If you’re buying a selling a home, you may imagine you can do everything on your own. You’re smart and capable, right? And you went to college, too! Surely you can do this and save some money on realtor fees.

It may be technically true that you can do it, but it doesn’t mean that you should. You could also walk across a tightrope without a net, but that doesn’t make it the best option you have. If you have the option of hiring a real estate agent, you should, because a talented and experienced agent is worth what you would have to pay them and then some.

Experience matters

    There’s a very good chance that you have never sold or bought a house before. If you have, you’ve maybe done it once or twice. Would you want a heart surgeon who has only done it once or twice but reassures you that he’s “read all about it on the Internet?” OK, so that’s an extreme example. You’re not going to end up dead on an operating table because you lack experience in real estate, but you could end up with a lot more stress and frustration.

The best Realtors have been around the block a few times (and sold most of the houses on that block, too). They know the process of buying and selling a house like the back of their hand. They should be able to tell you just about everything you could ever want to know about a piece of property. And if they don’t know the answer on the spot, they should have the resources to find the answer and get back to you.

If you’re doing it on your own, you’re more likely to make mistakes. If you get a poorly done inspection only to find out six months later that the plumbing in the house has major issues, then you might be up a sewage creek without a paddle. Without someone to help you out, you’re going onto the field of play without any real battle plan. The person selling you the house probably has their own agent. If you make an offer and they ask for more money, you’ll have to spend your own time trying to figure out if the offer is fair or not. A good Realtor will be able to find out much more quickly than you can if you’re getting a good deal, or if it’s time to go back to the negotiating table.

Where do you look?

So once you’ve decided to go with an experienced hand, where do you find a real estate agent you can trust? The same place you find a lot of other things: through friends and reviews. Remember your coworker Anna who just got a great bargain on a big house in the coolest neighborhood in town? Ask her what agent or company she used. Some agents will have more experience in certain parts of your region than others. Online reviews are another part of the puzzle, and you probably don’t want to just look at one website. It’s much easier for people to write negative reviews than positive ones, so you want to get a good look at reviews across multiple sites before you make a decision. It’s better to have good word of mouth and very few online reviews than the other way around.

Buying a house is a long process, and that’s why it’s so important that you have someone on your side to help you through the worst days and celebrate with you when you finally find the perfect home.

 

 

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