It seems that everything is about DIY these days. Fix your own car. Remodel your own kitchen. Organize your own vacation.
You get the picture.
But how about buying or selling a home? Myriad television shows will tell you that it’s okay to do it on your own. So will a plethora of websites that are devoted to helping FSBOs (For Sale By Owner) negotiate the process and that strive to encourage buyers to believe they’ll get a better deal if they skip over the “hiring an agent” part of the process.
Indeed, it sounds tempting when they describe it. Sellers can avoid commission, and buyers will likely have a better chance at negotiating without the middle man…or woman. Right?
And then there are those mobile apps that can lead you to the perfect house with just the click of a button. You can just make an offer and – ta-da! – you’ll have a new home. Right?
Real estate transactions are complicated, and many individuals/couples who try to do it on their own wind up getting burned. Licensed real estate agents are indeed essential for buying or selling, and using a hard-working, reliable agent is an excellent way to avoid a catastrophe. Here’s what they’ll do to make the process easier.
- They’ll prepare – Long before you head out to your first showings or put the “for sale” sign in front of your house, your agent is hard at work. They’re narrowing down choices for you to see, they’re investigating recent sale prices in your area, and they’re listening to YOU and what you want and need to order to make your buying or selling experience the best possible.
- They’ll teach – A good agent wants you to be informed before you start to look for the ideal home or before you list your current property. Therefore, he or she will take the time to carefully explain all the steps involved in either process, offering the information in clear “layman’s” terms that are easy to understand. This way, you’re not going into the process with blinders on, so to speak.
- They’ll have your back – Though agents technically represent the seller – unless you’ve hired a “buyer’s agent” – they will still look out for your best interests, whether you’re the buyer or the seller. That’s because they are committed to ethical standards, and they want all parties to be pleased with the deal in the end. So, if something doesn’t seem right or isn’t on the so-called “up-and-up”, they’ll step in and question it and won’t proceed until they are sure no one is being harmed financially or otherwise.
- They’ll negotiate – Here’s where many DIYers think they have the upper hand, but that’s usually not the case. Real estate agents know the market and can lead you through offers and counteroffers until a deal is made. They can also help negotiate items such as repairs and can do it without the emotion involved when the request is between the seller and buyer.
- They’ll be with you for the long haul – Real estate transactions can go on for months after the initial paperwork is signed. There’s so much to do before you head to the settlement table and, with the help of a realtor and his/her office staff (conveyancers, etc.), all of that will get done on time and correctly. You’re not left on your own to flounder and wonder what needs to be done next. And you’ll be kept in the loop through the whole process!
So, if you’re thinking about buying or selling and you’re determined to do it on your own, think about the fact that an agent does a lot more than just drive you from house to house or put pictures of your home on his website. A top-notch agent will literally be with you from start to finish and won’t let go of your hand until you’re satisfied with the outcome. Give one a try!