Some see real estate agents as simple middlemen, without considering the many ways in which such a professional can help a transaction run smoothly. The most important thing agents bring to the table is years of experience, which also means in-depth knowledge of the housing market. No amount of staring at property search websites can give you that! Whether you’re looking to buy or sell a property, finding a good agent can save you a lot of time and money, and we’ll explain why.
You have to look at the big picture. Maybe you’ve just seen an excellent house on a website, at least the photos are excellent, and the price seems a steal. However, you cannot really tell that, if you don’t have good knowledge of market trends. In an overheated market, the price might be great, but have you any idea what will happen in the next 12-24 months? Have you considered the idea the house might need extensive repairs, like changing the furnace or redoing the roof? The owner won’t tell you that!
On the other hand, a real estate agent can advise caution when investing in a heated market and they can bring in appraisers to establish the true value of the property.
No matter if you’re a buyer or a seller, if the other party has an agent, do yourself a favor and bring your own.
Modern marketing strategies
If you think putting up your house for sale on a website is all you need to do, you will be disappointed. Did you know that you need a real estate agent license to advertise a house on Multiple Listing Services? If you don’t, you cannot access MLS and this means less exposure for your property.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is that times have changed and realtors increasingly favor social media nowadays. An agent who’s been in the business for many years will probably have his own account on social media and he knows what needs to be done to reach a large number of potential buyers.
Since we’re on the topic of modern advertising, don’t underestimate the importance of professional real estate photos. Your phone might have a great camera, but do you know how to use it to put your house in a better light? Yes, light is very important to highlight the best features and make certain flaws less noticeable.
Best leave this task to a real estate agent who probably has more than one professional photographer on speed dial!
Digital house viewings
The recent Covid-19 pandemic forced real estate agents to adapt to a new reality, a reality where both buyers and sellers are less eager to travel or allow strangers into their home. Even now that things are finally looking better, most use digital tours to shorten the list of houses they might want to visit in person.
If you’re trying to buy or sell a house on your own are you prepared to manage digital tours? It certainly is more complicated than having a Skype chat with your sister on the other coast. Why bother with all the technical issues, when a real estate agent has had time to master the art of giving virtual tours?
Maybe you have a truly great house and you’ll easily find a buyer, but are you prepared with the financial and legal aspects? And in a timely manner.
Say you receive an offer, are you qualified to look at contingency rates, down payments and mortgage pre-approval letters? At the very least, you’ll have to find a real estate lawyer, which might end up costing as much as hiring an agent and without all the benefits.
If you’re the buyer, you’ll also need a lawyer, and you’ll have to deal with home inspectors, mortgages, property line disputes, etc, on your own.
A real estate agent is not some sort of superman, but they have good contacts. When you’ve been in the business for a few years you build a network of useful contacts, you know all the hurdles that might appear and how to deal with them as quickly as possible.
These are but a few things real estate agents take care of, or the kind of burden they take off your shoulders. Hiring a seasoned agent can make the whole experience of buying or selling a house as quick and hassle-free as possible!