You have decided. Now is the time. You are ready to buy a home. What do you do first? How do you start? You see house advertisements all over the place on social media. Should you just scour the internet looking for a home? Read below for our top 10 reasons to hire an agent.
1. We have access to the MLS.
Okay, we know you can search Zillow, Realtor.com, or a myriad of other websites to find homes for sale, but did you know that these third party sites often have highly inaccurate information? For example, simple information like the availability of a particular home is commonly inaccurately recorded—i.e., is it even still on the market? This is especially true in super-hot markets where homes sell very quickly. Guess what, Raleigh? You are a super-hot seller's market!
Your Realtor® has access to what we call the MLS, the Multiple Listing Service. This is the go-to place for up-to-date, more expansive, information that you will need when navigating the process of searching for a home. When you are searching for a home—especially in a crazy hot market like we have—you need access to . . . ALL THE THINGS! Can you see the impressive hand-wavy gestures we are making?
2. We open the door for you.
It seems simple enough, but have you ever thought about how you are going to get inside the home for which you are interested? Part of a buyer’s agent’s job is to provide you access to candidate homes. Without an agent acting as a chaperone, you won’t be able to get inside the home to see if it fits your needs.
3. We work on your behalf.
Some people, usually those finding a home on a third party website, just call the listing agent to view the home. While that can get you inside, you need to know that the listing agent is representing the seller and their best interests. You are the buyer. It is vital that you have your own representation. If you go into a house with a seller’s agent, and just LOVE this and LOVE that about the home, you are losing valuable negotiating ground with every “ooh!” and “ahh!” in the event you make an offer on that home. And just like when talking to the police, "Anything you say can and will be used against you." If you are a buyer, never ever be open and frank with a seller's agent. Let a buyer's agent manage that dialogue.
4. We know the market.
Realtors® work in this market every. single. day. They know roughly what the price points should be, what the average days on market are for each area, whether there are bike trails nearby, whether there is (and the nature of) the local nightlife? Did you notice the unchecked kudzu three properties away? Etc. etc. We do this day in and day out.
5. We hold your hand throughout the paperwork process.
You are buying a home, not an apple. There are a number of legal documents that you must use, sign, and abide by. If you have ever (or, never) gone through the home buying process, you should know there is a ton of paperwork that will be necessary. It can often get confusing and it is easy to make a misstep. Your agent will be certain to make sure no document is overlooked or left behind.
6. We negotiate.
Are you interested in that home in that popular subdivision in Raleigh that is selling for $225,000? Great! So are 15 other people. And they all had their offer in before yours. How do you handle that? In reality, this happens every day. Especially at this price point. A good buyer’s agent will help you write a strong and competitive offer, with terms you are comfortable with that will hopefully win you the prize. If they are a great buyer’s agent, they will have already made a phone call to the seller’s agent to gauge what is important to the seller that will help craft how your offer is structured and articulated. And—often under-appreciated and we can't emphasize this enough—an agent is not emotionally attached to the house. Your agent will help you avoid making ill-advised, unwise, emotional decisions.
In this market—a seller's market—sometimes with even the most skilled and well crafted offer, you still won't win the home. There were 15 others vying for it, also leveraging skilled agent guidance, and it is often a hard fought battle. Your agent will help pick you up, dust you off, and get back out there to find the next one.
7. We know all the people.
As Realtors® we know loads of service folks. Need a quality plumber? Check. Need an electrician? Double check. Need a structural engineer? Need an expert who can move that window three feet to the left and make it look like it was originally built that way? Need to get a valuation on that half-acre of timber? Check Check Check! Would you know how to find that person?
We quickly get to know all manner of service providers in this industry, be it from personal experience, or through our colleagues. If you have a need, we can find a guy (or gal) to help!
8. We are by your side. We are your advocate.
A buyer’s agent will be with you from start to finish. We will help you find the home, get you in the door, get you under contract, help coordinate inspections, and be with you at the closing table. We are your advocate. We will be there to help you navigate the process. It is our job to make everything go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes the process has bumps along the way. We work in tandem with you, will hold your hand, and help you through it.
9. We will help you record your memorable event for posterity.
It’s closing day. Do you want to take that adorable picture of being handed the keys? Standing in front of the home? Pushing your friend into the pool? That’s our job. We’re all amateur photographers . . . okay, emphasis on amateur . . . but we love taking pictures of you to share with your friends and family to share your excitement.
Yes, we will share them as well, but only with your permission of course. We’ll become friends in most cases, and can’t wait to share in your joy.
10. We’re FREE.
Yes, you read that correctly! F.R.E.E. We saved the best for last. In most cases in NC, our fees are paid for by the seller. So you, dear buyer, can focus on saving up for that first mortgage payment.
Are you, or anyone you know, ready to start their home search? Reach out to us and give us a call today.