Are Real Estate Agents Still Needed Today?
Searching for a home to buy is not the same today as it was even 10 years ago.
Many people are questioning whether they still need to hire a real estate agent to buy a home.
Technology has made it extremely easy for anyone to conduct a home search through a huge listing of homes to buy at their fingertips.
Whether it be on a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet, there are numerous websites and apps that put the power of a home search in the hands of the homebuyer.
Buyers can set a list of filters such as price range, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, location and other amenities, and immediately see results of homes that fit their criteria.
They can then read full descriptions of the homes for sale and even see multiple pictures the seller and/or their real estate agent took and uploaded.
In the past, it was necessary to hire a real estate agent to run these search queries through the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) when people wanted to buy a home.
Now, though, the buyer can do this on their own.
With these sites making it so easy for people to narrow their search on their own when they want to buy a home, the question arises, “Do you really need to hire a real estate agent to help you find a home?”
The answer is most definitely yes! Let’s take a look at 3 ways in which a real estate agent can make your life easier and get you into your dream home faster, more efficiently and at a cheaper price.
Real Estate Agents Have Local Knowledge
When you’re moving to a new area, you may not know everything there is to know about that area. This is one of the greatest advantages of having a real estate agent.
Your agent will be well versed in everything about the communities where you are conducting your home search.
This includes information about not just the town you are choosing, but the specific neighborhoods within the town (i.e., which to avoid and which to go to).
A real estate agent will also know information about local schools, parks, playgrounds and other amenities in the area, as well as traffic patterns.
They have gained this knowledge through their years of experience in
the market. And, while you can gain some of this information online, it doesn’t truly compare to having an expert alongside you, helping you every step of the way.
Real Estate Agents Legitimize Your Home Search
Real estate agents must have their real estate license and constantly be certified in order to help you buy a home.
This licensing process brings legitimacy to your home search. This will be especially important when you want to schedule private tours and when you want to make an offer and begin negotiations.
Homeowners who are selling their homes are more likely to trust potential homebuyers who have a real estate agent and, therefore, allow you to schedule a private tour of their home.
This is because when buyers have an agent helping you buy a home,
the sellers can rest assured knowing the agent has made sure the buyer has done things such as get a pre-qualification letter from a mortgage company stating they can afford the home they’re touring.
Once you found a home you want to buy, real estate agents prove extremely valuable in making an offer and negotiating.
Agents have the expertise and the experience to guide you through the negotiation process, including what an appropriate offer might be and how to handle the finesse of negotiating.
In this sense, they can help you buy a home for the best price possible.
Real Estate Agents Read the Fine Print … and Understand It.
There is a lot of paperwork that you must sign when you buy a home, and among this paperwork is a mound of fine print.
A good amount of the contracts is standard language, but there is a lot of very important information included within. This can include:
- How much of a deposit you must make and when
- Whether you have a right to perform inspections on the home, and by when
- Your rights when it comes to re-negotiating or canceling the contract depending on what the home inspection shows
- Whether the purchase price includes the appliances
This is where a real estate agent can prove invaluable when you buy a home.
Agents know the ins and outs of all standard contracts, and they know exactly what to look for.
They know what clauses and information must be in the contract to protect you as the buyer.
If you don’t read carefully and truly understand what you’re signing, you may not be getting exactly what you’re wanting.
With the advancement of technology at our fingertips, it is easier than ever for people to buy a home on their own, without the help of a real estate agent.
However, there are still plenty of advantages to having a real estate agent, including the knowledge and expertise of local markets, negotiation tactics, and understanding complicated real estate contracts.