The days of having a real estate agent show you homes in your area are not behind us! Even in 2023, agents can still bring plenty to the table that home buyers may not be aware of. Zillow may be handy, but there is more to house hunting than taking a peak at those listings.
As a prospective home buyer there is no single better decision you can make for yourself than to hire a realtor: especially in today's market.
If you want to find your dream home while avoiding the headache of searching, and want your best shot at having an offer accepted than you need a professional realtor. These real estate experts have gone through extensive education, training, and have the experience to guide you through a successful transaction while limiting stress in the process.
Access to Properties Unavailable to the Public
It is a mistaken belief that everyday people have access to the same list of properties as professional realtors. The truth of the matter is that an experienced realtor will have access to and knowledge of a long list of properties you won't find on the major websites. Your first question probably is, If a realtor doesn't find a property online, then where are they finding them? Well let us tell you!
Your realtor has a few ways of finding "hidden" properties for you. The first is off-market properties. These could come from a few sources, but the commonality is that they are not listed on the general market. That means they won't show up for sale online! Your realtor may solicit owners directly and create an off-market sale, or work their personal network to find an off-market property. It may sound far fetched, but this does happen regularly with experienced agents!
Your agent may also have a few "pocket listings" available to them. This is a bit of an old term that refers to a listing agent who sells a property through private channels rather than on the open market. This is a type of off-market property, but relies on your agents connections with other agents in the area or their own personal pocket listings.
An experienced agent will often have made many connections with investors and landlords. These are people who typically have multiple properties and no sentimental attachment. They are looking for good profits, and your agent may be able to convince one to sell you a property that would otherwise not be for sale. This is a great way to pick up a great house that has been used as a rental or was recently renovated.
Lastly, your agent has access to properties that are not yet live on the local MLS. Before properties go on the market and become viewable on Zillow, Realtor, or any other big site, they are posted to your area's MLS; a tool used by brokers for listing homes. Oftentimes, agents will have access to properties that will "go live" soon, but have not yet gone public. This gives you the opportunity to jump on a new listing before someone else!
Reduce Your Own Workload
A good realtor knows how to ease the stress of their clients. One of the ways they do this is by carrying the workload of finding a home for you. They find properties, schedule showings, deal with the seller or their agents, schedule inspections and appraisals, and manage all of the immense amount of paperwork.
Now, a realtor does a lot more than this, but the key fact is that they do things so you don't have to. Buying a house is a huge decision and for most people will be stressful at times. Knowing you have a competent agent in your corner who will handle the hard stuff does wonders for relieving that stress. In fact, agents do such a great job with their clients that nearly all people would hire them again!
9 out of 10 people would use their agent again or recommend them to someone they know according to a study by the National Association of Realtors in 2021.
Something nearly everyone has gone through is purchasing a car. Typically, the most stressful part of the experience is the negotiations. After researching cars online, going out on test drives, and checking prices, you've finally found the car you want. This should be a exciting moment, but oftentimes this is the start of unpleasant negotiations. Imagine if you had someone who could deal with that part for you!
A real estate agent can create a highly competitive offer and negotiate on repairs, closing costs, home warranties, and much more! They have done it dozens or hundreds of times and know how to get it done, all without you having to do anything. This alone might be good enough reason to hire a realtor; thankfully there are still a few more good reasons.
A Wealth of Real Estate Knowledge
It should come as no surprise, but a professional real estate agent will know quite a bit about real estate. What many people don't realize is just how extensive their knowledge really is. Many realtors have specialties focusing on particular areas of real estate such as probate, foreclosure, seniors, first time buyers, and many more. You can find an agent who specifically works with people in your particular situation.
Agents typically have good knowledge about mortgage programs, both national and local. They also have connections with lenders in your area who will best pair with your needs. More importantly, agents know a whole lot about houses. They can advise you on what inspections to have completed, and point out any red flags visible during a walk through. If they do spot some issues, most good agents have a long list of trusted businesses that can help fix anything from shoddy electrical wiring to a crumbling foundation.
It Costs You Nothing
The biggest reason to hire a realtor when buying a home? It almost always costs you absolutely nothing! That's right, nothing! It has long been standard practice that the seller pays for the commissions owed to a buyer's agent. You get all of the wonderful services noted above for no cost whatsoever.
They don't get paid until you close on a home, and you never have to worry about facing a bill for their service. This all means they are highly motivated to find you a house you actually want to purchase and to negotiate a closing. Who can argue with getting a free service?
Hiring a Realtor is Worth It
Seriously! When buying a home, hiring a realtor makes all the difference. You'll be less stressed, find a better home, and be happier with your experience. When looking for a realtor in your area, make sure to find someone with experience who fits your personality and needs. Typically, you should meet with a small handful of agents before deciding which one to hire. This way you know you are hiring the best agent for you. Good luck and happy house hunting!