QUICK FACT #1: There are 3 main things consumers value most
In today’s information age, an agent’s value is measured not by controlling information, but by providing guidance, expertise and emotional reassurance. There are 3 basic things that consumers value in a real estate agent today:
1 – Professional, objective advice – including an interpretation of what the overwhelming
Amount of home data available means
2 – Time and stress reduction in the buying or selling process – by orchestrating the complete process from beginning to end and facilitating the home inspection, financing, closing, and the many other tasks an agent handles for their clients
3 – Clear, honest communication about what is happening, whether good or bad, and recommendations on what steps to take, and emotional reassurance along the way.
Compare buying a home to buying stocks. You can research the market and buy stock through a low cost online service or you can have a stockbroker buy the same stock for you. The value is in having the stockbroker watching the market, telling you when to trade one stock for another or simply when to get out of the market. Being able to call them and have them reassure you that you will meet your long range plans as the marketplace goes through its normal ups and downs has tremendous value also. This same peace of mind will also come when you choose a well trained, professional real estate agent to help you achieve your real estate goals.
*Source – Real Estate Executive Magazine
QUICK FACT #2: Even the best golfer in the world has a golf coach!
Even Tiger Woods has a golf coach! Everyone needs an unbiased opinion to be better at what they are doing, and this is so in real estate. Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? A Realtor is there to guide you, coach you, and counsel you through the process so that you make the best decision. Here are 12 reasons why you need to use a Realtor:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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?
4. Your REALTOR® can help you negotiate. There are myriad negotiating factors, including but not limited to price, financing, terms, date of possession and often the inclusion or exclusion of repairs and furnishings or equipment. The purchase agreement should provide a period of 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.
5. Your REALTOR® provides due diligence during the evaluation of the property. 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 title of the property. 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 company or attorney can help you resolve issues that might cause problems at a later date.
6. Your REALTOR® can help you in understanding different financing options and in identifying qualified lenders.
7. Your REALTOR® can guide you through the closing process and make sure everything flows together smoothly.
8. When selling your home, your REALTOR® can give you up-to-date information on what is happening in the marketplace and the price, financing, terms and condition of competing properties. These are key factors in getting your property sold at the best price, quickly and with minimum hassle.
9. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. Often, your REALTOR® can recommend repairs or cosmetic work that will significantly enhance the salability of your property. Your REALTOR® markets your property to other real estate agents and the public. In many markets across the country, over 50% of real estate sales are cooperative sales; that is, a real estate agent other than yours brings in the buyer. Your REALTOR® acts as the marketing coordinator, disbursing information about your property to other real estate agents through a Multiple Listing Service or other cooperative marketing networks, open houses for agents, etc. The REALTOR® Code of Ethics requires REALTORS® to utilize these cooperative relationships when they benefit their clients.
10. Your REALTOR® will know when, where and how to advertise your property. There is a misconception that advertising sells real estate. The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® studies show that 82% of real estate sales are the result of agent contacts through previous clients, referrals, friends, family and personal contacts. When a property is marketed with the help of your REALTOR®, you do not have to allow strangers into your home. Your REALTOR® will generally prescreen and accompany qualified prospects through your property.
11. Your REALTOR® can help you objectively evaluate every buyer’s proposal without compromising your marketing position. This initial agreement is only the beginning of a process of appraisals, inspections and financing — a lot of possible pitfalls. Your REALTOR® can help you write a legally binding, win-win agreement that will be more likely to make it through the process.
12. Your REALTOR® can help close the sale of your home. Between the initial sales agreement and closing (or settlement), questions may arise. For example, unexpected repairs are required to obtain financing or a cloud in the title is discovered. The required paperwork alone is overwhelming for most sellers. Your REALTOR® is the best person to objectively help you resolve these issues and move the transaction to closing (or settlement).
QUICK FACT #3: What our network said about using a Realtor
We asked our online network what their thoughts were on “Why use a Realtor”, our responses came from past clients, agents, and professionals in the real estate industry and in the general business community. It is clear that the professional advice and time saving help an agent provides along with their knowledge of the marketplace, creates the opportunity for a smoother transaction that the customers appreciate. Here is what they said:
“My real estate agent has assisted me with the purchase of three properties and has become a trusted advisor. I cannot say enough about her integrity, knowledge of the marketplace and willingness to work around my schedule. Because of her involvement in the closing process, a potentially stressful time has been remarkably problem free!”
J. Armstrong, Home Buyer
“Our agent was so professional and helpful. Any issue we had was resolved within hours and she was always available to help us figure out the process since this was our first time buying a home.”
D Wulff, Home Buyer
“The benefit for buyers is that the sellers have a professional working on their side if their house is listed in the MLS. If you’re only looking at For Sale By Owner, you are missing out on 85% of the properties for sale, leaving only a handful of properties to choose from–most of which are way overpriced….REALTORS® are in the business of matching up qualified buyers and sellers, and helping those buyers and sellers reach their goals.” Robert Scroggs, Realtor
“I work for a title company. Our perspective is that there are more obstacles to closing a FSBO (for-sale-by-owner) than almost any other file. We see loans with higher fees, a lack of understanding of the contract, and confusion on the parts of both the buyer and the seller. People forget that an escrow company is a disinterested third party. We can’t give out advice on contracts that have no representation. The REALTOR fee is well worth the money. The home is sold more quickly and at a higher value, and with a smoother transaction.”
Tanya Smith, Freedom Title of Texas
“Why does the best golfer in the world, Tiger Woods, have a golf coach? Everyone needs an unbiased opinion to be better at what they are doing.”
Michael Tannery, Tannery & Company Wealth Management
“Why use a Realtor? In my opinion, there are too many details and timelines that could be easily overlooked without a Realtor…There is also the negotiating of price, terms and repairs. Often there is friction between a seller who feels he isn’t getting enough for his home and a buyer who feels like he’s paying too much for that home. As a Realtor, part of my job is to represent my client’s best interests while protecting him from that friction. Buying and selling real estate is emotional, that’s why you need a professional who can be objective.”
Marcia Levine, Realtor
“Review and Distribute Final Closing Figures – is big. How many people know how to review a HUD statement? I’ve saved my clients money over and over from others who misread the contract. Also, hand holding and late night nervous phone calls. I get this from every class of buyer I deal with. Realtors may have had hundreds of closings. Most people only do it a few times in their lives.”