A typical objection to leveraging the expertise of a Realtor is the money. “What do they do for their commission?! I can sell this myself!” Have you heard people saying this as the edges of their “For Sale By Owner” sign begins to tatter in the wind?
Searching for Properties
As consumers, we sometimes have a false sense of security. We believe our Internet access provides us everything we need to know. Of course, how did anyone ever plan a wedding or shop for appliances without “world wide web” access? We have been lulled into believing that everything is just a Google search away.
In the world of real estate, the availability of detail provided by sites like Realtor.com and Zillow provides a wonderful tool. Virtual tours and essential facts like tax history and area amenities are invaluable when considering a neighborhood. You combine this detail with the handy Google map of the neighborhood and what do you get? The 3-D virtual tour of a kitchen that is a “gourmet’s dream” and the knowledge that there’s a Starbucks within walking distance. That’s about it.
So when that same Realtor.com publishes an article about the significance of adding a Realtor to the equation, is that simply a disclaimer that their website is not the end-all resource, or is having a Realtor represent you when buying and selling a must-have?
I am a Realtor, so understand the inherent benefits. But it is interesting what this real estate resource selected as their Six Reasons You Should Never Buy a Home Without an Agent:
1. They have loads of expertise
2. They have turbocharged searching power
3. They have bullish negotiating chops
4. They’re connected to everyone
5. They adhere to a strict code of ethics
6. They’re your sage parent/data analyst/therapist—all rolled into one
Home Buying and FSBOs
When buying your home, Realtors have access to properties that are “for sale” but unadvertised to the market in general; sometimes referred to as “pocket listings” – an agent can provide the real lowdown on what’s available.
When selling your home, it is a well-established fact that it must be viewed as a commodity in a market that fluctuates; emotional attachment and the associated unrealities about pricing result in properties that languish and do not sell. No matter how much you may understand about the comps in your neighborhood, one of the major challenges of selling your own home is establishing the objectivity it requires.
My favorite point is probably Number 4: They’re connected to everyone.
It is a Realtor’s job to be plugged in to the communities she serves and remain current with the happenings, the building plans for the area, and other people who have your best interests at heart. The collateral resources they work with on a daily basis are the finest – I know mine are!
From mortgage brokers to home stagers, I am only going to refer people who demonstrate the same professionalism and expertise my clients deserve.
I believe that in the world of real estate, it takes a village to manage a smooth transaction.