Are you in the market for a new home or selling your current one? If so, you might be doing a little DIY research on your own in the beginning. And why not? The internet has plentiful resources available to get you started.
Learning on your own can help you get a better idea about what type of home you want to buy, what neighborhoods interest you, and what you can afford on your budget. But when you’re ready to take some action steps and put your home on the market or begin property visits, the best research you can do is a search for a knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent who can guide you through the process.
Why not go DIY? Here are 5 reasons to lean on a professional real estate agent.
1. A Real Estate Agent Knows Your Time is Valuable
There are many aspects of buying and selling a home that are time-consuming. When selling a home, one of those tasks that many who get into selling “by owner” don’t anticipate is the time involved in showing the home. Part of the time involved includes:
- contacting and following up with interested parties
- answering questions about the home
- scheduling the showings
Once the showings are scheduled, you can expect to be there with the potential buyers any amount of time—it could be minutes or hours, depending on their level of interest once they see the property.
When you are buying a home, the process can be time consuming as well, so while you are hard at work in your career and taking care of your family, or simply enjoying some leisure time (that’s important, too), a real estate agent will be taking care of all the details, including the following:
Before you decide to DIY, take a good look at your time and how many hours each week you have available to spend in the process. Consider the value of your time: how flexible is your work schedule? If you are flexible, how many hours a day can you spend away from your work before it harms your productivity? Is it worth it for your work to suffer?
Real estate agents know that you have other important priorities in your life and will do the work of showing up and following up, even when that time doesn’t lead to an immediate offer. When you hire an agent, you are protecting the value of your time and keeping your top priorities intact.
2. Agents Keep Your Stress Level Manageable
Don’t we hear every day how important it is to our health to manage our stress? Selling or buying a home can be one of the most stressful events in a person’s life. Agents work with sellers and buyers daily and know how to keep the process flowing smoothly.
This is easier said than done—many sales come with unexpected twists and turns that have the potential to kill a sale and send you back to Square 1. If you try handling these situations on your own, you may not have the experience to handle things effectively and successfully. You might lose time and money if the sale falls through—losses that could have been avoided with a professional agent.
3. A Real Estate Agent Will Have the Inside Scoop
When it comes to all the ins and outs of home buying and selling, agents possess hard-earned knowledge and intimate secrets about home prices, desirable neighborhoods, and market conditions.
An agent can help guide you to make the right choice about what to offer for a home or what price to list your home based on market supply and demand. An agent does not select the price for you, but will give you data that will help you choose an amount that will lead to the most successful result.
Agents see homes in many different neighborhoods and talk to the residents. They know the characteristics of the area and the type of people who live there and can guide you to where you’ll be happiest. They will also know about schools, crime rates, and demographics of different areas. If you decide to go it alone, you may have to visit many different areas on your own to gain the volume of knowledge they have after working for years in those neighborhoods.
Along with pricing and neighborhood selection, an agent can inform you about the market conditions which will affect the process of buying and selling. An agent will know data such as:
- the average cost per square foot of similar homes
- median and average sales prices
- average days on the market
These criteria will inform the decisions you will need to make in the selling and buying process.
4. Agents Will Get You the Best Deal
Who doesn’t want a good deal? The best way to ensure that you walk away with the best possible financial outcome is to hire a professional who can remove themselves from the emotional aspects of the sale and use his or her skills to negotiate for your case.
Agents are aware of what types of information are best withheld from the other parties involved in the deal. They have experience and training that prepares them to present only information that will work in your favor while holding some information confidential from competing interests.
5. Agents Respect Your Intelligence
Like the oft-quoted Red Adair quote, “If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional, wait until you hire an amateur”, hiring a real estate agent is a smart thing to do. It’s what intelligent people do, because they know doing it themselves is like hiring an amateur.
As we’ve discussed already in this post, there are many situations that come up during a real estate transaction that, if handled in an amateur way, can end up costing your more money or resulting in a lost sale. With that in mind, hiring a professional real estate agent is an act of respect for the experience and knowledge it takes to do it well.
By the same token, a professional real estate agent who you have chosen to represent you will respect the decisions that you make in the process. An agent knows that what you choose is based on your unique knowledge of your situation. When you put your faith in your agent to represent your interests, they extend that faith back to you and respect your choices in the process. A relationship of mutual respect between you and your agent will result in a home buying or selling experience where all parties are happy with the results.