The home buying process has the incredible ability to be both exhilarating and stressful at the same time. To guide you through these rollercoaster emotions, it’s helpful and advantageous to have an experienced industry professional by your side. While some people will tell you that you can buy a home on your own, proceed at your own risk. There are reasons real estate agents are the preferred choice, and it will benefit you to read on.
Going Without a Real Estate Agent
Each year, approximately 10% to 20% of home purchases are completed without the services of a real estate professional. These buyers and sellers usually have a basic understanding of how the entire process works and looking to cut corners. Other times, if a seller isn’t using an agent, it could potentially signal that there is a large defect being hidden. While it’s important to keep in mind whether or not the other party is represented, your focus should be on your end. Buying a home without an agent is almost always a poor decision. Their benefits are numerous, and include the following factors:
Knowledge of the Area
Regardless of whether you have lived in a particular city for 10 months or 10 years, a real estate agent is going to have a better understanding of the area. When you use an agent, you get the benefit of location-specific knowledge on home values, school districts, amenities, crime-rates, neighborhoods, property taxes and more.
Because it’s their job, agents can rattle off figures on recent sales, expected values, and other financials that are important to home buyers. While you may be able to find some of these numbers online, they are usually out-of-date or inaccurate. You want someone who is on the front lines and has firsthand experience with the area.
Convenience and Ease of AccessBuying a home on your own not only comes with significant risk, but also a good deal of wasted time. You’ll have limited access to homes listed for sale and some difficulty setting up appointments to view the ones you do happen find. This often requires phone tag and difficult scheduling. With an agent, you get the convenience of easy access. Your agent will make all contact, setup showings, and ask questions you need answers to. This allows you to make the most out of your time and ensures you don’t waste resources where they shouldn’t be used.
Better Access to ListingsWhile some of the big box listing sites certainly have a large amount of listings available to view, they typically only provide two-thirds of what is actually available and that information is many times inaccurate. When considering all of your options, you’ll need access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that Realtors® have- without question. The MLS is much more all-inclusive and contains required information other sources don’t have access to. A regulated source, like the MLS, means better access to current and more accurate listings and less time wasted on showings that don’t meet your requirements or are no longer available.
Negotiation SkillsUnless you have the kind of personality that makes it easy to negotiate, most people find it difficult to haggle over pricing, especially when it is out of their area of expertise. The right Real estate agents are expert negotiators and will handle this part of the process for you. You can decide on what you’re willing to spend, discuss it with your agent, and they will put in an offer that has the best chance of being accepted.
When you have a third-party negotiator working for you, you have the luxury of being able to be honest. There is no need to sugarcoat anything for fear of hurting the other party’s feelings. If you hate the carpet on the main floor and believe you’ll have to tear it up, you can express this to your agent and at the time of negotiating they will break the news to the seller.
Contract ExpertiseBecause real estate transactions involve such a major transfer of value, contracts are intricate, detailed, and complicated. They often involve stipulations and requirements for both parties, and a failure to meet such timely conditions could result in legal troubles or a loss of the earnest money (deposit).
Real estate agents deal with these contracts on a daily basis and are very familiar with reading the fine print. They can explain the sometimes tricky language and are able to legally and financially protect your best interests.
Third Party InterestAs mentioned when discussing negotiations, real estate agents are actually a third party. They have no emotional investment and will tell you the truth. While you may be blinded by your emotions or desires, a good agent will stay calm and objective throughout the process.
Assistance with Financing
The large majority of agents have relationships with bankers and financial institutions. This means they can help you find deals on mortgages and know of whom to avoid. While you may only need the services of your agent for a few weeks or months, you’ll be dealing with your lender for years to come. Making the right decision on your lender is crucial and the advice from your agent can be extremely beneficial when making that decision. If you don’t have an agent representing you, you’re probably on your own when it comes to securing a loan.
While it’s not always the case, most all contracts do stipulate that the seller pays all commission to both the buyer’s and seller’s agents. That said, you will essentially be getting all of the above services at no charge to you, saving you few thousand dollars and stress.If they don’t, you can rest assured the money you spent on your agent’s services will be some of the best money you ever spend.
Ashford Realty GroupAt the Ashford Realty Group, we specialize in Colorado Springs real estate. If you’re looking for assistance in the home buying process, look no further than our team of experienced and knowledgeable agents. We have access to some of the top homes for sale in Colorado Springs and the surrounding areas – such as Monument, Fountain, and more.
For more information and access to an online home search that is directly connected to the local MLS, contact us today!