Real estate is a big deal. For most Americans, a home is the most expensive purchase they’ll make in their lifetime. It’s a serious transaction with significant financial and emotional ramifications for the parties involved, and having proper representation is critical. Realtor representation during a real estate transaction is important for both buyers and sellers.
The Advantages of Using A Realtor
Help finding the right home, beyond square footage and baths.
Browsing online is a terrific way to start a home search — in fact, almost 90 percent of people start their home search online. But when it’s time to buy, knowing all the pros and cons of a property can help you make the right decision. Realtors live and breathe real estate, and they can share information about a home that you wouldn’t otherwise know. Your Realtor can go beyond the aesthetics and tell you important details about homes you’re considering.
Pricing and selling a home.
There are lots of sites where you can view price estimates for your home before you list it for sale, but you take a risk using them. In some markets, online estimates can be off by as much as 35 percent, and they often rely on tax records and data that can be as old as 6-12 months. Realtors know the local market, have access to the freshest sale data, and can price your house in line with the market to maximize your earnings. In 2012, sellers using an agent got $40,100 more: The median sale price for the 88 percent of sellers who worked with an agent was $215,000, versus a median sale price of $174,900 for the 9 percent of sellers who didn’t use an agent.
Complex, ever-changing real estate regulations.
Buying or selling a home is not like purchasing a plane ticket. Every home is different, and laws change every year and vary from state to state. Generally speaking, people purchase a new home every 7-10 years, and a lot can — and usually does — change between transactions. Realtors are immersed in real estate, and they must stay current with all the updates in regulations, laws, contracts and practices. Once you retain your Realtor, they put that knowledge to work for you.
Contracts and negotiations.
Finding the right home is the fun part. Then the real work begins. Today’s contracts can be 50 pages long — not counting addendums and riders. Realtors can help you navigate these complex documents and craft an attractive offer that makes sense for you. Plus, when it comes to negotiation, your Realtor is your advocate and can bring an objective voice to a very subjective situation.