WHY USE AN AGENT
For most people, the purchase of a home is the most expensive thing that they will do in their lifetime. It is serious business, that carries significant financial and emotional impact. For this reason, real estate is a very big deal, and having someone represent you properly throughout the process – an even bigger deal.
REALTORS have a fiduciary responsibility to you. This means that you have an expert who is bound by contract to do everything in their power to protect you and look out for your best financial interests. That’s their job. WOW – what a BIG thing. According to the president of the National Association of Realtors, Gary Thomas, “For more than 100 years, REALTORS have subscribed to the NAR’s strict code of ethics as a condition of their membership. They have the expertise and experience to help sellers protect their investment and help buyers build theirs.”
In a world of complex, ever-changing real estate regulations, buying and selling homes is much more complicated than simply buying a plane ticket. Every home is unique, not to mention the laws changing every year and varying from state to state. To put it simply, most people do not purchase homes every few years, and a lot can change from transaction to transaction. REALTORS have to stay current in their knowledge of updates in regulations, laws, contracts, and practices. They work with that knowledge every day, and once you hire a REALTOR, they put that knowledge to work for you.
Nearly 90% of people start their home search online, but, when it comes down to the purchase, a REALTOR can provide you with important information to help you with an informed decision. They can tell you about the hazard of polybutylene piping – a plumbing material that’s prone to bursting. They know the concerns of FRT plywood – a roofing material that can spontaneously combust in higher temperatures, such as those found in attics. With their help, you can get details about a home that you wouldn’t otherwise know.
When it comes to pricing and selling a home, the REALTOR is the way to go. Online estimate systems are provided for individuals that wish to sell their homes, but most of the time they aren’t correct. In some markets, the online estimate can be off by as much as 35%, and they often rely on tax records and data that is not as recent as what REALTORS use to make their decisions. Real Estate agents have access to the most recent sales in the market, and can perform a comparative market analysis to make sure that your price for your home is in line with other similar houses active, pending, or sold in your area in order to maximize your profit.
After you find the perfect home, then come contracts and negotiations. Today’s contracts can be more than 50 pages long after addendums and riders. REALTORS have the ability to help you navigate those complicated contracts with eased, and help you come up with the perfect offer for you. Plus, during negotiations, your REALTOR acts as your advocate, keeping your best interests in mind.