looking for and how to deliver.”

Reason No. 5: They’re objective

Without an agent showing your house for you, you have no shield from criticisms that can—and will—be made about your house from prospective buyers. Your favorite room in the home might be described as “tacky,” “needing a renovation,” or much worse. Sometimes such comments are negotiating tactics. Sometimes they are heartfelt, off-the-cuff opinions. But either way, they can lead to problems.

“It impacts objectivity for a seller to hear negative things about their own place,” Reiss explains. “Realtors aren’t emotionally invested. They don’t take comments personally. It’s not ‘Oh, you don’t like my chandelier? Then get out of my house.’

Reason No. 6: The cost is worth it

We’re not saying a 6% commission is chump change. It can be a good amount of money when you’re selling your house. But using an agent saves a ton of time. Even with a 6% commission, time is money—for many people, time saved negates the cost. Plus, given that home buying and selling is a negotiation where you can save big if you bargain right, skilled real estate agents can step in to fight on your behalf, saving you major money. In other words, typically the money you pay an agent will come right backatcha.

Feeling a bit more confident than ever that you should have a real estate agent watching your back? Then Find a Realtor now and get moving.

 

 

 

 

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