Why is it important to work with a real estate professional?
Not using a professional real estate agent to save money in your real estate deal may cost you later. Whether you're buying or selling, you're negotiating a complex transaction with potential pitfalls that could impact your bottom line. A professional agent can use his or her knowledge and skills to guide you through the real estate process.
Real estate agents have connections in the market that benefit buyers and sellers. Agents work with many people involved in the real estate transaction process, including loan officers, home inspectors and attorneys. If you have a problem or need a service, your agent has the contacts necessary to help you immediately. For example, if you need a home inspection but can't find anyone to do the job before the lender's deadline, your agent may have an inspector they have a relationship with who will help.
Knowledge of the real estate market you're buying in is invaluable in the home buying or selling process. An agent can give a buyer informed opinions about the home's future value, the neighborhood amenities and schools and whether the investment is solid. Sellers benefit from an agent's market knowledge because the agent uses it to market the property to the most interested audience and get the highest price. Proper marketing is crucial. Buyers may be wary of an over-marketed home, while a poorly marketed home may not sell for months.
NEGOTIATING THE BEST PRICE
Buyers and sellers both negotiate the home price. The buyer is looking to get the house at the lowest price, while the seller wants the highest price possible. Agents apply their experience to the price negotiations without actively interfering by providing advice to their party. Your agent can help you evaluate the pros and cons of each offer or counteroffer you receive. An agent helps with the legal paperwork required for offers so your interests remain protected during the negotiations.
Buying or selling a home involves a lot of paperwork and is a complex process with different deadlines. Since an agent has experience in real estate transactions, she can use her knowledge to ensure the process goes smoothly and nothing important is missed. If you have any questions about the papers you're signing, your agent will help you and get the answers if they don't know.
EDUCATION & TRAINING
All real estate agents must have a license in the United States. While the exact licensing process varies by state, professional agents must have some specific real estate education and usually have to pass a test to get one. An agent also has knowledge of the specific real estate laws and procedures in the area they are working in, as some of the required training is location specific.