Real estate transactions are complicated and can be costly if completed incorrectly. Selling or buying a property is a process that is bound to be a little nerve-wracking and emotional.
Buying or selling a property requires in-depth knowledge and experience in a wide range of disciplines. A real estate agent is more than a "sales person". He or she is a trained professional that acts on your behalf and provides you with a clear understanding of the legal issues and potential pitfalls. After all, one wrong move could result in unnecessary costs and frustration.
Working with a reputable real estate agent that you trust can be the deciding factor in whether your house selling or buying experience is positive or negative. There are many reasons why it pays to use a realtor, here are a few:
One of the first things a real estate agent presents to a seller is a competitive market analysis (CMA). The CMA is a study of the current market trends and recent sales in your area. Accordingly, your agent will suggest a listing price. Setting the right listing price is crucial because an over-priced property can turn away potential buyers. If you are buying, your agent will use the CMA to help you negotiate a fair deal.
When selling, your real estate agent will typically provide you with a marketing plan that details what he or she will do to sell your home. This may include coordinating open houses, writing and placing ads in various media, printing and distributing brochures and showing your home to potential buyers. Agents also have exclusive access to two resources that are often critical to selling a home: other real estate agents and the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). If you are buying, the same resources will be used by your agent to help weed-out properties that do not match your requirements and help you shorten you search cycle.
Agents usually have a better understanding of what buyers can get for their money in the neighbourhood they want to buy into. He or she should also have important information about the neighbourhood, including noise levels, schools, shopping, property taxes and demographics. For sellers, these details are equally important, as they affect the value and marketability of a home.
When selling, your agent can provide an unemotional view of the home and what needs to be added or replaced to make it more appealing to buyers. If you are buying, your agent also has the tools and connections to make you aware of the buying power you have.
He or she will help you look at your down payment; purchasing options and borrowing options that can help you find the home of your dreams. He or she can also help you set realistic expectations to what your options are for purchasing a home.
Finally your agent can help complete the purchasing and closing documentation. Once an offer has been accepted, your agent may arrange for a home inspection, financing, a title search and a real estate lawyer, as well as ensure that all repairs and stipulations in the contract are completed. If you are selling, your agent will make sure that all of the legalities involved are followed in the correct manner.