What are the Benefits of using a Real Estate Agent?
Overview of Common Services that a Realtor Provides
By: Katie Kirk-Kirk Holton Team
It is a challenging market. Many people that are considering buying in this market may ask themselves “why use an agent?” Many times buyers forget what steps are involved in the transaction and think it is better to go it alone. In this challenging and litigious world we live in, it is recommended that homeowners have a conversation with a qualified agent before they start the home search process. As a prospective buyer, you need to understand the services that are provided to you when using an agent. In addition, most buyers do not understand that they do not have to pay an agent out of pocket for these services. The seller pays your agent to get the house sold. So you get full representation at no out of pocket cost to you.
A recent survey in National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers (2009), lists some of the benefits provided by using an agent. The most common benefit the buyers listed is that the agent helped the buyer understand the process. And believe me it is a process. From search to closing, there are many steps that the agent guides you through to get you to the closing table.
The other important factor, most often overlooked by buyers, is the fact that many
agents were able to point out unnoticed features/faults with the property. This helped the client deal with these issues up front in the contract negotiations instead of noticing and addressing the defect after closing-which is too late. Along this same theme, the survey noted that many felt their agent helped negotiate a better sales price and better contract terms in general. This is very key! Agents know the comps in the area. It is their job to research this for the buyer, many times working in favor for the buyer on price.
Other benefits that were noted in the survey include the fact that the agent can be a resource for other service providers (mortgage lenders, title companies, contractors). Buyers also noted that agents were not only able to help narrow their search, but also aided in improving the buyers knowledge of their specific search areas.
In the end, it is worth buyers taking the time to speak with an agent to go over the process. It can save you time, and lessen the amount of stress that can manifest when going at this process alone. Buyers should take the time to speak with a qualified, experience and knowledgeable agent that the buyer does not have to compensate.
Source:2009 National Association of Realtors Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers