Why Use a REALTOR® When Buying a Home?
A real estate agent can help you understand everything you need to know about the home buying process.
Not all real estate licensees are the same; only those who are members of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® are properly called REALTORS®. They proudly display the REALTOR " ®" trademark on their business cards and other marketing and sales literature.
REALTORS® are committed to treat all parties to a transaction honestly. REALTORS®
subscribe to a strict Code of Ethics and are expected to maintain a
higher level of knowledge of the process of buying and selling real
estate. An independent survey reported that 84% of home buyers would use
the same REALTOR® again.
Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial
investments of most people’s lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed
$250,000. If you had a $250,000 income tax problem, would you attempt
to deal with it without the help of a certified professional accountant?
If you had a $250,000 legal question, would you deal with it without
the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large
downside risk, it would be wise to work with a professional REALTOR® when you are buying a home.
If you're still not convinced of the value of a REALTOR®, here are more reasons to use one:
- Your REALTOR® can help you determine your buying power - that is, your financial reserves plus your borrowing capacity. If you give a REALTOR®
some basic information about your available savings, income and current
debt, he or she can refer you to lenders best qualified to help you.
Most lenders - banks and mortgage companies - offer limited choices.
- Your REALTOR® has many resources to assist you in your home search. Sometimes
the property you are seeking is available but not actively advertised
in the market, and it will take some investigation by your agent to find
all available properties.
- Your REALTOR® can assist you in the selection process by providing objective information about each property. Agents who are REALTORS® have access to a variety of informational resources. REALTORS®
can provide local community information on utilities, zoning, schools,
etc. There are two things you'll want to know: First, will the property
provide the environment I want for a home or investment? Second, will
the property have resale value when I am ready to sell?
- Your REALTOR® can help you with negotiations and inspections. There
are many negotiating factors, including but not limited to price,
financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or
exclusion of repairs and furnishings or appliances. The purchase
agreement should allow time for you to complete appropriate inspections
and investigations of the property before you are bound to complete the
purchase. Your agent can advise you as to which investigations and
inspections are recommended or required.
- Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the property evaluation. Depending
on the area and property, this could include inspections for termites,
dry rot, asbestos, faulty structure, roof condition, septic tank and
well tests, just to name a few. Your REALTOR® can assist you
in finding qualified responsible professionals to do most of these
investigations and provide you with written reports.
You will also want to see a preliminary report on the property title.
Title indicates ownership of property and can be mired in confusing
status of past owners or rights of access. The title to most properties
will have some limitations; for example, easements (access rights) for
utilities. Your REALTOR®, title search company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
- Your REALTOR® can help you understand different financing options and identify qualified lenders.
- Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.