August 6th, 2014
According to the National Association of Realtors 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 88 percent of buyers purchase their homes through real estate agents or brokers. That reliance on real estate professionals has steadily increased from 69 percent in 2001.
There was a time where people thought they could handle everything themselves because they could do the research online, and there were programs to generate forms. Unfortunately, they made a lot of costly mistakes, and more people are realizing the role of the real estate agents.
Whether you’re buying or selling, your agent is your guide. Their role is to educate you. Buying and selling a home is a very detailed and complicated process. There are many legal areas that need to be addressed. A good real estate agent will talk to you about the steps, your responsibilities, and then guide you through it.
If you’re selling, the agent will be able to educate you on property values in your area, and what features people are looking for. They help you by putting together a marketing strategy.
If you’re a buyer, the agent will educate you on neighborhoods, and items that could be red flags like power lines or bad schools.
When you work with a buyer’s agent, their fiduciary responsibility is to you. That means you have an expert who is looking out for your best financial interests, an expert who’s contractually bound to do everything in their power to protect you.
For both buyers and sellers, the agent will handle the details of the negotiation process, including the preparation of all necessary offer and counteroffer forms. Once your inspection is done, the agent can also help you negotiate for repairs. An agent can remain detached during potentially emotional discussions.
The real estate agent is experienced and will be able to identify potential pitfalls before you stumble into them. And finally, the buyer’s agent will handle the minutia involved with the offers, mortgage application and the final closing documents. Paperwork that goes along with a real estate transaction can be exhaustive. If you forget to initial a clause or check a box, all those documents will need to be resubmitted. A good real estate agent understands the associated deadlines and details and can help you navigate these complex documents so you don’t have to.