January 16, 2020

3 Reasons To Use A Real Estate Agent

The adventure of buying or selling a new home is permeated with both moments of excitement and heartache. If you are a buyer, the prospect of having a new home to call your own is a fun process - deciding what part of the city to live in, how big of a home and yard you would like, layout of the home, etc. Finally moving into your new home, unpacking the boxes and making new memories is a milestone time in your life. But, if you submit an offer and it is rejected or falls through, it can be heartbreaking to go through, having to look for another property to submit an offer on. In a competitive market like we have today, this can happen multiple times while looking for a home.

The process for a seller can be emotional as well. Typically, you are selling a home filled with years of memories; perhaps bringing home a child for the first time, or a newlywed's first home together. The process usually has a counterbalance of upgrading to a new home, which can make for an emotional roller-coaster during a closing. In 2019, I sold a house where I brought both of my young sons home from the hospital. We decided to buy a larger property in the same neighborhood, and it was thrilling to think about - a chance to start fresh in a home. Nonetheless, closing as a seller of one home and a buyer of another in the same day was emotionally difficult. As a real estate agent I know has told me, "I see plenty of tears at the closing table."

If you are emotionally vested in buying or selling a home, it can compromise your ability to make objective decisions. I have mentioned in a prior article my experience in buying and selling homes, and great agents were at the heart of all my transactions, working to keep us grounded. Here are a few reasons why to work with a great agent in your area:

  • Workload: In some ways, a real estate agent is a thankless job. The work they do behind the scenes to work with numerous parties in a transaction appears seamless to you as the client, but involves significant time on their end. They work directly with other agents, homeowners (if it is a For Sale By Owner property), title companies, Loan Officers, home inspectors and other parties. It is the ultimate project management task to get a real estate transaction to the closing table, and is far more difficult than it looks.
  • Negotiation: Let's be honest, most of us do not enjoy the process of negotiating a major purchase. Given that a home is likely the largest purchase any of us will make, the negotiation process might mean the difference of thousands of dollars. Whether it's the initial offer or counteroffer, what needs to be fixed on the inspection report, or what closing costs a seller will pay, a shrewd real estate agent knows how to negotiate for the best interests of their client. It is truly an art to know when to push back in a negotiation and when to hold.
  • Experience: Even the most experienced home owners have not handled as many transactions in their lifetime as a great real estate agent handles in a year. While it is important to know as much as you can about real estate to protect your best interests, having an agent in your corner can greatly assist you in the process. A seasoned agent will know what is typical of a transaction or what is out of the ordinary - and most importantly, when to walk away. Buying or selling a home is an emotionally-taxing process, and a great agent can provide an objective perspective for you.

    Not all agents are created equal, so I do recommend vetting a potential agent you intend to work with. Review their experience such as number of transactions closed, what team do they have behind them, and what marketing do they offer. Having an exceptional agent makes a big difference.