Many people don’t hire a real estate agent when they purchase a home. In fact, many homebuyers cut out the middleman. But, it might be a good idea to hire one. Here’s why:
To save time. Real estate agents can help you find residential properties within your budget and they generally have access to other available properties that you can’t see online.
To obtain information and assist with negotiations. Agents should be able to provide you with a wealth of information that will help you make an informed decision. They’ll also handle complex paperwork for you.
Buyers are often offered the services of a real estate agent at no cost. The seller usually pays the fees for both the seller’s and buyer’s agent.
Only one situation is where you need to use an agent in order to purchase property. This applies to FHA foreclosure properties. All bidders must use licensed agents according to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Are you really able to understand your market?
It can be quite a job to conduct a home search on your own.
Although the Internet makes it easy for you to find homes within your budget, an agent will usually have access to more properties. This includes homes that are not yet listed and properties that are For Sale By Owner (FSBO).
Some sellers may not want to sell their homes. Agents and their colleagues working with these sellers are the only ones to know about “pocket listings”.
Do you love paperwork?
Your agent can also handle tons of the paperwork for you.
If you don’t love filling out forms and are not experienced in real estate transactions, this is something you should leave to professionals who will ensure everything goes according to plan.
These documents could be misinterpreted. You could make a mistake and cause a contract to be invalidated. To limit the risk, a licensed real estate agent generally has errors & omissions insurance.
An experienced agent will ensure that all the necessary events — including extensions, counter-offers and inspections, walk-throughs, loan approval, and appraisals — take place when they are supposed to.
Are you a master at negotiating?
Good realtors should be able to provide you with the best possible sales and local data in order to negotiate the best deal.
An experienced pro will know what you can purchase in your local area for a reasonable price and what is a good deal. A pro knows how to make tempting offers, when it is time to be aggressive, and when it is time to walk away. This knowledge is particularly useful in areas where the home values of different blocks can vary greatly – or in seller’s markets.
According to the National Association of Realtors, most home buyers believe agents are worth their cost. About 87 per cent of home buyers bought their homes through a realtor. Around 99% of these buyers said that they would recommend the agent to others or use the same real estate agent in Myrtle Beach again.
If you are not an expert at negotiating real estate deals then follow the advice of your agent.
Remember that most sellers are represented by agents and that experienced negotiators often eat amateurs for lunch.
Your agent can help you avoid rookie mistakes, such as skipping the inspection or giving away your bargaining power by disclosing too many personal details.
Also, the seller usually pays the fees for the seller’s agent and buyer’s agent. There’s no reason to not interview other agents about representing your interests.
Avoid bad actors
Each industry has its fair share of high-quality pros, average talents, and poor eggs. The real estate industry is no exception.
Can you fire your real estate agent?
Although most agents will not pressure you to purchase properties, there are some who may pressure you to purchase homes that are less desirable.
Sometimes, an unscrupulous agent will try to sell a slow-moving house to make a quick buck. Sometimes, the seller promises a higher commission to the agent.
Dual agency: Conflict of Interest
However, the most common problem is when an agent (or agency), represents both the seller and buyer. This is called “dual agency”. Although it is not illegal in most states this practice isn’t ideal.
The agent’s task is to facilitate the transaction. There is no transaction where both the seller and buyer can be fully represented without conflict.
This is a fairly typical transaction, with one agent for each side. The sellers’ agent is aware that the listing agent represents them and is eager to get the house sold. The agent representing the buyers would have known this information and would have done the right thing to disclose it so that they could lower the price.
What if one person is the representative of everyone? The agent helps the buyer by disclosing information about the divorce. However, it is detrimental to the seller. The agent harms the buyer by not disclosing the information. It is impossible to work 100% in both the best interests of the parties.
Agents are more likely to favor the seller than they think, even if they’re doing it unconsciously. The seller typically pays their fee (6 percent of the sale price), and a higher price equals a greater commission.
Sometimes, the listing agent (seller) offers to pair you up with a buyer’s agent from the same office. It is possible to see buyers and listing agents working together as a “team”. This is probably not the best situation. Make sure you have a representative.
There are companies that represent only buyers. This is one way to avoid conflict.
What You Should Avoid Doing Online
The majority of people buy their homes online. You’ll likely see a house on a website that sells real estate. There will also be a link to “for more information.” If you don’t want agents who aren’t familiar with the property (but can buy leads from it), then don’t click the link.
You can contact the listing agent directly or have your Realtor handle it for you.
Find a great agent
Do your research before you hire a real estate agent. There are good chances that you know six agents at least and then about 20 others within your “friends of the friends” circle. While you don’t have to work alongside all of them, it is fair to give them the chance to earn your business.
What homebuyers today want from their real estate agent
It is important to note that although many people use the terms “realtor” and “agent” interchangeably, these are separate entities. Realtors are agents that are members of The National Association of Realtors. Agents are required to follow the rules of their governing body. However, they do not have to be members to work for the NAR.
Realtor is also pronounced “Realtor” and not “Real A-Tor”. You don’t want to sound silly.
You should find someone who is a specialist in your price range. The “agent to stars” won’t pay much attention if it’s a $90k fixer.
You will need to work with a full-time agent. You don’t want someone who works four days a a week and only sells houses on Wednesdays.
You should choose a pro. You don’t want your agent to make mistakes in a the field.
You can check their background online to ensure they are licensed.
You might need extra firepower if yours is a complex transaction. Some agents have additional training and earned extra designations for their special expertise, such as Accredited Buyers Rep, Certified Residential Specialist, or Certified International Property Specialist.
It is usually bad to hire a neighbor, friend, or relative as your agent. Mixing business with pleasure can cause problems in relationships.
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