Why you need a REALTOR

Do I need a REALTOR® since I have the internet?  The web has given people an endless amount of information and has changed how people shop and interact.  In real estate it is very easy to search for homes.   But finding the home is only one part of purchasing the home and most real estate websites don’t let one search for every detail about the property, which a real estate agent can find out through their local multiple listing service.

Like many things we can do it ourselves but that isn’t always the best way or the most time efficient.  Buying a home is a major event in ones life and can be stressful just at the thought of starting to look for a new home.  Over the years there have been many laws, regulations and forms added and making sure each one of those is done correctly does not help.  REALTORs® can make sure all of the correct forms and procedures are taken care of they can also help with negotiations of the price.

REALTORS® Know Real Estate

Real Estate agents are required by law to renew their license every year and take classes every year to continuously educate themselves.  Agents must know the laws and regulations relating to the real estate industry.  REALTORS® take extra classes in ethics and agree to a higher standard of doing business.  They also have access to other professionals, statistics and information provided by the National Association of REALTORS®.  They belong to local REALTOR® boards which review consumer complaints and enforce their code of ethics.

Most buyers do not want to pay more than they have to and are always looking for a great deal when buying a home.  A good real estate agent can help in the negotiation process to get their client the best deal.  If one is borrowing money to buy a home the lender will rely on an appraisers valuation of the home and if the appraisal is less than the purchase price they will not allow the transaction to continue.  This is one way to make sure you haven’t paid too much.  Other issues may arrise, such as disclosures,  which a buyer does not think about and your real estate agent should know about and provide to their client.  Some disclosures may include carbon monoxide detectors, repairs completed recently or needed, new construction nearby, lead-base paint, mold, special restrictions for that property; basically anything that may affect the home owners experience or value of the property.  An experienced real estate agent will know about many of the common laws and problems in the area and/or will be able to investigate any relevant issues with the property in question.

Homeowner association rules and regulations are a must to understand when buying a new home.  Their rules apply to many housing communities and condo’s.  Always check the HOA fees and restrictions before you buy.    If you don’t like the rules then it’s best to move on.

Being your own real estate agent and reinventing the home buying or selling process isn’t the best idea.  Like anything, when someone starts something new there is a learning curve and mistakes occur; that is why it is important to work with an agent to help you.  Everyday they are in a real estate mindset and are there to help you.  If you have questions they can research the problem.  There is no reason to reinvent the wheel when it comes to real estate.  By hiring an experienced real estate agent or REALTOR® will save you a lot of headaches, especially when dealing with bank-owned/foreclosure homes.  A good real estate agent should be able to make your next real estate transaction a go smoothly and avoid risks.

<start here>Even though online home searches are getting better and better a real estate agent still has direct access to a real estate listing service which allows them to refine searches ( our real estate search tool is one of the best for the general public) to your needs and budget.  One of the most important aspects of finding a home is knowing your budget.  A good real estate agent will know what areas will meet your budget.  If there is a certain area you want to live but can’t quite afford perhaps there is a distressed property in that area your agent can dig up.  Getting a pre-approval for a loan is extremely beneficial to ones home buying experience.  Common list of home search desires:

  1. Price range you’ve been pre-approved for or a  price that fits your budget (just because your approved for an amount doesn’t mean you have to use it all)
  2. Number of bedrooms and bathrooms desired
  3. Areas and communities of interest to you
  4. Special features such as pool, yard, garage, main floor bedroom, guest rooms, etc.
  5. Lot size
  6. Commute time

Once you make a list of homes you want to see  your REALTOR® then the real fun starts by walking through all of the the homes until you find the one you want.  So call up a few real estate agents and find one that you are comfortable with and one who can close the deal, not every agent will be the right agent for you.