As more and more real estate transactions, from start to finish, are being conducted almost entirely in the digital world - the idea of cutting out the middle man and going through the home buying or selling process alone - without an agent - may be tempting. However, the process isn't as simple as you may assume. So, regardless of which side of the transaction you're on, there are multiple reasons why you'll want a professional by your side.
If you're a Seller
You may think selling your home by yourself is a great way to save some money. After all, why should you fork over 6% over to a stranger? But, before you post that "For Sale By Owner" sign, ask yourself: Are you prepared to take phone calls from prospective buyers throughout the day? Are you willing to bolt home on your lunch break to show your home, only to have a person not show up? Can you handle hearing harsh words about your choice of decor or the condition of your home?
"The process of selling a home is a lot more involved than putting a 'for sale' sign up, taking pictures, and posting a property online," said Kazantzis Real Estate Owner and Agent Adrea Kazantzis. "It takes a lot of knowledge, experience, and legwork to ensure the property owner gets the highest possible selling price. A real estate agent helps takes some of the stress and emotion out of the process."
There are expenses even if you don't use an agent. While you won't necessarily be paying a seller's agent a commission, you'll still have to pay a flat fee if you want your property listed by the multiple listing service or MLS. In addition, if you want the buyer's agent to make your listing a priority, you're going to have to offer a commission.
Perhaps one of the biggest risks of going it alone is the lack of experience needed to navigate the legal and regulatory requirements that come with selling a home.
"Between the buyer, seller, bank, lawyers, inspectors, etc., a lot needs to come together to close on a home, an agent serves as a conductor, keeping everything running on time," Kazantzis said.
If You're a Buyer
In the last few years, a bunch of direct homebuying sites have popped up allowing buyers to shop for homes like they would a pair of shoes or groceries. While that kind of convenience may seem appealing, buying a home is a huge investment that shouldn't be made lightly. It's a decision that could mean the difference between your dream home or a money pit.
"The benefit of hiring an agent is we can explain the entire process from start to finish including explaining what the sellers are responsible for," said Kazantzis Real Estate Agent Val MacNeil. "We know a vast number of contacts who help us through that process like, lenders, inspectors, lawyers, appraisers, electricians, and plumbers."
MacNeil said a real estate agent knows what to look for in a house, not just the amenities, but how the overall condition can have a great impact on the home's value.
"Is there peeling paint? Safety issues? Cracks in the walls or ceilings? Any of those things could be a potential problem with the type of loan a buyer is qualified for," MacNeil said.
Not to mention, an agent can help you make sure you get the most house for the best price.
"We’ll look past market data to ensure the home you want is worth the asking price. We don’t want our clients to start out in the negative," MacNeil said.
So, whether you are buying or selling, Kazantzis Real Estate has a team of experienced agents who are ready to help you navigate the process.