If you’re ready to buy or sell a home, one of the first questions you need to address is whether or not to use a Realtor. Some people think that it’s simpler and cheaper to handle everything themselves. However, there are several compelling reasons to enlist the help of a real estate professional. Let’s look at some of the top ways that a Realtor makes your life easier when conducting any type of real estate transaction.
1. They Have Unmatchable Access to Homes and Buyers
When you’re looking to buy or sell a home, the more information you have, the better. Real estate agents have access to many more listings and buyers than non-professionals. This isn’t quite as obvious now as it was in the pre-digital age. It’s true that you can find millions of listings online. Similarly, if you’re selling, you can place your own ads online or in print publications. However, you still don’t have nearly the same level of access as Realtors. For one thing, Realtors often find out about new listings before anyone else.
If you’re looking to buy a home, a listing at a good price in a desirable neighborhood is likely to attract lots of attention. By the time you see a listing online, you may be competing with dozens of other interested buyers. With a Realtor, however, you can be one of the first to know about a new listing. The same principle holds true for sellers. Realtors talk to hundreds of potential buyers. They can match your home with the ideal buyer, who may have missed your private listing.
The best Realtors are master networkers. They are always in the loop when it comes to who is looking to buy or sell a home. They talk to lawyers, home inspectors, developers, and other Realtors all the time. This gives them a vast warehouse of knowledge that you could never access on your own.
2. They Help You Navigate Laws and Paperwork
Real estate transactions are not simple matters. They involve lots of laws and regulations, some of which differ from state to state. You need to consider taxes, inspections, property lines, zoning laws, liens, and other technicalities. There are also many tedious forms to fill out. If you overlook or misunderstand even one such detail, the consequences can be disastrous.
For example, if there’s a property lien on a home, it means that someone is trying to collect a debt from the owner. This can complicate a sale, whether you’re the buyer or seller. If you want to build an addition on a house you’re thinking of buying, you need to make sure your plans comply with local zoning regulations.
You can, of course, navigate such issues on your own. A Realtor, however, does this for a living and will make the process much easier. He or she will also help you avoid mistakes that result from your lack of expertise. They’ll also help you handle the volumes of paperwork that come with a sale.
3. They are Expert Negotiators
Real estate transactions often involve intense negotiating. If you’re selling your home, it’s crucial to choose an appropriate asking price. Too high, and you’ll scare potential buyers away. Too low and you’ll probably find a buyer quickly but you’ll end up getting less than you could have. You also have to know how to negotiate when buyers make offers.
The other side of the coin is that buyers need to make the right offers. If your offer is too low, you risk offending the seller. On the other hand, you don’t want to end up paying more than you need to. Realtors are experienced at negotiating and make it easier for both buyers and sellers. Realtors have the advantage of being intimately familiar with the local market. You can look up typical prices online but the information might be dated. The real estate market often shifts rapidly. Realtors are tuned in to the very latest trends when it comes to property values, making them a valuable ally when you’re negotiating.
4. They Help You Find the Ideal Home and Neighborhood
Buying a home is a huge investment and commitment. There are many considerations such as the size of the home and property, condition, and the neighborhood. If you’re moving to a new area, it’s important to do your research and scope out the new location. A Realtor can provide you with far more information than you could find on your own. He or she can tell you about neighborhoods that are rising in popularity, local schools, and market trends. If a new highway or shopping center is going to pass through the area soon, your Realtor will know about it. They’ll help you avoid unwelcome surprises.
Realtors can also help you clarify your goals when it comes to a new home. They’ve sold lots of homes so they know what people need, often better than the buyers themselves do. They can help you anticipate your future needs, such as if you’re planning to start a family. A Realtor can guide you to the perfect home and neighborhood.
5. They Help You Avoid Scammers and Unqualified Buyers
This applies mainly to sellers. When you put your house on the market, you’ll be inundated with calls. While you may think this is what you want, you’ll find that many calls are a waste of time. You’ll hear from professional speculators making lowball offers. There are also lots of people who aren’t serious or qualified but enjoy passing the time by talking about homes they’d like to buy.
There are also scammers who target both buyers and sellers. Real estate scams such as fake listings are a growing concern with so many websites with property listings. Because Realtors have access to comprehensive information about properties, they are much harder to fool. Working with a Realtor is the best way to avoid such scams.
When you list your home with a Realtor, you free yourself from having to deal with lots of calls. Your listing and the sign in front of your home will have the Realtor’s number, not yours. This will cut down on the number of time-wasters and scammers you have to deal with. Selling a home is a lot less stressful when you have someone to act as a go-between. This way you only speak directly with buyers who are genuine prospects.
A Realtor Makes Any Real Estate Transaction Easier
These are some of the top reasons to use a Realtor the next time you want to buy or sell a home (or any type of property). Buying or selling real estate marks an important phase in your life. You want to make the process as hassle-free as possible. A Realtor makes buying or selling real estate simpler, faster, and safer. With a professional to handle much of the legwork, you can relax with the knowledge that your needs will be met.
Tim Conroy specializes in residential real estate in the Iowa City Area. He enjoys working with clients and helping them discover Iowa City and the surrounding communities. He prides himself on customer service, creative marketing, and helping clients navigate transactions.