You found the home of your dreams. How do you know how much to offer? This is where an experienced real estate agent can be helpful. Using information from a variety of sources, agents can help you navigate this question and a variety of others for one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make.
Here are five ways a real estate agent can be your best partner in the home-buying process:
Ethics: Though not all real estate agents are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), those who are members must follow a code of ethics. That code essentially states that Realtors must handle all aspects of the transaction honestly and put the clients’ needs first. They’re also required to make full disclosures about any problems with the property and be truthful in advertising.
Finding a home for sale: Though most homes for sale are widely available for buyers to access online, in some cases, sellers don’t want the fact that they’re selling to be widely publicized. In those cases, only a real estate agent knows if a house is for sale and for how much.
Pricing expertise: Most real estate agents can set a price on a home as soon as they walk through the door. And, if they have a lot of experience in a certain market, they also know how well a neighborhood holds its value. While anyone can pull up information online on comparable homes, a real estate agent has the knowledge and experience to know whether a house is overpriced or underpriced, and can give you honest feedback on whether or not homes are within your range.
Requesting repairs: Often, asking a home seller for repairs is a touchy part of a real estate purchase and requires delicate negotiations. That’s where a real estate agent can come in. They’re well-versed and equipped to identify any troubles you may not see and do the requesting for a house inspection and repairs if needed.
Filling out the paperwork: You’ve found a home, within budget and in good condition. Now it’s time to tackle the paperwork. If you’ve ever bought a home, you know how much paperwork is involved. If this is your first purchase, you can imagine the number of documents involved. This is, again, where a real estate agent comes in handy. They can take care of all of the little details for you, from the written offer, to counter offer and signings, and everything in between.
Aside from the technical aspects of a sale, real estate agents know neighborhoods and houses inside and out. Consider them your best asset-and partner-in the home buying journey. You’ll never want to leave home without one again.