One of the most oft ask questioned of real estate agents is, “Why should I use an agent?”
There are a number of reasons you may consider doing so.
First and foremost, I believe in the time value of money. It’s our job to make what is often the biggest purchase a person will make in their lives a seamless transaction. Having someone in your corner whom has a working knowledge of the intricacies of the transaction – as well as a fiduciary duty to you – is a beneficial service.
From a seller’s perspective, an agent offers several benefits:
1. Marketing. If you list with an agent, your home will appear on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service). This is the primary way homes are marketed in the United States. Further, agents typically have several marketing strategies and relationships through which they will market your home.
2. Privacy and security. The agent will act as a “shield” of sorts, protecting your privacy. E.g., if you market your home yourself, your name and phone number will appear in the public domain. Further, agents act as a layer of security for your home, escorting buyers through the property (this is, of course, something you would likely do in their place).
3. Negotiation. Using an agent places an intermediary in the transaction who is ethically and legally bound to act in your interests. They will filter prospective buyers and take care of the negotiation process while selling your home.
4. The transaction. An agent will handle the closing for you, ensuring all parts of the process are seamless.
From a buyer’s perspective, an agent can and should do a number of things for you:
1. Filter the available listings based on your criteria (and save you time screening out houses no longer available).
2. Coordinate with your mortgage and escrow agents (and lawyer, where applicable/appropriate).
3. Guide buyers through a complicated process that most people have done at maximum a handful of times.
4. Give insights into current market conditions.
5. Make sure all the paperwork is filled out correctly, and that all required disclosures are in order.
6. Point out potential problems and solutions as they arise.
7. Call listing agents ahead of time to arrange viewing appointments and screen for potential deal-breakers.
8. Provides transportation to all prospective properties.
9. Assist in your negotiations of not only the initial purchase offer, but also the counter offers and post inspection releases.
10. Help you interpret all the various documents you’ll encounter in the purchase process.
11. Look after your interests.
Source: content for this list came in large part from Bridget Magnus, a retired Las Vegas, NV, REALTOR