“I am looking to buy a home; do I really need an agent?”

Yes!  Having an agent is beneficial for sellers and buyers.  The process of finding a home for many people is arguably the easiest part of the process.  Exploring new neighborhoods and houses can be a fun and exhilarating process and often this is done from the beginning with an agent by your side.  But, sometimes a buyer finds the home without the assistance of an agent.  That’s great, but once you decide to make an offer, this is where the real value of having an agent begins.

An agent will aid you in putting your offer together.  How much to offer?  A home’s list price is not a guarantee of what the home is worth.  Some real estate websites offer home value estimators and while these tools can be helpful in providing a general idea, you’ll want to ensure that an expert is carefully evaluating all relevant data including recent sales in the neighborhood and other comparable properties to ensure that your offer accurately reflects the value of the home.

Other factors to consider when preparing an offer:  What is Due Diligence and how long to I need it for?  When should I schedule the closing?  Will I have enough time for my lender to approve my mortgage?  Your agent will assist and advise you on all these matters.

What happens if the seller counters your offer?  Your agent is there to help get you the best price and terms on your purchase.  Good agents are experts at negotiation and will put their skills to work for you.

Your offer has been accepted. Congratulations, but now what?  This is the time to schedule your home inspections (and yes, you should always have your home inspected- even new construction).  This is likely one of the largest investments you will ever make.  You need to have all the facts and know what you are getting.  How do I find a good home inspector?  Once again, good agents have lots of experience and can provide you with referrals for reputable professionals they have worked with and recommend.

Once inspections are complete and you have a full report of repairs that are needed, what do you need to do?  Most of the time, the inspection repair items are minor, but not always.  Your agent will help negotiate the repairs that will be done prior to closing or ensure you receive credits for needed repair work.

With all that hard work behind you, you’re on your way to the closing table.  So, how does your agent get paid?  The seller usually pays the buyer’s agent’s commission. So, your agent is working hard on your behalf, advocating for you and your interests while making the process as easy as possible for you and someone else is likely paying your agent for you.  Need help on moving day?  Your agent can help with that too…with a referral for a good moving company!