If you are planning to buy or sell a house, you might already be weighing the advantages and disadvantages of getting a real estate agent. There are some people who avoid working with agents because they think about the real estate agent fees while others would not want to hire one because of their bad experiences in the past. Whatever others may say, it’s still nice to know you’re dealing with a professional who knows what they’re doing. There are a lot of perks when it comes to working with a real estate agent during a buying and selling of a property. We’ve listed down some of them for you.
If this sounds like you, then you might be overlooking the real benefits of hiring a real estate agent. Set aside the thought of saving money by not paying real estate agent fees and commissions and instead, think about what real estate agents can do and how they can make your transaction smoother and easier. In this article we’ve listed the perks of having real estate agent whether you’re a seller, buyer, or a property investor.
1. Real Estate Agents Know What to Look For
People who are planning to buy a house or invest in a property usually know what they want. They consider the number of bedrooms and bathrooms as well as the features and amenities they want in a house or neighborhood.
If you are buying a home or a property on your own, then you will have to look for the available options in the market on your own. How time-consuming is this task, right? An experienced real estate agent, however, will help you shortlist the available properties based on your preference and budget. They usually know every house in the real estate industry and it’s their job to look for the one that perfectly fits your needs. Aside from this, real estate professionals can also guide you through the buying process, making the transaction a lot smoother and easier.
2. Real Estate Agents Have Extensive Market Knowledge
Real estate agents are usually part of a real estate professional network / professional real estate associations and have access with the current real estate market trends and conditions. So, if you are a property investor, this should be one of the main reasons and benefits on why you should hire a real estate agent.
Think about how well-versed the real estate agents are in terms of the housing market, their vast knowledge is such a great perk for you to work with them. You can learn from them the latest trends and factors that may affect the real estate market. Not to mention their knowledge of the ins and outs of the property market.
They can also guide you in terms of the average sales prices, ratios of list-to-sold prices, and average price per square foot of similar properties. They can easily hand this information to you, so you can make an informed decision quickly.
Other market knowledge that only a local agent will know include which neighborhoods are near good schools, which neighborhoods saw the greatest increase in market value over the years, the most promising projects as well as the upcoming developments in a given area. This information will help you determine whether or not a certain neighborhood is worth investing in.
3. Real Estate Agents Have Professional Networks
Real estate agents are good at networking. They have the right contacts and know just about everyone involved in the process of buying and selling a property. If you work with real estate agents, they can share with you a list of preferred providers who they have worked with in the past and who they trust. This is very helpful and will make the home buying or selling process faster and easier.
There are instances that homebuyers need to work with professionals, which include inspectors, appraisers, seller’s agent, real estate lawyers, and mortgage professionals. Instead of researching these people individually and reaching out to them on your own, you can make use of your real estate agent referrals. This is beneficial especially if you are a beginner real estate investor as it will help you build your own network of professionals whom you can trust and rely on for future property concerns and investment deals.
4. Real Estate Agents Identify Potential Problems
If you are planning on selling your house, you need to make sure that the property is in great condition. This will help you attract more buyers and sell the property faster and at the price that you want.
Homebuyers are also looking for properties that are in good condition so they save money on repairs. However, there are some problems that they may not be able to think about when buying a property, which could potentially cause disastrous hazards.
One of the perks of having them is that real estate agents are experienced and trained to identify potential problems that you may not see such as roofing problems, leaks, and mold and insect issues. There are times that an agent will have a home inspector provide a detailed report on problems with the house.
A buyer’s agent will have a good sense of what reasonable repairs to request. If you are a seller, your property agent will let you know of the best approach to fixing your property issues. You can see here that real estate agent responsibilities include protecting your interests, so this knowledge will help you save you a lot down the road.
5. Real Estate Agents Provide Guidance
As a homeowner, you might think you know the right price for your property. But come to think of it, is the price that you’ve arrived at reasonable? There are some instances that homebuyers undervalue their homes.
What better way to know that your price is within the right range than to consult a real estate agent. Most real estate agents can set a price on a home the moment they enter the property. So, instead of wasting your time researching and comparing prices and pulling information from different sources, hire a real estate agent who has the experience, knowledge, and capacity to know whether a specific house is overpriced or underpriced.
Aside from this, they can also guide you on the property market so you can evaluate the data that can affect home values. This way, they can help sellers develop an accurate and realistic listing price that would attract buyers. Buyers’ agents, on the other hand, will help in making the right choice on how much to offer on a house.
6. Real Estate Agents Have Negotiating Skills
Regardless if you are a buyer or seller, we all want one thing and that is to get the best real estate deal possible. In order for you to achieve this, you need to have good negotiation skills. Negotiating directly with a buyer or seller is quite challenging especially if you are not familiar with the property pricing and going rate.
This is one of the reasons why you should use a real estate agent. They are skilled negotiators and they know what normally works and what does not. They don’t just haggle the price for the sake of lowering it, they will use their analysis of real estate properties in the area to build a strong case so you can get the best price possible.
7. Real Estate Agents Provide Home Staging Advice
Another perk of having a real estate agent is their ability of providing home staging advice. The goal of home staging is to make it easier for homebuyers to see themselves living in the house. Real estate agents are skilled and experienced when it comes to staging homes for sale and make them look attractive to the right buyer.
A good real estate agent knows what homebuyers are looking for and he/she can use his resources to make your home appeal to the most likely buyers. Whether it’s moving furniture around or using some of their own props, they know how to make your home look like it’s ready to be sold.
8. Real Estate Agents Have Access to Off-Market Listings
If you are an investor, it is very advantageous for you to have access to off-market listings and real estate agents can give you that! Property websites can show you various properties for sale in an area but there are instances wherein sellers don’t want to publicly list their properties. In these cases, only real estate agents are aware that the homeowners are looking to sell and try to find buyers.
When you have access to both listed and off-market properties, you can choose from a wider selection of properties to invest in. The more options you have as a real estate investor, the better your chances of finding the best investment property that fits your preference and budget.
How do you find the right real estate agent for you?
After knowing the great perk of having a real estate agent during your buying or selling journey, you probable have now understand that getting a professional real estate agent can help you make smarter decisions and avoid costly mistakes.
But before you start looking for a real estate agent, it’s helpful to know what to expect and some of the terminologies you will encounter.
Real estate agents help people buy and sell properties. They guide and educate their clients about the current market conditions, help them through each step of the process and make referrals to other professionals, such as home inspectors and real estate attorneys.
In some cases, an agent can represent both the buyer and seller sides in a single transaction, but it is best to have someone who’s solely in your corner.
What’s the difference between a real estate agent and a real estate broker?
According to most property experts, a real estate broker has additional training to get a real estate broker license. A broker can oversee other real estate agents, work under a managing broker or operate independently.
How do you find and interview real estate agents?
If you are keen on getting a real estate agent, you can ask friends and colleagues for referrals to find several prospective agents. You can also check property websites and online profiles, read about their expertise and experience, and check out customer reviews.
It might be good to choose at least three agents to interview and be specific and clear about how they would work with you.
What should the buyers and sellers ask real estate agents?
1. Will the real estate agent represent my interests?
Although there are many great perks or advantages of hiring them, you might assume that any real estate agent you choose will represent only your interests. But in some instances, real estate agents are not legally required to represent solely the buyer or the seller in a transaction.
You have to understand the nature of the agent’s role when working with you. You can ask them if they will represent only your interests through the entire process, and request a written form that discloses the relationship.
2. What experience and training does the agent have?
Check on how long the agent has been working with clients, and what training or recognition the agent has. As usual, look for an agent with a good track record of serving clients like you.
3. Will the agent or assistants work with me?
Real estate agents sometimes have assistants working for them on a team. If you are concerned about whether the agent or assistant will be the one to work for you, then you have to make this clear and be sure that you will have enough direct access to the agent.
4. How much will the agent be paid?
In property transactions, the seller usually pays the real estate commission, which the listing agent splits with the buyer’s agent. This typically ranges from 5% to 6% of the sales price.
As the seller, you may be able to negotiate a lower rate, especially if you are selling a high-value property. Meanwhile, as the buyer, you can ask for a rebate of a portion of the buyer agent’s commission.
5. Were recent clients satisfied?
If you want to know if recent clients were satisfied with the agent’s service, you can request references and talk to clients who have previously worked with the agent to secure yourself a great working agent and experience the perks aforementioned above. Check if they are satisfied with the agent’s work, what went smoothly, and the challenges that they may have encountered.
It is also worth knowing how the agent deals with challenges and from there you can assess if the agent is a good fit for you.
Tips for Buyers on Finding a Real Estate Agent
If you are planning to buy a home, here are some things to think about:
1. What challenges will I face as a buyer in today’s market?
A good agent will be able to set realistic expectations by explaining the availability of listed homes and the level of competition you will face with other buyers.
2. How will you help me find listed homes that are similar to my price range?
Ask the agent how he/she has recently helped other buyers similar to you. This will help you determine if the agent can serve your needs.
3. How will you help me negotiate with sellers?
Look for an agent who will help you stay and work within your budget and goals.
Tips for Sellers on Finding a Real Estate Agent
If you are planning to sell a home, here are some things to think about:
1. What are the similar listings in my area?
An agent should be able to provide a comparative market analysis and show properties that are similar to yours that were sold in the last six months.
2. What do you think is the best price for my property and reason?
Remember that an agent who recommends the highest price isn’t always the best choice. Choose an agent who supports and justifies the recommendation with market knowledge.
3. What should I do to improve my home?
You can ask the agent about what should be fixed to make your property at par with those available in the market. Listen to what the agent has to tell you about what your home needs and the return on investment for making those improvements.
4. How will you market my home?
Agents will likely suggest putting your home on the various listing sites. Ask him/her for details about other promotional tools that he/she will use.
Written by Cheska Castro