There can be an awful amount of confusion involved with buying a home. What can we afford? What can we expect to pay in taxes? Where are the good schools? What is the crime rate? Will the value of the home stay strong? Realistically, these are some good questions, but they are only the tip of the iceberg when considering the purchase of a home. So, listen closely. Below are the top 5 reasons to use a Realtor when purchasing a home.
One of the most important aspects of being a Realtor is the art of negotiating. Communicating about price, credits, shared expenses and add-ons can make or break a deal. Most often buyers feel that they have a grasp on what they are doing when submitting an offer. However, an experienced real estate agent understands what can trigger a seller and also what is reasonable when making counter offers. Seller not budging on price? Perhaps asking for some minor repairs or a home warranty is a better option.
A good Realtor will know the market you are looking to get into. They will understand tax rates, home values and what neighborhoods are most desirable. The reality is, most sellers will price their home based on what is convenient for them. They will most likely base their listing price on whichever is higher: the tax assessed price or the home appraisal. However, the most important number is the market value. Sure, the home appraised at $ 300,000, but if there are no comparative home sales that near that number, you'll be hard pressed, as a seller, to get that amount. The market value is based on buyer psychology and trends. A good Realtor will be able to run a CMA (comparative market analysis) to find what has sold recently and what a good offer price may be. That appraisal may have been from last year, but no Realtor will run a CMA beyond 90 days, so the market value is always current.
The Multiple Listing Service, or MLS, is probably the most important tool when talking about buying or selling real estate. Period. CMAs, past sales, detailed property information, property updates, agent information, specific search functions, and showing information are just a few of the amazing things the MLS allows. The MLS is only available to licensed Realtors and brokers. And, no, Trulia and Zillow ARE NOT the MLS. They are websites that syndicate information from the MLS. They are not always correct and they do not update almost as quickly as the MLS.
Licensed and Objective
A Realtor is licensed and offers a buyer protection. They are able to actually practice, in a limited way, real estate law. They can write up contracts on state approved forms, and offer insurances in the event like, say, when Uncle Bob tripped and fell down those stairs at that house he just had to look at. Bottom line, Realtors have a good, solid understanding of the law when it comes to real estate. They're also objective - this is by far the most underrated aspect of using a Realtor when buying a home. A real estate agent is a third party that has your best interest in mind. They are a voice of reason and provide an objective voice when you are weighing your options. You may be in love with that home, but you may also have buyer's remorse once you've been in it for a month. A Realtor will help you weigh out the pros and cons of each home you are looking at and offer suggestions and options.
That's right. Using an agent when buying a home is free. Realtor commission is a closing cost that is paid by the seller. True, you are the one paying the seller, but there is absolutely NO information that suggests a seller will give you a better deal because you do not have an agent. Remember, most sellers are selling their primary residence, which is exempt from taxation. So, why would they "give you a deal" right out of their pocket because you do not have an agent? Beside, if you do not have a Realtor, you better have a lawyer ... and that WILL cost you.