Do you need a real estate agent to buy a home?December 12, 2008
Yes, yes, and yes. When I bought my first home at the age of 26, I didn’t use an agent. Only now, after being in the business, do I fully understand what a huge mistake I made.
As a buyer, there are several advantages to hiring a real estate agent. I’ll explain a few of the important ones below.
1. One of the biggest advantages to hiring a REALTOR is to give you access to ALL of the homes for sale in your desired location. Realtors have various tools, including private databases and targeted communication networks that enable buyers to find all homes for sale, including those that are never advertised or officially on the market.
2. In addition to sheer numbers, a realtor can also help you with a targeted search. You can find all the houses that exactly match your preferences for location, price range, size, number of rooms, lot dimensions and characteristics, construction materials, ceiling height, kitchen cabinet color, and on, and on, even including the presence of bidet in your bathroom!
3. A good agent can also help you determine how much a home is really worth. Once again, REALTORS have access to private data including original asking price of the home, prices of comparable properties in the area, the tax assessed value, the price the current owners paid for the house, the and the current owners mortgage loan. All of this information is critical to determining the homes true value, and gives you a huge advantage in negotiations.
4. REALTORS will also help you with the legal issues surrounding your real estate contract and purchase. Buying a home is the largest commitment that most people ever make. Being uninformed about your rights and responsibilities can cost you enormous amounts of money and heartache. Experienced REALTORS have substantial training in real estate and contract law to help you through this difficult process.
To sum up, by hiring a real estate agent to help you buy a house, you get access to private data about homes for sale, a search targeted to your specific preferences, restricted data about various current and historical values of homes, and assistance with numerous legal issues.