Benefits of Working with a Realtor
With so much information available online, what is the benefit of working with a Realtor?
Purchasing a home is a legal transaction. While most rational people wouldn’t consider representing themselves in a court of law, neither should you represent yourself in a real estate transaction. While realtors are not attorneys, they are licensed professionals who buy and sell homes every day, and are aware of potential pitfalls that can arise in the home buying process that can ultimately end up in litigation. At that point, you will need to hire an attorney!
We’ll let you in on a little secret....
Working with a professional Realtor to help you purchase a home doesn’t cost you anything!
Here’s how it works: The majority of homes being offered for sale are listed with a professional Realtor. Your Realtor has access to more information on all of these homes than you can see online because they are members of the BLC (Brokers Listing Cooperative), which you may know as the MLS (Multiple Listing System). Sellers who hire a realtor to market their home for sale, contractually agree to pay a specific commission to the listing agent for marketing their home, AS WELL AS a separate commission to your realtor, also known as a Buyer’s Agent Commission. The seller actually pays YOUR Realtor to represent you and your interests in the sale of their home!
Some buyers may think, “So why don’t I just call the list agent directly? If the seller doesn’t have to pay a buyer’s agent commission, perhaps I can get a better deal on the house?” BEWARE! The list agent is contractually obligated to represent the best interests of the SELLER – not you as a potential buyer! It is probably NOT in YOUR best interest to call the list agent and disclose information that could be potentially detrimental to your negotiating position.
Your Realtor represents YOU and YOUR interests. They protect your best interests by presenting information to the list agent that is truthful and forthcoming, yet not detrimental to your negotiating position as a potential buyer.
What about FSBO’s, you might ask...
A FSBO or “For Sale By Owner” is a seller who is trying to sell their home on their own without the representation of a professional Realtor.
We’ll let you in on another little secret...
Just because a homeowner chooses to list their house without professional representation, it does not mean a buyer has to purchase that house without their own professional representation!
The fact is, many times FSBO sellers are willing to pay a Buyer’s Agent Commission to your Realtor. If you see a home that is listed “For Sale By Owner” and you think it could potentially be a good fit for you, you should have your Realtor contact the owner to schedule a showing of the home, and discuss the Buyer’s Agent Commission or fee beforehand.
You don’t want to be left with a clear disadvantage in this legal transaction without the professional representation of your Realtor. Your Realtor will have all the information available to determine a reasonable price for the home based on comparable homes that have already sold in the area. Your Realtor will also have all the forms necessary to make the transaction legal and protect your interests as a buyer.
In addition, your Realtor will oversee the inspection process and make sure you achieve the best possible results with the negotiation of any items that may need to be resolved. Your Realtor can save you thousands of dollars, and sleepless nights, ensuring you have not made any oversights or mistakes in managing the legal transaction of one of your largest assets.
What about New Home Construction – why do I need a Realtor?
Great Question! The sales representatives in the new home models work for the builder – NOT you! The first time you visit a new construction model home, they will ask you to fill out a registration form, and they will ask if you are working with a Realtor. Yes! Give them your Realtor’s name and number.
Approximately 75% of buyers who purchase a new construction home are represented by a professional Realtor. Most builders recognize that buyers consider existing homes for sale, as well as new construction homes, and they value the relationship with the Realtor. Most builders offer a Buyer’s Agent Commission, and your Realtor can guide you in the process of choosing lot location and upgrades to the home that will be beneficial to you in the future when you sell the home, without overspending for upgrades that are not typical or advisable for the price point of your home.
I know what you’re thinking….if I don’t use a Realtor, the builder will give me a discount in the amount of the Buyer’s Agent Commission. WRONG! The builder has already included the Realtor’s commission in their prices, so you may as well take advantage of the benefits of having your Realtor represent you!
Some key areas where a professional Realtor provides great value to you through the home buying process include:
- Determining a fair offer price for a home based on comparable homes that have already sold in the area.
Advising you through the negotiations with a realistic and unemotional point of view.
Offering alternative negotiating terms to get a deal put together such as time of possession, home warranties, down payment assistance etc.
Effectively handling the property inspection negotiations for items that may need to be addressed before the closing date.
Working with your lender to be sure the appraisal is accurate, and all the documents are prepared for closing in a timely manner.
Managing the relationship with the title insurance company to review any tax issues, easements, liens, surveys and deeds of trust.