Moving into a new home is an exciting and invigorating experience. The opportunity to start fresh, give your growing family new space, or explore the possibilities of a new town or area are all thrilling realities for homebuyers. But what if you need to sell your current home before you reach out and grab your dream home? How can you get the best deal, sell your home in a timely fashion, and open yourself up to the possibilities that a new home can afford? You may (definitely) need to hire a realtor.
A realtor is a trained, licensed professional with the skills, knowledge, and experience to bring your dreams to life. Below we have listed five signs that it may be time to hire a realtor to do the job for you:
1. You Can’t Find the Homes You Want
It’s true: the internet can help you find anything you want. Virtually any piece of information you could ever need is at your fingertips with a few keystrokes. And while real estate sites and real estate search engines like Realtor.com and Zillow provide up-to-date access to listings, the truth of the matter is that licensed professional realtors get even more listings even faster. Your agent will be privy to homes that are listed but not being advertised, short sale and estate sale homes, and houses that will soon be on the market. This can be a great advantage to you.
Additionally, your agent will know where to look as well. If you love a neighborhood, school district, or particular area, but either can’t afford it or can’t find quite what you’re looking for there, your agent will have the experience and knowledge to suggest other, similar areas that may be more affordable or more available to you.
2. Your Home is Not Selling
Aside from helping you find the home of your dreams, a realtors will also help you sell your home for top dollar. A good agent will market your home aggressively, in ways that you may not be able to do on your own. They will make sure your home looks gorgeous, photographs well, and is advertised – not only among the public, but among other agents and their specific clients as well.
An agent will also help you set the right price for your home – and help you decide which improvements will enable you to make the most money, which may be important if you are using the proceeds of the sale of your current home to purchase your next (dream) home.
3. You Are Having Trouble Negotiating
If you’re like most people, you might find negotiating for goods and services to be uncomfortable or even impossible. This means that you might be at risk for being taken advantage of during the home buying or selling process. Negotiating the best price and the most amenable sale conditions is one of the hardest, most important jobs your real estate agent will perform on your behalf.
Negotiations in a real estate transaction can include more than just price. They can also include the following:
- closing date
- rent backs (for sellers who haven’t yet found or built their new home)
- home warranty and repairs
- appraisal and inspection
Your real estate agent will work on your behalf so that you don’t have to get embroiled in a lengthy back-and-forth process. She or he will make sure the terms are in your favor and reasonable, and everything proceeds according to your timeline.
4. You Are Unfamiliar with Real Estate Contracts
When you sell or buy a house, there is a lot of of paperwork. The selling contract, the offer, amended terms, inspection reports…all of it requires the signatures of both the buyer and the seller. And that doesn’t even take into account the papers signed at the closing.
A realtor will take care of preparing, organizing, and sending all the necessary paperwork to the proper parties. She or he will make sure that all the legal requirements are fulfilled and that nothing slips through the cracks so that the deal isn’t delayed or – even worse – falls through.
Unless you yourself are a real estate agent or a real estate attorney, you will likely not be familiar with the process and paperwork of real estate deals. A real estate agent is a qualified, experienced, educated professional who will shoulder the burden of the paperwork for you!
5. You Are Encountering Unethical Situations
Just as real estate has a certain legal standards, so too does it adhere to ethical standards. If you are attempting to sell your own home, or purchase one without the safe guidance of a real estate agent, you will be more likely to fall prey to people of dubious ethics, as you (or they) will not be educated in and bound by the realtors’ code of ethics.
Professional realtors are generally members of NAR, the National Association of Realtors, an organization which oversees the standards set for realtors – including ethics. You will be safest if you hire a qualified, licensed real estate agent, who can guide you to make sure you don’t inadvertently purchase a home with known problems at an unreasonable price, or sell your home in an unprofitable deal.
When you hire a real estate agent, you know you have a professional who will always be on your side, will always work her or his hardest to steer you in the right direction, and will work hard to protect you.
Owning a home is one of the tenets of the American dream. Everyone wants to own their own little piece of the nation, to put down roots, to make a financial and emotional investment in the land they love. But in order to achieve this dream, it is critical that you protect yourself. Whether you are buying your first home, or selling your home in order to purchase a new one, hiring a realtor is the only way to ensure that your experience is the best it can be, safe, and fruitful. A licensed professional real estate agent will personally escort you down the road to achieving your dreams.