Before you DIY your home sale or purchase: Learn about services only a real estate agent can offer

Stephen Sabatella, Broker
Stephen Sabatella, Broker
Published on November 25, 2019

Many industries offer unique services. Sure, you can cut your own hair, but can you make it look like this year’s hot, sleek bob?

You can also repair your own roof. Keep in mind however that 36 percent of all fatalities result from falls – from roofs.

Some jobs are better left to professionals, especially those jobs that impact your safety, pocketbook and, yes, even your looks.

We know what you’re thinking: Why should you give up some of that hard-earned home equity to some real estate agent when you are perfectly capable of selling the home yourself?

Read on. 

Real estate agents do far more than show homes

Many consumers feel that all a real estate does is tour homes all day, showing them to potential buyers. While that is a big part of many agents’ jobs, it is in no way all they do.

Each transaction that an agent is involved in contains a myriad of small details. A transaction can fail if any one of these falls through the cracks; they are that critical.

And, these details are something the average homeowner can’t possibly know about unless he or she has sold real estate as a professional.

So, aside from showing homes and marketing homes for sale come all the details that must be juggled by someone who is an expert detail juggler. That someone is a professional real estate agent.

Real estate agents clear up all the jargon and confusion

Yes, a real estate attorney can help you decipher a home purchase contract, but at a hefty price and with no guarantee you’ll walk away from the conversation with a better understanding of what the contract means.

Then, there are the common terms you’ll need to understand, inherent in all real estate transactions.

From mortgage jargon, like “DTI” and exactly what is included in closing costs to real estate terms, such as “contingencies” and “chain of title,” your real estate agent has all the answers.

Are you aware of a buyer’s duty of “due diligence” and how not knowing about this duty can negatively impact not only the purchase, but your future enjoyment of the home and your finances?

Appraisals and home inspections: you may need an adviser to deal with the results

There are two steps in the home sale and purchase process that are common yet produce the most anxiety (other than waiting for loan pre-approval): the appraisal and the home inspection.

Most real estate consumers don’t understand that results of either inspection that are less than optimal don’t necessarily kill the deal.

There are ways to deal with a low appraisal or a less-than-perfect home inspection report that can keep everything on track. But, again, most homebuyers and sellers aren’t aware of these procedures. Real estate agents deal with them often and are experts at finding a solution to benefit all parties.

This valuable knowledge is something you won’t receive if you don’t have a real estate agent representing you.

Your final chance

Homebuyers have several chances to view the home after signing the purchase agreement. They will often attend the home inspection and, sometimes, the sellers permit them an additional visit to take measurements or to oversee requested repairs.

One visit is set in stone, however, and that is known as “the final walk-through.” The purpose of this visit is to ensure that the home is in the same condition it was when you agreed to purchase it and it typically takes place within the week leading up to closing.

The final walk-through is not an additional opportunity to negotiate.

In other words, if you notice something objectionable during the walk-through that you hadn’t noticed before, it’s too late to bring it to the seller’s attention (which is another reason you need your agent’s second set of very experienced “eyes” during the early phases of the process).

Far too many buyers treat the final walk-through casually, breezing through the home, blissfully unaware of what they should be on the lookout for. Without a real estate agent by your side, you will have no idea.

These are only a handful of the unique services that agents provide.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pointed out features of a home (both bad and good) that my clients didn’t notice, how many times I’ve negotiated even minute contract terms for clients when they weren’t around to witness, how often I’ve recommended trusted tradespeople, inspectors and lenders to my first-time buyers to ensure they don’t get ripped off.

As mentioned earlier, there are so many details that real estate agents deal with daily that most consumers have no way of knowing about. But now you know about at least a few of them.

 

 

 

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