Do I need a real estate agent to buy a home? It’s a common question and honestly, an agent is not required to purchase a home. Plus the services provided by a real estate agent do come at a cost to you once the purchase transaction is final. In addition, with all the online tools and sites, the notion of having a professional could appear unnecessary. But with that said, a Realtor® is a very valuable partner to have in your corner. Here’s why:

1. Beyond bedrooms and bathrooms.

Yes, a real estate agent will play the role in finding the perfect size house with the desired number of bedrooms and bathrooms and the appropriate square footage, but it goes beyond that. Your agent pays attention to features you may miss, like the pipes and the roof, and will ask important questions you might not think of. Most agents will be a reliable source of information on the schools, crime, and demographic information on the neighborhoods you’re interested in. As well as more difficult-to-research concerns like the quietness of the neighborhood and the presence of families with children on the street.

2. Knows the market.

Real estate agents have access to a pool of market data to inform your search. Based on historic research and facts, your agent can give you sound advice on purchase and listing prices in a specific area. Their knowledge can help you get the most for your money and can also help you select the best neighborhoods to begin your search.

3. Is the price right?

Certainly there are plenty of online real estate sites that provide you with housing prices and estimates, and also compare and contrast properties with the click of a mouse. As reliable as these tools may be, they can’t replace the insight of an experienced agent who can walk into a home and, based on a visual assessment and their knowledge of the local market tell you if the house is properly priced.

4. Well connected.

An experienced real estate agent will connect you with the trusted business professionals you’ll need. Agents have a network of mortgage lenders, inspectors, lawyers, contractors and moving companies and when your need arises, they will introduce you.

5. Spotting trouble.

One of the hardest things for a buyer to do when house hunting is identifying any hidden issues. A good real estate agent will not only locate repairs that need to be made, but can recommend a good home inspector who can give you a thorough evaluation of the property.

6. Realtors are held to a code of ethics.

Although not all agents belong to the National Association of Realtors, those who do must abide by a strict code of ethics. So if you decide to work with a Realtor®, the agent has a written obligation to put your best interest ahead of their own, and to be ethical in all transaction-related matters. Look for these signs if the agent isn’t holding up their end of the bargain.

7. Showings and paperwork.

Identifying potential houses, setting up showings, and organizing the subsequent paperwork are a few tasks your real estate agent will manage for you as they guide you through the home buying process. When it comes to the final transaction, you’ll find their expertise and knowledge of home values to be key in guiding you through the process, helping you with the decision and executing the contract.

8. Negotiating muscle.

A good real estate agent is a good negotiator. They are your biggest advocate, and will take the lead on your transaction details. Best of all, it keeps your emotions out of your wallet!

So if you’re buying or selling a home, take into consideration these benefits of having a real estate agent over tackling the project yourself.

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