With all the online resources at our fingertips these days, it’s tempting for many people to bypass hiring a licensed real estate agent and save themselves some money on commission. After all, it’s not difficult to scope out homes online and head straight to the seller in order to complete the transaction.
Admittedly this method of buying and selling homes has become significantly more popular in the past several years, however for many people who decide to go this route it often ends with the buyer losing money, despite the fact that they’ve saved a few dollars on commission. The fact is that buying and selling real estate is significantly more complicated than buying and selling most regular consumer items and unless you’re an expert it’s not something you should undertake to do on your own.
So what do real estate agents know that you don’t?
While it’s common sense to research the market when you’re looking to buy or sell a home, the fact is that a bit of research cannot compare to the expertise that your agent gleans from working in the market on a daily basis. The real estate market can be affected by myriad things that may not even occur to you but that your real estate agent considers a normal part of the process, for example recent buying trends in your area and other factors that may be affecting real estate prices.
Real estate agents are, first and foremost, skilled negotiators who know not only the intricacies of the negotiation process and the market in your area but the agents on the other end of the deal as well. Chances are your agent has spent a great deal of time building effective working relationships with these other agents, regardless of whether or not they are with the same brokerage, which therefore puts them in a position to make certain you come out on top.
Real estate transactions most often involve relatively high amounts of money changing hands and in a situation like that, you can’t be too careful as far as making certain you’ve taken care of all the legal and regulatory requirements in order to avoid future lawsuits. Your realtor has made a career of knowing the ins and outs and can save you enormous amounts of money by making certain that everything is done according to legal procedure. If you’re dealing with a case such as a foreclosure or any other sale where there may be special considerations, not having this guidance can spell potential disaster later on.
So while buying or selling your own property is certainly within the realm of possibility, be aware that the money you save on commission could be paltry compared to the money you are forced to pay out down the road in potential repairs, lawsuits and a variety of other unsavoury situations. While saving the commission may be tempting the best advice is to hire a qualified professional and feel safe knowing that the procedure has been handled correctly.
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