Buying a home, and even selling one, are often expensive ordeals, so it makes sense that we want to keep costs as low as possible. Some look to trim their budgets by taking a second look at some expenses like contracting a real estate agent – but is this really worth it?
According to the facts available, it’s clear that using an agent to help buy or sell tends to pay off, even in a home market that’s easier to search through.
Whether working as a buying agent or helping you sell your home, real estate agents do come with a number of tools and expertise that the average homeowner wouldn’t have access to otherwise. Realtor.com explained some of the biggest advantagesgained by working with a trusted professional:
- Experience and insider knowledge: Buying or selling a home is an extremely complex affair, with plenty of technical terms and legal hoops to jump through. One of an agent’s primary goals is helping their clients navigate this minefield of jargon and regulations.
- More search tools: Agents specialize in taking their customer’s exact needs for a new home or from a new buyer, and tailor their search accordingly. While a variety of online tools help non-professionals do the same, doing a really thorough search for a new home still takes a significant amount of time for the average person.
Bidding wars: In the last few years, the housing market has been heating up, to the point that it’s white hot in some parts of the U.S. In these areas, sellers can expect to juggle multiple offers while buyers need to think strategically and act quickly. Without an agent handling these negotiations, both buyers and sellers can expect to be left in the dust.
How to work with an agent
Clearly, there is a lot of value in bringing on a real estate agent to help you with your next home deal. But there are a few things buyers and sellers can do to help their agent succeed, according to The Balance.
First, it’s not a bad idea to take time to search for the right agent to fit your needs. You will obviously want someone with local expertise, but there are several other desirable qualities worth looking for. To figure out who is the best fit, schedule a brief interview with a few agents to get a better sense of their experience.
Another often overlooked tip for either buyers or sellers: Take the open house seriously. For sellers especially, it’s crucial that schedules for viewings are rock solid, and that the house is in perfect shape for potential buyers. If you’re on the buy side yourself, punctuality is equally important, but so is attitude. Let your agent do most of the technical talking and focus on how the home looks and feels.
Real estate agents are there to help buyers and sellers succeed. Don’t overlook this advice when it’s time to enter the housing market on either side of the equation.