With today’s hot market you may be thinking of selling your home or you might be in a place that you’re ready to take part in the American dream of homeownership. One major thing with either of these is having a Realtor by your side during the process. Why should I use a Realtor, what’s the benefit of having a Realtor, when do I need a Realtor and how do I choose the right Realtor for me may be some of the questions you’re asking yourself. Let’s see if we can bring a little clarity on what makes a Realtor so important.

What is a Realtor? To put it simple, a Realtor is a person who acts as an agent representing you for the sale or purchase of a home, commercial property or raw land.

For example, if you are buying a home the Realtor will:

  • Navigating the paper work, the financing, surveys, appraisals, homeowner’s insurance, option money & earnest money.
  • Have your best interest at heart.  If a buyer is unrepresented it leaves them open for exposure and the potential to be taken advantage of by the seller.
  • Realtors can help with locating what the buyers are looking for, beyond Zillow and the other online sites, by using the MLS. Sites such as Zillow do get their information from the MLS, however they normally do not disclose all the info that MLS has and sometimes it is not accurate.
  • Along with making the arrangements to look at a property, a Realtor can also help with assessing the property’s condition and may bring something to your attention that you overlooked.

Buyer representation is of the utmost importance.  Working with the listing agent does not mean you are getting a better deal.

For example, if you are selling your home the Realtor will:

  • Help you understand the risks of an offer, qualified buyer, qualified lender and a qualified buyer’s agent.
  • Have a vast knowledge of market conditions and help navigate the negotiation process and understanding all of the pieces to get to closing.
  • Market your property on different platforms to a variety of potential buyers. Keep in mind your Realtor more than likely has a list of qualified buyers that are still looking for their new home and they can possibly have a buyer your home would be perfect for.

You may be thinking of doing a For Sale By Owner (FSBO) if you’re selling your home. This could cost you in the long run. Keep in mind that by doing a FSBO, you would not have access to the MLS system and listing your home on the MLS can reach qualified buyers quicker since their Realtor has access to that system. Studies have shown that by having a Realtor handling the negotiations, usually result in a higher sales price. Listing a home by yourself, again, sets yourself up for exposure and you could be taken advantage of.  Utilize a realtor and trust them to represent you fully, as they know real estate laws and regulations. Bringing unqualified strangers into your home could have bad intentions and leave you as a FSBO in a vulnerable position.

Once you have talked to a lender, received your pre-approval and found what your budget is for your new home, it’s time to talk to a Realtor. Remember having your pre-approval in hand is very important, you don’t want to fall in love with a home and then find out you don’t qualify for that large of a sales price or even worse that you don’t qualify at this time to even purchase a home.  Finding the right Realtor to work with is extremely important as well. You want someone you feel comfortable with. If you have any friends, family or co-workers that have recently bought or sold a home, they may be able to refer you to the Realtor they worked with. Talking to local Realtors in your area can also help you find one that is the perfect fit for you and your needs. If you’re looking for a home that has land so that you can have animals, you may want to work with a Realtor that has more experience in that field versus an agent that mainly handles townhomes and condos.

The buying and selling process is a roller coaster of emotions, trust your Realtor, lean on your Realtor for support, advice and counsel, that is what they are there for.  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Red River Title.