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

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

You’re doing this DIY real estate thing, and you think you’re doing pretty well – after all, any information you might need is right at your fingertips, right? And your own sound judgment.

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

1. They have the right expertise

Want to look up a 4B/2B home with EIK and W/D on the MLS? Real estate has its own language, full of acronyms and half-baked jargon, and your Realtor is trained to speak that language fluently.

In addition, buying or selling a home often requires dozens of forms, reports, disclosures and other technical documents. A real estate agent has the expertise to help you prepare a killer deal – while avoiding delays or costly mistakes that can seriously disrupt you.

2. They have turbocharged searching power

The Internet is fantastic. You can find almost anything – anything! And with online real estate listing sites like yours, you can find the latest home listings yourself at any time. But guess what? Real estate agents have access to more listings. Sometimes properties are available, but not actively advertised. A real estate agent can help you find those hidden treasures.

In addition, a good local real estate agent will know the search area better than you do. Do you have your eye on a specific neighborhood, but it’s out of your price range? Your realtor has the ability to know the ins and outs of each neighborhood, so she can guide you to homes in a price range 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 with today’s heated housing market, those negotiations are more likely than ever to get a little heated.

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

It’s not just about how much money you end up spending or netting. A real estate agent will help draft a purchase agreement that allows enough time for inspections, contingencies and other things that are critical to your particular needs.

4. They’re connected to everyone

Realtors may not know everything, but it is their job to know all the people who may be helpful in the process of buying or selling a home. Mortgage brokers, real estate attorneys, home inspectors, home renovators, interior designers —— they are all in your realtor’s network. Use them.

5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics

Not every real estate agent is a real estate broker; they are licensed real estate salespeople who belong to the National Association of Realtors, the largest trade group in the country.

What’s the difference? Real estate brokers are held to a higher ethical standard than licensed brokers and must abide by a code of ethics.

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

The thing about real estate agents. They wear a lot of different hats. Sure, they’re salespeople, but they actually do a lot of things to earn their commissions. They drive around constantly and check out listings for you. They spend their own money to market your home (if you’re selling). They’re researching comparisons to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

And of course, they are working for you at almost all hours of the day and night – whether you need more information about your home or just need to talk to someone to feel comfortable with the offer you just made. This is the biggest financial (and possibly emotional) decision of your life, and it’s not a realtor’s flippant responsibility to guide you through it.

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