The world has changed! Not only can we circumvent it in hours by a plane and minutes in space, but we also can instantly access our world via the internet! So, why revert to buying a home the traditional way? Why use a real person to help me when I have Zillow, Google, and probably a hundred other websites with fun names at my fingertips? There is bound to be a DIY book or YouTube video on FSBO’s somewhere! I can do this on my own!
Yes, you can. No argument there. Anyone can buy or sell their own home. But do you really want to? And should you? Can you really replace someone that spends hours studying the mechanics of buying a home, is aware of pitfalls and dangers, knows the local market, and has been trained in the home buying process? Below are some reasons why we believe you would wisely choose a real estate agent to help you purchase a home:
- Weekend Warrior Syndrome: Many of us continue to play sports well beyond our prime! We have fun doing it, we deepen our relationships, but it doesn’t mean we’re ready to compete at the pro level! The same goes for housing. You may be involved in a real estate transaction every seven years or so, however, becoming an expert in a field involves time and effort. I like what Malcolm Gladwell says, “It takes 10,000 hours of intensive practice to achieve mastery of complex skills and materials.” It is more than visiting Zillow or watching HGTV real estate shows. It involves classes, seminars, conversations with experts in the housing field (lenders, title companies, attorneys, home inspectors, stagers…), visiting homes on a regular basis, studying the minutiae of the housing contract, and learning counseling skills. This is what a Realtor provides.
- Paperwork Confusion: There are a lot of documents needed to buy a home and most need some form of deciphering skills. From the initial contract to title work, to home inspections, appraisal issues, and dates. Oh, the dates! They need to be meticulously watched and used to protect you, the buyer. If casually treated, then your earnest money (amount you put down to tell the Seller you are serious about buying their home) could be in jeopardy! A book or a video can only summarize the tip of the iceberg of what you will be facing concerning the contractual dates!
- Emotional Clarity: When you are spending your own money, it is tough not to get too emotional, stressed out, or second-guessing yourself. A Realtor can’t solve this! If you are a worrywart, you’ll remain a worrywart. However, a good Realtor can mitigate this as you walk through the process. Their knowledge of the area could help you rest assured that you are not missing out on homes that fit your interest; they can help ask clarifying questions to help you find the root of your concerns or interests. They can be the fair, neutral third party that is expressly and ethically required to work for your best interest.
- The "Home-School" Phenomenon. I’ve heard one real estate guru call this the “hidden knowledge” a real estate agent possesses about a community or area. If you are looking for something specific, a real estate agent just might know exactly where to find it. So, if a buyer wants a house near other ‘home-schoolers’, the experienced real estate agent may very well know the house that's for sale near those involved in home-school. In a more general way, an agent will be aware of features that don't show as well on the internet. A human agent is more likely to find a match than a real estate website.
- Negotiation Fatigue. This is real. People are out looking for homes, losing offers, and just getting tired of the process. Now what? A real estate agent can keep you focused, can represent you, and negotiate for you without ever reaching that boiling point. Plus, negotiations do NOT END once under contract. Often, they are just beginning. The best way to make a deal is to look for the positive part of every offer and never let the other party see your frustration. Often, the most effective way to do that is to present the face that's doing business - not your own.
- The Right Home or Not? That is the billion-dollar question. An agent can help a buyer save money and help a seller to make the most money. Because they go through the home buying and selling process regularly, they can warn clients of potential dangers and looming changes. For example, if you want to buy a charming little house near a business district and turn the front parlor into a candle store, you need to know if the city will allow it. Typically, an experienced real estate agent is familiar enough with local zoning ordinances to make sure you don't buy the wrong house.
- The Price is Right! In most transactions in Colorado the Seller pays the fees for both their agent and the buyer agent. This happens because of a variety of reasons and although not guaranteed, it rarely happens that the buyer is paying an additional amount to their agent that is beyond the price of their home.
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