For most people, buying a home is the largest financial investment they’ll ever make. Working with a REALTOR ensures that buyers and sellers are getting the best possible advice for that investment.
One of the most important roles a REALTOR® plays is helping a seller determine an accurate price. REALTORS® have access to market data that can help a seller appropriately price a home. Studies show that homes priced right when they’re first listed sell more quickly and for a higher price than those that linger on the market.
Negotiation and Regulation
There are more industry regulations and requirements and disclosures than ever. An inexperienced seller could be left open to potential legal problems, while a REALTOR® can make sure each contract complies with local, state and federal regulations and protects both buyer and seller.
A REALTOR® can also make sure prospective buyers are truly legitimate prospects, and not just “window shoppers,” wasting a seller’s time.
And a REALTOR® has the expertise to help the client interact and negotiate with a variety of professionals, including attorneys, appraisers, inspectors, title companies, local government agencies, bankers and the seller and the seller’s agent. A professional is better equipped to help a seller clarify settlement or closing dates, or even a time to rent the property back from the new buyer temporarily.
Presentation and Time Management
A REALTOR® can show a seller’s home when the seller is unavailable. Perhaps even more importantly, the agent can be a stand-in for the seller, and get valuable feedback from visitors, answer questions and respond to inquiries from other agents and buyers.
A REALTOR® may also be able to look at a home and offer objective feedback and suggestions for improvements, staging or minor repairs so it appeals to more buyers.
Technology has revolutionized the ways people buy, sell and shop for homes. More than 80 percent of buyers search online for available homes and more than 40 percent of buyers find the home they ultimately purchase via the internet. (By comparison, newspaper ads are 1 percent and yard signs are 9 percent).
And while there are certainly lots of real estate search sites out there, they do not rival the Multi-List Service (MLS). Through the MLS, brokers share information on properties they have listed and invite other brokers to cooperate, in exchange for potential compensation. Sellers benefit by increased exposure for their properties and buyers benefit because they can access information about any MLS-listed property while working with one broker. Buyers can also take advantage of all the data included in the MLS – school information, tax information, property history, covenants, views, interior/exterior features, etc. – as they search.