It’s 2022. Your entire life is online, and you can DIY just about anything. This begs the question: do you REALLY still need a real estate agent to buy a home? If you’ve thought about buying, you’ve probably wondered whether using an agent is necessary. As you know, it is a huge financial decision. It’s likely one of the biggest and best investments you will ever make!
But, there’s no doubt the costs associated with the process can be intimidating. The purchase price alone is enough to scare new buyers away. That’s also without mentioning things like closing costs, agent fees, and more. Doing it yourself may seem like the way to go because of potential savings on these costs. But in actuality, it could end up costing you WAY more in the long run. We’re going to cover 3 reasons why this is the case!
Reason number 1 is expertise. Real estate agents help people buy and sell homes for a living. Your agent will make sure you’re seeing every home within your budget that comes on the market. Contrary to popular belief, websites like Zillow do NOT show every house for sale. If you’re searching by yourself, there’s a good chance you could miss out on finding your dream home.
You also need an agent who is an expert on the local market. They will know how to scour neighborhoods you may not be aware of that could potentially contain your dream home. This could even mean obtaining you a home through an off market deal. This is when a home isn’t listed for sale, but the owners are still open to selling. Agents often have many connections in their network that will make them aware of these kinds of deals. Having an expert guide you is VALUABLE.
Reason number 2 why you still need an agent is negotiation. Many people feel that direct negotiation between buyers and sellers is more transparent. They might believe that it allows both parties to look after their own best interests. That’s understandable, and could be true if everyone was rational and reasonable all the time. Truth is – tensions are high during a real estate transaction. If a buyer makes a low offer, it may insult the sellers. Buyers might also get overly excited about a house and offer more than they have to.
What if you, as a buyer, like a home but despise its outdated, bright orange kitchen? When you work with an agent, you can discuss how much it’ll cost you to upgrade the space – without insulting the owner. Your real estate agent will then convey your concerns to the sellers’ agent, acting as a messenger. Thus, putting them in a better position to negotiate a discount or work to be done on the house before closing. This will prevent a situation that could kill the deal.
Additionally, if you try to do this yourself, you could miss problems with the house that agents are trained to notice. There are MANY physical aspects of a home that buyers are not aware of. Without an expert, you could end up paying too much for a home that has issues. Which you won’t be aware of until it’s too late.
Reason number 3 is protection. When you make an offer to purchase a home, the “purchase and sale agreement” contract is in place to protect you if anything goes sideways. For example, if you plan to buy a home with a mortgage, but you fail to make financing one of the conditions of the sale–and you aren’t approved for the mortgage for whatever reason–you can lose your earnest money deposit. The seller could even sue you for failing to fulfill your end of the contract. An experienced agent deals with real estate contracts every day. They will protect you throughout your real estate transaction.
Additionally, there are MANY complicated aspects to a real estate transaction. There are countless forms and documents with tricky legal and technical jargon to account for. If you are not trained to handle these, it will be very easy to make a mistake. Or worse – be taken advantage of.
We hope you now have a better understanding of why it’s important to work with a real estate agent when you buy a home! If you’re thinking about buying, whether in 2 months or 2 years, a member of our team would be happy to meet with you and provide a free, no obligation consultation to answer any questions. We are here to work with you on YOUR timeline, not pressure you into something that you’re not ready for.
As we’ve said before, buying a home is one of the best investments you will ever make. We want to help ensure that you enter into that investment on solid footing, in a way that works for YOU. We have even helped buyers that weren’t able to get into a home for several years, and we stuck with them the entire way. If you would like to chat with us please contact us here, or give us a call or text at 253-537-HOME!
Or, if you want to attend a comprehensive course that will teach you what you need to know about the buying process, prepare you for being a homeowner, and get you certified for down payment assistance, come to our Virtual Home Buyer Bus Tour!