Buying or selling a home is a once-in-a-lifetime affair. It is complex and requires both experience and knowledge. Sellers may think going it alone saves on the costs of selling, such as agents’ commission, but that is rarely the case.
Similarly, buyers may believe those savings will be passed onto them, but how can they be certain the home is priced at fair market value. Whatever you may think of Realtors, at no time has their role become more crucial than now.
That may seem at odds with the Internet age and the increased transparency that comes with vast amounts of freely available data, but real estate has become more than just a home; it has become a pinnacle of financial health and prosperity. Making the right choice can avert what can turn out to be a life-changing event.
Success in buying or selling a home, however, resides not only in using professional services, but also in taking advantage of these freely available resources. Being an informed participant on either side of the transaction makes for a smoother, mutually beneficial process for all involved.
Look Over Your Listing Price
If you are selling your home, the list (asking) price is the first bit of information that a buyer absorbs. Getting that price right the first time around is, therefore, very important. A home that is over-priced will simply sit on the market and not receive any attention or offers.
The longer it sits, the harder it will be sell. By reducing the price, a listing is already showing signs of weakness, and while this may attract attention, it strengthens the hand of the buyer more than the seller.
Home prices are based on “comps” (comparable sales) and since most homes are different a good knowledge of the local housing market is important to get the price right. A Realtor is going to be better placed to estimate a home’s value than a seller.
Bring in a Professional
If you are buying a home, using a Realtor is just as important. They negotiate on your behalf, steer you through the sales contract, help with organizing the inspection, and hold your hand throughout the whole buying process.
They will also help you in making a good selection based on your particular needs and point out any issues with the home or its neighborhood.
Leaving everything up to your broker, however, is exposing yourself to their judgment alone so becoming informed about the basics of buying a home is important. The best time to buy a home is when home prices are stable, there is a good choice of homes for sale, and mortgage rates make homes affordable.
So whether you are a buyer or seller, navigating the complex path of what is probably going to be the biggest financial commitment in your lifetime, using the professional services of a Realtor will minimize the risk of something going wrong. That risk can carry a penalty that far outweighs any perceived savings of not using a Realtor.