When Zillow started putting homes for sale on their website life as a real estate agent changed forever AND, it also changed for our clients as well. Why? It meant that clients looking to buy no longer needed an agent to view properties for sale. Now they could be in their pajamas viewing all the homes for sale in the exact neighborhood of interest... Never even needing to talk to an agent!
So . . . you DON’T need a real estate agent to search properties. However, through our local Multiple Listing Service, Real Estate Agents can set up a very specific search that will deliver to your inbox every property fitting your specific parameters. That would be something to consider once you have drilled down to your specific area of choice, then you will see it the second it goes live on the MLS.
Does that mean you DON’T need a real estate agent ever? NO, not at all.
Here are 5 reasons that you still NEED a real estate agent:
1. Determining Affordability– While you may have determined your perfect payment, we will make sure you consider ALL of the additional costs not only those that come with getting a mortgage, but also closing costs. And what additional items you may not have considered when calculating your affordability such as: water, landscaping, utilities, and repairs. No one wants to be house rich and cash poor.
2. Finding the Right Home - There is NO such thing as a “perfect home.” But with our professional guidance we can find one that is pretty darn close! Once we identified your “must haves” and your “would like to haves” it is our job to keep those top of mind so that you don’t move in and have the dreaded buyer's remorse.
3. Determining Comparable Homes For Sale – Once we have found your dream home, a good real estate agent will look in the area, and different areas close by, to see if there is anything else on the market that is comparable that may also have your "must haves" at possibly a lower price.
4. Price Negotiation – No one wants to overpay for anything, that includes your new home. It is our job to research the area, look at all homes that are currently active for sale (see #3). Then we will look at nearby homes that are in pending status to determine price range. Most importantly we will examine recent sales in the area to see how much homes with the same location, size and amenities sold for and determine the appropriate offer price.
5. Negotiation Terms of Sale – Price is only one area of negotiation, other things that your real estate agent will walk you thru are: any repair items, length of escrow, any rent back situation, also the seller may need to find another home or perhaps you need to sell your home prior to closing.
* Developing a working relationship with the agent on the other side of the transaction is a key element to a successful negotiation.
Will there ever come a time when you can find a home and purchase it without talking with a real estate agent?
Maybe but we are a long way from that! Until then use Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com or any number of property search websites to search for homes, but when you are ready to get started viewing homes find and sign a qualified agent as soon as possible to start you off correctly and to potentially save you THOUSANDS of dollars!
As always, let me know if there is anything I can do for you, I am happy to help!