Wednesday 19th of December 2018

Do You Really Need a Real Estate Agent?

Looking for a new home or trying to sell one is an exhaustive process; either you are a salesperson, looking to dress up and present your home in the best possible light to new buyers or you are (wisely) weary of being sold and taken advantage of by such salespersons.

Selling a Home

Do you need a real estate agent if you are selling a home? No law requires you to have one, but there are definitely advantages to using one. If the commission that a real estate agent gets is a really negative factor for you in deciding whether or not to use an agent, you may be able to find one willing to lower their commission percentage in order to work for you. If any commission is absolutely out of the question then you can try to sell your home on your own. You absolutely do not need an agent if:

  • You want to limit how many prospective buyers you find: This is because real estate agents do most of their work by digging up interested buyers through multiple sources to come look at your home. They have access to sources that you do not, no matter how many “Home for Sale” signs you put up or ads in the paper you take out. A qualified and licensed agent can find you buyers through the network of other agents they know or through an MLS lookup
  • You want to risk overpricing or undervaluing your home when you list it: Real estate agents who work in your area know the value of the homes there. They can find out what the homes in your neighborhood and on your street are selling for and, with the assistance of a professional appraisal, help you to set the right asking price based on your home’s unique features.
  • You don’t need expert advice on making the best presentation for your home: An experienced agent, having sold more homes than you’ve probably been in over the last few years knows what impresses potential buyers and how to make small adjustments to your home that will both attract views and offers.

Buying a Home

If you are a buyer and considering finding a home on your own, you might want to seriously consider thinking again. Though the current market belongs to buyers who can get great bargains from desperate sellers, you are still limiting yourself in a great way by proceeding on your own without an agent. A qualified real estate agent can help you find the right home by:

  • Using MLS to find the right home: Instead of driving all around town looking for homes for sale or trusting in those few that are placed in the newspaper, you can find homes exactly where you want at the price you want through an agent’s access to MLS.
  • Providing you with more information: Rather than relying solely on the biased words of the seller regarding the neighbors, the value of the neighborhood and other factors, a qualified agent will be able to get you such information based on experience and other sources.
  • Assisting with negotiations: Fairly and accurately negotiating a good price for your home requires knowledge beyond just your pocketbook, but what is fair for the neighborhood, market trends and specific features of the home that may increase or decrease its value.