Are you looking into buying a home? It may be tempting to go at it on your own. The internet provides a variety of information on almost any topic, including real estate. But a DIY approach may not be a wise choice when it comes to making a decision on what will probably be the biggest investment of your life.
Allowing a real estate agent to help you navigate this process has many benefits including time savings, market knowledge, access to critical statistics and contract negotiation. There are many small things that can be missed and having that second set of eyes is critical. If you do choose to go without a real estate professional, you're joining only 8% of the population who don’t use an agent and miss out on the benefits.
Let's look at some of those benefits you will reap when hiring a professional.
Real Estate Professionals Know the Condition Of The Market
There are many articles online about real estate market conditions. But the market can fluctuate rapidly and often what is reflected doesn't represent what's really going on. For example, mortgage rates can change on a daily basis. And the information online might be weeks old. Experienced real estate professionals stay abreast of the market on a daily basis. They know if it's a seller's market or a buyer's market, and whether interest rates are slated to rise or fall. Local information is a necessity and real estate brokers have the data on specific neighborhoods and whether they are in a slump or booming. Finally, they have access to key data (like the average per square foot cost of similar homes in the area) and will know median and average sale prices, ratios of list-to-sold prices, and more.
They Will Keep Your Price Safe
If you are flying solo, you might end up paying much more than you intended or was necessary, especially when there is a multiple offer situation. While real estate professionals can't tell you how much is too much, they can give you good counsel of how the home will appraise. Knowing the history of the house and the neighborhood can help in making decisions about how far to go in your bidding or whether it's in your best interests to pursue the home. If you bid too high and win, you might be saddled with a house that ends up costing more than you expected, especially with potential repairs and upgrades down the road. Having a trusted real estate professional can help avoid buyer’s remorse.
They Know the Local Market
Even if you are just moving across town, you probably won't know the area as well as a real estate professional. A professional knows how to access information things like walkability, crime rates, history of the area, school ratings, and demographics. Real estate brokers can also obtain facts and figures on cost of living, utilities and whether there are street flooding problems.
They Can Negotiate Like No Other
You are attempting to get the best deal available on a house while the seller is trying to sell their house for the best price. You need someone on your side who has experience with negotiating and the legalities involved. It’s prudent to have an objective person negotiating on your behalf, especially if you have fallen “in love” with the property before you’re under contract. It's never a good idea to fall in love with a house before you actually have the keys! Regardless, an experienced real estate broker can leave the emotions at the door and be your advocate through-and-through.
They Can Save You Time
The home buying process can be extremely time consuming. You have to ask yourself how much effort you want to put into the initiation and follow through of finding the right home. A real estate broker will save you hours of research, comparing listings, and gathering market and neighborhood data. Having the most up-to-date information is critical in searching for a home -- a real estate professional will make sure you have the most recent data.
They Will Help You Stay Connected
Your relationship with a real estate professional doesn't end on closing day. In the future, you may need assistance in contacting remodeling professionals. A real estate broker will have excellent connections in that area. They know which contractors are reputable, which vendors are best, and who offers the best pricing. While some legal liabilities might prevent them from outright recommending one vendor or contractor over another, they can point you in the right direction and give you a list of suggestions.
They're Educated About the Home Buying Process
They may not be lawyers but real estate professionals have a good understanding of contracts and assumption of liability. There are issues and many deadlines to be aware of when dealing with a real estate transaction. You need an advocate who has your best interests in mind and who is knowledgeable about common legal issues surrounding easements, zoning, contingencies, property survey, earnest money, and the deed. It's prudent you're aware of any property issues before going under contract.
Your Best Advocate Once You're Under Contract
Once you are under contract, there are strict deadlines that must be met and a real estate agent will assist you in meeting those target dates. From getting a home inspection to a home appraisal to the loan approval, there are a myriad to punch list items. A real estate agent will help keep you organized and make sure you've completed all the necessary steps to close on your home in a timely manner.
The Closing Process
If you close on a house and have a lot of questions, you will be completely on your own to find the answers if you don't have a real estate agent. Agents will guide you through the final steps on closing day and also help if issues haven’t been addressed following the sale.
Real Estate Professionals are Ready to Help Down the Road
Your buying adventure will only be for a few months. But you will build a lasting relationship with your Usaj Realty broker. They can guide you through a lot of the firsts of owning a home. Furthermore, you may have future real estate transactions and ultimately, will sell your home at some point.
Are you thinking of buying a home in Denver? Check out Usaj Realty and find a professional to help you through the process.
(Editor's note: This blog was originally published in April of 2017. It has been updated and refreshed to provide current information).
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