Do I really need a real estate agent?
If the market is hot for sellers, why do I need an agent to sell my house?
If you wanted to sell or buy a house on your own, you wouldn’t have to work too hard to find advice online about how easy it is and how you don’t need any help.
Is that true?
Actually, no. Legally, you're not required to work with a realtor to buy or sell a home, but that is not the only consideration. Far from it.
Here’s a short list of reasons why working with an agent will benefit you whether you’re selling or buying a house.
- An agent acts as an expert guide. Buying a home typically requires a variety of forms, reports, disclosures and other legal and financial documents. A knowledgeable real estate agent will know what's required in your market, helping you avoid delays and costly mistakes. Also, there’s a lot of jargon involved in a real estate transaction; you want to work with a professional who can speak the language.
- An agent can offer objective information and opinions. A great real estate agent will guide you through the home search with an unbiased eye, helping you meet your buying objectives while staying within your budget. Agents are also a great source when you have questions about local amenities, utilities, zoning rules, contractors and more.
- Agents give you expanded search power. You want access to the full range of opportunities. Using a cooperative system called the multiple listing service, your agent can help you evaluate all active listings that meet your criteria, alert you to listings soon to come on the market and provide data on recent sales. Your agent can also save you time by helping you weed out properties that are still appearing on public sites but are no longer on the market.
- Your agent is on your side in negotiations. There are many factors up for discussion in any real estate transaction—from price to repairs to possession date. A real estate professional who’s representing you will look at the transaction from your perspective, helping you negotiate a purchase agreement that meets your needs and allows you to do due diligence before you’re bound to the purchase.
- An agent keeps you on the right side of the law. Most people buy only a few homes in a lifetime, usually with quite a few years between purchases. Even if you’ve bought a home before, laws and regulations change. Real estate practitioners may handle hundreds or thousands of transactions over the course of their career.
- Your agent is your rock during emotional moments. A home is so much more than four walls and a roof. And for most buyers, a home is the biggest purchase they’ll ever make. Having a concerned, but objective, third party helps you stay focused on the issues most important to you when emotions threaten to sink an otherwise sound transaction.
--Adapted from Realtor Magazine
Need more convincing? Let April Pirwitz spell it out: Do I really need a realtor to buy or sell a house?