Buying and selling homes should be fun... sometimes it turns into a roller coaster ride that you didn't sign up for.
When you're buying and selling real estate by yourself, and without a Realtor, you probably feel like you're
doing an excellent job. Chances are you're using all the information at your fingertips whether that means searching homes for sale online or putting that for sale by owner sign in your yard! Either way, you are 100% committed to saving on the commissions you would normally have to pay to a realtor. Even when a Realtor will save you more money, than you'll save by not paying commissions.
Did you know the founder of forsalebyowner.com uses a Realtor? Oh, and the founders of byowner.com and craigslist.
When you eventually find a home, or sell yours, without an Agent you'll have that 'look, I did it all by myself' feeling. It's admirable, and then it hits you... what contract do I use? What paperwork is there? Once I go under contract what happens next? Are the negotiations in my favor? What are the legal ramifications if I fill out paperwork incorrectly? Oh and the best part of all is that you would have saved more money using a Realtor to buy and sell. So let's talk about 6 more reasons using a Real Estate Agent is to your benefit.
ExpertiseWould you trust a Realtor to do your job?... I wouldn't. Expertise matters. What are the best ways to market your home? Which neighborhoods are the fastest up and coming? A lot of my clients are Doctors, Stock Brokers, Lawyers, Car Salespeople, Recruiters and the list goes on. There is a zero percent chance I would be better at their job than they are. They are experts in their chosen professions, and well trained. When you're buying and selling homes, hundreds of thousands of dollars are at stake. A few percentage points equate to tens of thousands of dollars, and if you're the buyer, a fraction of a percentage point on interest rates does the same! Realtors are experts who are there to hold your hand when buying and selling homes. It should be obvious to you that working with a Realtor is the best decision, our clients certainly feel that way.
DataIf you have ever bought and sold real estate before then you understand just how important it is to have access to accurate data and information. Most national websites will not give you accurate data, information, and will often either show homes that are not for sale or will be completely missing real estate listings altogether. If you don't have access to the local MLS you need it. This is where you will find the most up to date, and accurate information on homes and neighborhoods. Don't risk leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table just to try and save on the Realtor commissions. Not only are you saving less by not using a Realtor, you're actually subjecting yourself, to even more, harm once you go under contract.
NegotiationsOnce you are under contract do you know what is considered fair during negotiations? If you're buying a home do you know what to look for? One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying a home without an Agent. Are you checking the irrigation patterns in the neighborhood? Imagine what else you may not be checking that could cause you to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into a home that is a lemon. When you're buying and selling real estate without a Realtor the chances you end up in court will increase. At this point you have to wonder if buying and selling a home with a Realtor would have been a better idea. One of the most important jobs an Agent has is to keep everything legal, fair, and their client's best interests protected. If you're selling a home without an Agent there's a 90% chance you will end up working with one anyway. 9 out of every 10 buyers is working with a Realtor, so you're likely going to pay a commission. In this instance are you going to know how to handle the negotiations? Do you know what the language in every contract means? There is a lot of things that can go wrong in a transaction, make sure you're protected both from a financial and legal standpoint!
ConnectionsReal Estate Agents are well connected. Chances are they have built a real estate team that works in synchrony when it comes to paperwork, mortgages, attorneys, home inspectors, and everything else that is involved in the buying and selling of real estate. Not only do they have great connections to help with your real estate transaction, they also know everyone! One of the most important aspects of their job is the ability to network and connect with people in the community. This is great news for those of you working with an Agent since there is a good chance they know of potential buyers and sellers for your home, even before you list it! A lot of Realtors use their Social Media connections to spread the right message to a specific audience. Whether that means using retargeting pixels, or specific audiences in sponsored ads.
Strict Code of EthicsRealtors are held to a strict code of ethics. This means having the client's best interest at all times and in all situations is part of being a Realtor®. Here is an excellent article that explains the strict code of ethics Realtors® adhere to and how they apply to our real estate businesses. When entering into a relationship with a Real Estate Agent, it's their duty to ensure your interests come first. Here is some of the language you will want to familiarize yourself with:
Agency - is the relationship that exists where one person is given the power to act on behalf of another. The typical three classifications of agency are 'Universal Agency,' 'General Agency,' and 'Special Agency.'
Principal - the person or party for whom an agent acts on the behalf of. The principal is referred to as the buyer or seller in a Real Estate transaction.Agent - the party who acts on behalf of the Principal. An Agent can be a person, a brokerage firm, or the agent who is listing the property on behalf of the firm.
Sub agent - the agent of the agent. When the firm is the agent, those who work for the firm become sub agents. Additionally, a firm could be a sub agent when working with a different firm known as the listing firm, because the listing firm is the agent to the Seller and the firm working with the listing firm is the sub agent.
Third Party - is the party that you do not represent, though they are a part of the relationship. With a listing agreement, the listing agent and firm would have a principal relationship with the seller and a third party relationship to the buyer.
Fiduciary - a relationship based on honesty and trust. The relationship between a principal and an agent is a fiduciary relationship. If you're working with Real Estate Agents in BC there is a specific brochure a Realtor must present you with upfront that explains your relationship.
TherapyBuying and selling real estate is a roller coaster ride of emotions, brace yourself. Realtors® are there for you with every twist and turn that is going to occur in a real estate transaction. Can't find the recorded deed? No problem, your Realtor will be there to help you find it. Our seller had this happen and was freaking out about losing the sale because of it. No worries, it was simply recorded in the wrong registration office. Situations like this happen more often than you think.
How about the time a client went under contract on a home only to realize they were making a huge mistake. Several times the buyer was told the home was overpriced. They told us they wanted to purchase it anyway. Not until the appraisal did the buyer decide to back out. They were thankful they did when they found the home of their dreams down the street and for less, only three weeks later! It's moments like these where a Realtor® can help you anticipate the future, calm your emotions, and use their resources to ensure a smooth transaction for you.