You might be saying, wait… well, why do I need a real estate agent at all? Since that’s a whole different story in itself I’ll just give you the short version: while selling or buying a home may look easy, it’s anything but that. Consider the fact that throughout a transaction real estate agents have to act as a broker, a photographer, an interior designer, a marketer, a financial analyst, an attorney, a master negotiator, a personal assistant (with endless games of phone-tag & scheduling conflicts), a liaison, a therapist, and even times a lumberjack. If thinking of doing all that doesn’t make your head spin, check out the rest of these tips on why choosing a real estate agent will benefit you in the long run:
Real Estate Agents: The Local Experts. Though you may have come to know the neighborhood you have been living in for 40 years that you can describe as a quiet street with nice neighbors and corner store situated at the top, local real estate agents that have been working the area can be considered experts and can give buyers a more in-depth view of the neighborhood and city as a whole; what the current school system is like (many have children that attend), the town’s demographic, the public transportation access, etc. (ATTN BUYERS: if you are relocating this one is very important! It is vital to have someone that knows the ins and outs of the town you’re looking in.)
A real estate agent will get your home ready to sell. When you’ve decided to list your home, an agent can come in and give you suggestions on how to spruce up your home quickly and easily to make it more appealing to buyers. Perhaps throwing some paint on a bedroom wall, or adjusting the dining room table; little things can make a big difference. I get it, it’s still your home at the moment, your things are still important to you and you may not want a stranger coming in a moving things around, but remember it’s good to even have a fresh pair of eyes, something that may look good to you, might just need to be moved a few feet to the left to make the room look bigger.
Finding a Home: The Search Engine Edition. There’s a reason why websites that offer home searches haven’t put real estate agents completely out of business (though believe it or not some DO prefer to work face to face): the magical world of Multiple Listing Services. In order to gain access to this system you must be a licensed real estate agent, and lucky for us, MLS is also the feed that streamlines onto the ‘popular’ sites such as Zillow*, Trulia*, Realtor, etc. In order for your property to be advertised properly it must be put into MLS accompanied with beautifully staged and taken photographers by a professional real estate agent (you see where I’m going here..)
Bottom line: finding a real estate agent for either buying or selling a home will save you a lot of time, money, and a headache in the long run. Most agents call real estate their full time job, no need to create another job for yourself – leave the work to them.
*Edit: 2/26/15, it is only a matter of time now that Zillow and Trulia may not even be getting these feeds anymore as their information supplier, ListHub is pulling away. Even more vital that having the ‘in’ to MLS is necessary.